The making of the "manufacturing desert" of Extremadoure: the decline of the textil industry


  • Enrique Llopis Agelán



In this paper, I have analized the evolution of the manufacturing sector in Estremadoure, a backward region in the Southwestem part of Spain, over the second half of the 18th century and the first third of the 19th century. In that period, the development of the regional industrial sector was minute. It was almost exclusively formed by traditional workshops which supplied local consumers whose income level was low. However, by the turn of the century, there were two draperies in the are, Torrejoncillo and Casatejada. These centres had attained a certain relevance within the cheap wool textile industry.1n the first third of th 19th century, the agrarian character of Estremadoure was intensified. Thus, manufacturing lost ground within the regional economy. Torrejoncillo and Casatejada were very much affected by these changes. The scanty data available suggest that they were unable to sustain the competition from those draparies which had started to modernize, especially those in Béjar.