On a muggyÂ night in September of 1751, a six story tenement in Edinburgh, Scotland, collapsed. Â What should have shocked many, shocked no one, as this was just one building among manyÂ made of rickety old boards. Â The likelihood of a building failing in Edinburgh was about as likely as rain on a cloudy day. Â Yet, people lived in them as thereÂ was no space forÂ new neighborhoods to be built. Â The Nor’ Loch bordered the city to the north. Â The lake had been made for defense, which it kindly provided, but it was neglected and was now only stocked withÂ sewage. Â When the people managed to dodge falling buildings and sewage filled waters, it wasÂ the fires, disease, and crime that caught them off guard. Â Edinburgh was a ghetto, and it needed help.
However, help would not come. Â Scotland hadn’t held royal court since 1603. Â Help from their federal government was about as likely as suddenly finding cell service when your car has broken down on a deserted mountain highway.Â Â People would also not get any assistanceÂ from their local city government. Â The city which hadÂ limited resources, was also led by a buffoonary of men. Â They often heldÂ their meetings in taverns, acting more like drunken frat boys than officialsÂ running a city. Â The possibility of the citizens of Edinburgh receiving help from anyone inÂ government seemed bleak.