Los Angeles: Stories from the City – Episode 1: Inventing a City

Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the United States’ and the world, has a unique story. Home to indigenous tribes, just two hundred years ago it was a small outpost of Mexico, after it took possession of California from Spain after the Mexican War of Independence.

Taken by the US in the Mexican- American war of 1848, it remained a scrappy Cowtown until the discovery of oil in the 1890s. It’s population then was only 15,000.

While Los Angeles today is identified with the film Industry, it was the forces of agriculture, oil, water, and war that also fuelled its phenomenal growth. In the process it brought together a myriad of people from vastly different places and backgrounds.  Los Angeles has an exceptional climate and natural resources. It has long attracted dreamers drawn by the ambitions of fame, fortune, and escape. In the process it attracted its fair share of treasure seekers, artists, architects, and speculators and created new industries and ways of doing things. In the space of less than 150 years LA has transformed itself from a little lawless cow town into one of the biggest cities on the planet.

Empire Builders – series