Liverpool was a humble fishing village for half a millennium until the spilting-up of Chester and the booming slave trade prompted the building of the first dock in 1715. From then until the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1807, Liverpool was the apex of the slavery. After the abolition of the trade, the port continued to grow into a seven-mile chain of docks, not only for freight but also to cope with wholesale European emigration, which saw nine million people from half of Europe leave for the Americas and Australasia between 1830 and 1930. Some never made it further than Liverpool and contributed to a five-fold increase in population in fifty years. An even larger boost came with immigration from the Caribbean and China, and especially Ireland in the wake of the potato famine in 1845. There's been a renaissance of sorts since the 1990s as EU development funds and millennium money have kick-started various projects.