The economic behaviour of a spanish town in a general context of stagnation : the case of La Coruña, 1939-1960
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TitleThe economic behaviour of a spanish town in a general context of stagnation : the case of La Coruña, 1939-1960
In this work an analysis is made on some aspects of the economic evolution of La Coruña that took place after the civil war, namely during the 40s and 50s, which corresponds to the period just before the deep ‘metamorphosis’ suffered by the Spanish society during the 1960s. As the main Galician town La Coruña acted as an area of regional industrial and tertiary functions. The objective of this study is to determine whether the conflict affected its socio-economic structure. In addition, an analysis on the evolution of the entrepreneurial activities is made, during a stage characterised by an urban demographic take off (linked both to the initial deceleration of the regional overseas emigration and the later rural-urban leap that took place in our country), placing its evolution in a regional and national frame. This study indicates that the effects of the civil war on the urban economy were not those characteristic of other areas of Spain. Since the region was soon integrated in the territory controlled by the rebel government, the city walked ‘pacifically’ towards its economic guidelines. However this does not mean that a contraction of the activity was not detected. In fact, by 1940 the worsening of the economic situation was evident. The post-war period was characterised, in both the social and economic aspects, by a relative stagnation, which was related to the slowing down of the activity compared to that of pre-war levels. Mainly, the ‘autarky’ and the outer isolation caused a reduction of the commercial relations with other economic spaces. Nevertheless, the local economy seems ‘to have folded’ on itself, trying to diminish the effects of this contraction. Thus, during the early 1950s the foreseeable recovering of the growth rate is not clearly perceived as a phase of relative advance but is followed by another of stagnation, repeating, on the other hand, the fluctuating footpath of the Spanish economy. In this context we detected an accentuation of the ‘refuge’ phenomena around commercial activities, which are those that show a more dynamic tendency.
The Economic History Society Annual Conference, Birmingham. University of Birmingham. 5-7 de abril de 2002