The fact that together with distinguished writers and politicians, and this brand new finance greatness and State supplies a thriving high class and medium industrial class was not developed means that, between the old titled nobility and the new aristocracy of commerce, there was no economical space for a bourgeoisie to germinate, secure of itself and its possibilities, as manufacturer of products bounded to a wide national or international market.
And such social structure, that crushing predominance of big graduates or parvenus and small people, immediately remits to the deepest weakness of Madrid to become capital of a modern state, pretending to be liberal.
The Villa of shops commerce, of small owners and renters, workers and day labourers, does not transform with the liberal revolutions into a production or manufacturing centre as Paris, London, Vienna, Brussels and other European courts were.
So was written on 1850 Felipe Monlau, being more than an echo of what a couple years before Madoz had written: "... Madrid can not be considered as industrial and mercantile centre of the Spanish nation (...), the capital of Spain does not have, proportionally speaking, the importance that by both concepts have Paris, London, Vienna and Brussels".
Spanish nation, capital of Spain. And, how come there be a nation without an industrial and mercantile centre?. And, how come be Madrid capital of Spain if it was not at the same time that industrial and mercantile centre?. Provisionally, a verification by the city studious is to be imposed, already at middle century.
Madrid, which is still nobiliary, that is witness of a new greatness of commerce, which is then very much Court yet, is not has no trace to be an industrial capital. Remains being Villa of tight narrowness, of shop commerce and big amount of handicraftsmen and day labourers. If measured by itself, it is not a capital, mainly if compared to another European capitals.
Reasons seem to be clear to the analysts and reformers. Erected in the middle of an arid plain, Madrid lacks of quick communication roads, secure and economic, which allow it to aspire and become the dynamic mercantile, consuming and good producer at a good price centre.
The whole traffic had to be done using animal energy. The stagecoaches which experimented considerable improvements with the road construction program carried out by the liberal State and with the technical improvements introduced on the carriages, were a limited and expensive mean of transport.
Madrid location, without seashore, without a river worthy of such name, or with a river empty of water, is an anomaly as capital of the old regime. And now, on richness apogee, was paying a high price for its anomaly, definitely delaying with regard to all those European capitals, which admired exiled and travellers.
The lack of river subsides to the other problem which made it difficult or turn into an adventure, to the eyes of contemporary observers, the industry establishment. The city lacked of water.
Madrid is provided, until half of the century has passed, with six huge loads and plenty of collective galleries that carry the water to its many fountains and to places and convents, and that water carriers take charge of distribute on big pitchers throughout streets and squares of the city, or hardly bring up to the houses.
We - remembers Pío Baroja, who arrived Madrid on the eighty years - had our water carrier, who as well as all the others on this job, was Asturian. He wore a corduroy suit and the typical hut from his country.
Many high flats on bourgeoisie houses had to be supplied with this method still when the century was coming to its end, when city was already receiving a wide flow from Isabel II channel. But until that waters arrived, madrilenians could not use more than 10 litres per day and person. And without water there is of course no health and hygiene, but neither there is industry.
City didn't neither have combustible which could easily be extracted from its surroundings and lacked, so of enough and cheap energy, last of the reasons exposed by Madoz and Monlau reiterated. And this latest lack places both observers on the clue of the possible remedy. Madrid will be industrial whenever "two railways bring near this Ville to both seas".
The fact that Madrid is not a considerable point under factory point of view can be the result of a bad election as capital, but wasn't, at 1850, a unavoidable destiny.
Water could be brought on enough big amounts so to supply the population and feed the industry, and in regards of the railway, London and Paris were, at this times of the century, well communicated with their territory. It was just a question of intending it and have enough resources to join the city with the two seas.
Meanwhile, very few big factories, abundance of small workshops. From the firsts, some of them came from last century and had increased their production until reaching an international market: they were real factories which had suffered big damages with the wars and were rebuilt during 1840 decade.
The tobacco factory, the biggest one, gave work to three or four thousand tobacco workers; the tapestry factory, the porcelain one at Retiro, the one of fine china at Moncloa, the one of gunpowder, the Currency House, the National Printing House.
All of them factories installed in Madrid depending on the court or the politic and administrative capital, mainly dedicated to the production of luxury goods, to be consumed by old and new nobility and who conformed a economy of the capital to distinguish it of the most traditional city economy.
On that same chapter they didn't miss some important private establishments, with staffs in between 200 and 300 workers.
Except of the official manufacturing or exclusives proceeding from old regime, and also those factories that already employed more than 100 workers, what there was plenty at middle century were, in the industrial field, the small production of direct consumption goods, aimed to a pure local market.
Regarding feeding, for example, there were up to 110 bakeries, which didn't mean at all that Madrid was a brilliant bread production centre, but really that most of them still used as combustible rotten straw mixed up with cavalry excrements, and was amassed with the feet.
And the situation on another industrial brands was similar. Workshops or factories of building materials, metallurgists, tanners, building masters, printings, tailors and dressmakers, cabinetmarkers and shoemakers, with establishments where usually, no more than three or four officials and apprentices worked.
In all, if we count as industries those who contributed with more than one thousand quarter of peseta yearly for the corresponding allowance, there would not be in Madrid, over half middle century, more than 121, whilst those craftsmen who paid in between ten and one thousand quarters would be some 3.800. It was an industry with a limited horizon, without capital that would allow to reach new and wider markets, furthermore distant due to the transport shortage.
An industry for the city, but unable to generate enough capital to transform the city. Madrid, after all, was not the industrial capital of Spain.
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