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Málaga in the Age of Enlightenment


Málaga in the Age of Enlightenment

Málaga en la ilustración

Málaga's population was increasing despite the abundant disasters that occurred in this century and the town extended beyond its walls into the El Perchel, La Trinidad, Capuchinos and Victoria areas, today all traditional neighbourhoods.

By the sea, the Alameda Principal (Alameda Promenade) was built, which is an urban symbol of the new times. The Cathedral was also built at this time.  

Exports ruled the entire Spanish system and wine and raisins exported to Europe were at the top of the list. Trade was the main source of wealth and foreign merchants dominated the Spanish economic landscape. The great works at the port and the roads to Antequera and Velez were essential pieces of infrastructure if the wines of Málaga were to reach the table of the Empress of Russia.

The Málaga agricultural landscape was dominated by the "Mediterranean trilogy" (i.e. grapes, wheat and olives), although the vine was far more important than wheat and olives.

The city council was the most powerful, rich, important, informed and well-connected institution in the city. It understood the needs, requirements and thoughts of all Málaga. The Governor, Mayor and the aldermen composed the city council and called themselves "The City". Supplies, taxes, work, health, education, etc.: i.e. anything affecting the citizens was controlled by the council and all in the name of the King.

Traditionally, society was divided into three groups: the nobility, the clergy and the common people. The first two had legal privileges, and their obligations were armed defence and salvation by prayer. The people had to match the benefits received with their labour.