Traditional Web was fluid
I came across liquidapsive.com today, a site that explains what static, liquid, responsive and adaptive layouts are. Most of it seems accurate except for this bit:
Static layouts are the traditional web: one design that sits in the center of the page and requires horizontal scrolling if the window is too small for it.
This is wrong. Traditional web, the one with content, consisted of text which filled the entire browser viewport, regardless of how big it was. Traditional web was viewable in terminals (remember lynx/links?), 640x480 resolutions, and up to whatever your wallet could bear (I had 1600x1200 resolution at the same time I got Internet access).
Tables were only added in HTML 4. HTML 1 through 3 did not have any provision for fixed width designs. Even then, tables by default expanded with content, and most content layouts used fluid widths in early 2000s.
It seems more accurate that when designers got to the Web they started building fixed width layouts, a trend that continues to this day. Despite years of effort going into web designs and web browsers, the designers just can't seem to grasp the concept that not everyone views the web on the same equipment, and in the same way, they do.
On the topic of liquidapsive itself, consider that the only navigation item is a drop down list. The author could easily have fit four navigation links into the header side by side, instead one has to select from a dropdown. Why would anyone do such a thing?