It is not amazing that Madrid, Court of an Empire to be shortly ruined, would become along 19th century into the capital of the State, on which parochial interests, managed by nobles and tyrants, predominated over the integration force which is supposed to be attribute of a capital.

It had not been able, it did not have the strength of integrating the Empire territories and lacked of force to integrate the different people of an emerging nation.

Without constituting as economical capital and presiding over the irresistible boost of local interests, Madrid could not become the intellectual capital.

It had the most thick concentration of intellectuals and there were plenty of science and culture centres, but Madrid did not fulfil, ending 19th century, that function of a capital consisting on elaborate a radiant culture.

If anything, it could be found on it an acquired culture, a tank of culture which other had filled, but it is nonsense the thought of Madrid irradiating its spirit.

Madrid not only did not irradiate anything, but let seep through its rural surroundings. They were the "cockneies" - typical working-class madrilenian - adopting a farm worker's language or that big mass of beggars, which found in Madrid their paradise, those who gave tone to the city.

To walk around Madrid is "making your way through masses of miserables". To come out of Madrid is "finding at only six kilometres away, without any transition, the absolute farm worker".

Non accomplishing the functions of an economical, politic and cultural capital, Madrid presents as a muddling city, dusty, frustrated on its own morphology and growth.

As from 1561 it is seat of the court, Madrid grows any old how. A monarchy on which domains there was no sunset was planning squared cities, with an irreproachable urbanism on the new world, while was dealing its own capital as a back yard.

The lodging privilege and same fortress which was palace for the Austria, prevented the aristocracy to raise on the capital big palaces or dispose magnificent perspectives.

Its buildings did not exceed of dense big rambling houses while the streets, with an irregular trace, followed the fancy line marked by the many churches or convents.

Of course there were efforts to rationalise growth, mending the network, proposals of magnificent buildings, but the same fact that one after the other all of them ended filed and forgotten, reinforced the feeling of frustration and impotence.

There were so many the volumes that could be written with plans for a Madrid finally non built, a dreamt Madrid, that present reality should provoke feelings of affliction and discouragement.

It is understood that Madrid could not resist a comparison with some other big European capitals to which, from the political exile years or pleasure trips, madrilenian liberals, progressives, reformers and intellectuals turned their eyes to: mainly Paris, or Berlin or London.

It is also understood that such a city has generated so much moan as pessimism woke on the State to which served as capital.

Brake for the economical growth and cause for the political stagnancy, Madrid was the paradigmatic representation of a weak, inefficient State, built up by oligarchic groups of politic friends over a rural society, outdated, withdrawn, engrossed, absent of market and world-wide politic.

The fact that at the end of 19th century Madrid was the capital of an State which in very few years would lost its last colonies and raises high protectionist barriers seemed to be condemning the city to a destiny of motionless capital, closed to itself, happy on its poverty, complaisant on its purity, impassive on the big events which were turning down universal history.

The monarchy capital offered, as per Mesonero Romanos, an indecorous and repugnant show in the middle of the splendours court of Carlos IV.

Its general aspect, miserable, dirty, without any healthiness nor urban police; its market, open only to the privileged classes; its non existing communications, turning it into an almost inaccessible capital; its barren streets and walks; its beneficence and instruction buildings on the most deplorable situation.

Very few modern capitals were worth of so many and so general moans. And the picture is just the same as the one at the end of the century: African extremely poverty and filthy social scrap, its streets are - written at El Progreso newspaper - national dunghill.

All testimonies agree on Madrid been a dirty and dark city during the whole 19th century, with narrow and unhealthy streets, with a stingy hamlet, without services, without police; a villa which means nothing to the world, as Nicolás Malo wrote on 1851.

Madrid is no longer only Court, and old nobility has come into an uncontrollable economical decline, without having achieved yet the rank of capital and without a bourgeoisie stating its presence to mix up their interests and the nation's.

Nation, which for the first time proclaims as subject on a distant city, Cádiz, does not find a human element to have support in Madrid.

The monarchy capital is not able to support on its shoulders the Spanish Nation, and in spite of the disturbance the urban people make from time to time, it can not give a solid economical and social structure able to convert it into the capital of an State which personifies the people's sovereignty.

With a faded nobility despite the brightness raising from ballrooms; with a bourgeoisie whose higher expectation was to save as much as to become nobles; with craftsman at stores and workshops and uncountable mass of poor and beggars, Madrid seems to confirm on 19th century, the artifice and guilt of its election as Capital of Spain.

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