FROM THE RECONQUEST TO THE 19th CENTURY
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The Castilian repopualtion produced after the Christians conquest of the province, allows the identification of three areas: the region of Velez and its district, Malaga region, and the Ronda highland. In the first area, the city of Velez-Malaga was the economic and administrative centre of the territory. Its suburbs were very populated and included Jewish neighbours. In this area, next to the agricultural and fishing nuclei there were other military ones, such as Bentomiz in Arenas, Frigiliana and Zalia in Alcaucin. The Malaga region, to which the Ajarquia (eastern area) and Garbia (western area) districts belonged, reached from Chilches to Fuengirola, and from Casarabonela to Comares. The Ronda highland was the Malaga granary and was distributed into four districts: Ronda, El Havaral, Gaucin, and Casares.
The repopulation process was generally arduous and difficult. There were frequent disputes between the Christians, Mudejar uprisings, and many colonizers who couldnt adapt returned to their lands. All this, and especially the expulsion of the Mudejars and Moors at the beginning of the 17th century, made the territory of Malaga suffer massive depopulation: the abandonment of extensive agricultural areas, the handing over of commerces to foreigners and the rooting of racial hatred. Diverse natural catastrophes were added to this (the Guadalmedina overflowed, epidemics, bad harvests) which aggravated the loss of population even more.
A certain recuperation was appreciated with the illustrious governors in the 18th century. The port in Malaga was enlarged, the cultivation of the vine was favoured, an ample protection was created for fishing, and the export of silk was reactivated. Finally, in 1785 a sea consulate was created in Malaga which favoured the large exportation boom.