Significant changes took place in Málaga early in the 19thcentury such as a tram line was built and the Hidroeléctrica del Chorro was built and began supplying electricity.
Spanish neutrality during the "Great War" (1914-1918) ushered in a short period of economic recovery, but it sharpened social conflict and a revolutionary crisis broke out.
In the spring of 1918, a flu epidemic hit Málaga in the first week of June, mercilessly attacking the poorer classes. Social unrest reached its climax as from 1918. From this year and until 1922-1923, a series of strikes and riots began in the city of Málaga and among the peasantry. The 1918-1920 period referred to as "the three years of Bolshevism" was a highly conflictive time for the Andalusian labour movement during which the movements in Málaga reorganised themselves.
Málaga during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-1930)
The Málaga census in this period is low because of heavy emigration. Public works such as building the garden city, the Chorro Lake and other urban plans were completed. In Málaga, in the late 1920s, with the fragmentation of the old monarchist parties, Republicans and the working left seemed to regroup somewhat. As for culture, in a time of limited or no freedom and low cultural levels, a curiously highly intellectual movement was born in Málaga, which had a decisive influence on all subsequent developments.
Blas Infante and Málaga
Blas Infante was from Casares near Málaga. He was a man of strong Andalusian temperament and one capable of overcoming the narrow "provincial" spirit in favour of assuming a full "Andalusian consciousness". But his relationship with Málaga remained constant throughout his life.
In January 1918, Ronda was again a crucial scenario in the historical process of Andalusian identity when the first Andalusian Regional Assembly met there. After the electoral failure of the Andalusian movement in November 1933, Blas Infante went into "exile within the country" and did not reappear until the triumph of the Popular Front in February 1936
The Civil War and repression in Málaga (1936-1939)
The right and left faced each other in the streets in Málaga after the victory of the Popular Front (Spanish: Frente Popular). The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT; "National Confederation of Labour") and Falangists were perhaps the most active groups in this spiral of violence that occurred before the Civil War.
War and repression followed in this dramatic period of Málaga's history. The offensive against Málaga was led by Queipo de Llano, under the direct command of the Duke of Seville.
From the 1950s a dual economy in the Málaga area grew steadily: tourism, a modern and progressive industry, and agriculture and the rural world, which remained traditional and regressive. The city grew in a disorderly way during these years. Urban expansion took place based on an urban policy of tolerance.
Málaga's history is marked by two main aspects between 1960 and 1975. On the one hand, the economic recession of the 1960s after the growth experienced in the previous decade and, on the other hand, the consolidation of "demographic duality in Málaga". This was the contrast between the inland inhabitants leaving the land and the intensive migration of people to the Costa del Sol
The development of tourism caused rapid population growth on the Costa del Sol. An economic policy seeking to attract more tourists and even foreign capital was put into practice.
Between the expansion of the 1960s and the crisis of the early 1970s, decisive changes took place in Málaga. Firstly, the capital city grew at a rapid pace and in a disorderly manner and, secondly, political and union opposition to the regime resumed after decades of silence.
Cultural recovery of broad social significance exemplified in the founding of the Ateneo (an arts and sciences association) and the establishment of the University also took place.
Málaga began its new historical period under democracy within this background of events.