The wars of the 19th century made it very difficult to restructure the economic activity of Maestrazgo. In addition, the crisis made it impossible to make the necessary investment in the textile sector, which would have allowed us to catch the train of the new times. On the other hand, the economy was turning in on itself in an autarkic key. Although it managed to feed the large population residing in the highlands, its incorporation into the dynamics of the twentieth century was a failure.
However, this did not leave him on the sidelines of the national upheavals that shook the country during the century. During the Civil War the front was established in the vicinity of Teruel, being the Maestrazgo very close to the fighting. In the spring of 1938 the Republican resistance gave way. That same year, Franco’s troops fell in avalanche on the area in search of the Ebro line.
The war ends, but not the conflict
For Maestrazgo, the end of the war did not end with the civil conflict. The anti-Franco guerrillas, who considered that there was no place for a dictatorship of fascist origin in the Europe that had defeated Hitler, set up their camps and their sphere of action in the mountains. The sabotage, reprisals and propaganda actions of the maquis were answered by the counterparts of the civil guard. This forced the abandonment of the farmhouses and repressed the guerrilla actions with unusual violence until the end of the actions at the beginning of the 1950s.
At that time the advance towards an agrarian economy of capitalist type was expelling the inhabitants of the countryside to the cities. The Maestrazgo was emptying of its people, who were leaving for Catalonia or Valencia. Mining development around Castellote mitigated this drain on the lower zone for a few years, but the closure of the mines subsequently led to a demographic decline.