The site on which this place, capital of the Sierra Morena settlements, was founded, was called La Peñuela, at a time when there was nothing in it other than a poor and small Carmelite convent, surrounded on all sides by the undergrowth in which the beasts sheltered themselves. Today one sees in it a place that is distinguished from all of Spain […]
On July 5, 1767, Carlos III signed the Real Cédula del Fuero de Población that contained the instructions to build new towns in Sierra Morena and Andalusia. With Pablo de Olavide at the helm, Real Carolina was founded as the capital of that new province that was born in Spain, to be the model through which to radiate the economic and social reforms advocated by the enlightened Government of Aranda, Campomanes and Múzquiz. More than 8,000 foreign settlers will be led from Central Europe to these New Settlements by the Bavarian Thurriegel. New settlers who were to receive lots of land, houses, seeds, tools, implements, livestock and a series of tax exemptions and subsidies until they were self-sufficient. They constitute the New Settlements, an example of land planning, perfectly planned colonization and settlement, smallholder parcelling of crops and agrarian reform; and they will also enjoy the most modern applications, such as hospitals and medicines for settlers, compulsory and free primary education for minors, boys and girls, as well as other social advantages that transform a hungry population into small owners. The parish of La Carolina was built from the old Convent of La Peñuela, and will include the towns of Navas de Tolosa, La Fernandina, La Isabela, Vista Alegre, Ocho Casas and Seis Casas (the latter today reduced to farmhouses). ). Its progress and development was evident and exemplary, being commented on throughout Europe. But soon he will suffer the opposition and the wrath of the Old Regime, in an orchestrated lesson that is represented in the auto de fe of the Inquisition against Olavide. Although the colonies lose their protective parents, the Fuero allowed them to continue growing and being happy peoples, until the Spanish War of Independence in 1808 once again demanded the price of being a strategic point in the Puerta de Andalucía and their progress was paralyzed. before the war effort. These populations could hardly recover in the first half of the 19th century, and once the Charter was abolished on March 5, 1835, they suffered great losses with the confiscations, the plot of land was disfigured, and in the case of La Carolina, a sudden transformation took place. due to the emerging mining activity.