19th century Menorca
In 1802, Menorca was returned to Spanish sovereignty through the Treaty of Amiens. The crisis of 1820, triggered by a ban on foreign wheat importation, put an end to economic prosperity and served as a harsh blow to the port of Maó’s trade activity. Naval construction also entered a period of decline with the new technological advances of the steamboat.
ith the prohibition of privateering, some were drawn to a new, highly lucrative business: the black market.
In 1835, the old Universitats were replaced by constitutional city councils, and the Spanish Ecclesiastical Confiscation dramatically reduced the role of the Church.
The great economic crisis of 1820 to 1840 led to a significant wave of migration toward Algiers, reducing the island population to just a quarter of what it had been.
From 1850, with industrialisation, the economy was revitalised thanks to the shoe, textile and silver purse industries, further establishing the bourgeoisie and its cultural and scientific interests. With these factories, a new social class would emerge, industrial workers. Agriculture, on the other hand, did not modernise, and peasants continued to exploit the land with relatively few alterations.