MADRID - HISTORY
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The City of Madrid was given the name of Madjerīt by the Moors in the 10th Century. During this same century the King of Leon, Ramiro I, managed to conquer it but only for a short time as it was quickly repossessed by the Moors. It was not until 1083 that the youthful King Alfonso VI finally took undisputed possession.

Fernando IV assembled here in 1309 his first Parliament but later in 1380 King Juan I gave the place to King Leon VI, the last exiled King of Armenia in reward for his services. It was not until that King Felipe II proclaimed the city in 1561 as the capital of Spain thus giving the Habsburg monarchy a permanent and strong centre to control the continuous many political movements throughout the kingdom. His father, the great Emperor Carlos V, had much liked this location due to its climate as being good for his health. However, many travellers reported from the 16th to the 18th Centuries that the city was overcrowded, dirty and unhealthy. It was only in the reign of King Carlos III that many of its present architectural wonders were constructed.

The image on the Shield of the City has an interesting history. Due to a strong disagreement between the church and the representatives of the people about certain fields and forests. The church claimed possession of the fields and the people took the forests - thus the bear is leaning on a tree as shown on the shield. Also the City has a title which leaves little to imagination - it is the most noble, most loyal, most heroic, imperial crowned and most excellent town.

Possibly the first prominent political gesture of its inhabitants was the famous revolt Dos de Mayo in 1808 when Napoleon's army attempted to kidnap the Royal family. The people took to the streets in support of their King in a true show of strength. Unfortunately, this gallant supportive gesture failed against the superior strength of the French. The next time was during the Spanish Civil War when in the early part of 1937 the Republicans fought off in the streets the Nationalist troops led by General Franco. Untrained Republican fighters of which many were women commuted to the fighting from their homes by commandeered cars or by the Metro.

Under General Franco's rule the city grew in both size and population. Under his policy he encouraged new industry and commerce to be based in the surroundings of the city and thus creating employment. Unfortunately, he also failed to provide accommodation and around the outskirts sprang up numberless shantytowns. In 1976 a new Mayor was elected by the name of Enrique Tierno and under his rule the city its quality of life much improved until his death in 1986.

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