The history of Malaga is the typical of a city marked by its location on the banks of the Mediterranean. In the place where the town is built was a Túrdulo settlement, upon which the Phoenicians founded the colony of Malaka. After a period of Carthaginian domination, Malaka became part of Rome. Turned into a confederate city was governed by a special code, the Lex Flavia Malacitana. The Roman decadence leads to the dominance of the Germanic peoples and Byzantium. After the Arab conquest, Mālaqa (مالقة) became a walled city next to the Genoese and Jewish merchants’ quarters. It became capital of the Taifa hammudí as well as of three other kingdoms ephemeral later.
The siege of the city by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487 was one of the longest of the Reconquista. The town was punished by slavery or death penalty. Under Castilian domination the churches and convents built outside the city walls begin to bring together people, leading to the formation of new neighborhoods outside the walls. From the sixteenth to eighteenth century, the city entered a period of decline, worsened by epidemics and floods that were accompanied by several successive bad crops and earthquakes. With the arrival of the eighteenth century the city began to recover.
For much of the nineteenth century, Malaga was one of the most rebellious cities of the country, contributing decisively to the triumph of liberalism in Spain. Malaga was a pioneer city in the peninsula with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, becoming the first industrial city in Spain. This will be the time of the great Malaga bourgeois families, some of them influencing on national policy. During the last third of century major disturbances occur and the Canton of Malaga is declared. Malaga political life then was characterized by a radical and extremist tone. The federal republicanism obtained strong support among the working classes and encouraged insurrections that produced great alarm among the affluent sectors.
The decline of the city began in 1880. The crisis makes close Malaga foundries, followed by the collapse of the sugar industry and the plague of Phylloxera that destroyed the Malaga vineyard. The early twentieth century is a period of economic readjustment in which take place a progressive industrial dismantling and fluctuating commerce development. Economic depression, social conflicts and political domination allow bourgeois republicanism and workers movement to consolidate their positions.
In 1933, during the Second Spanish Republic, Malaga knew the first deputy of the Communist Party of Spain. In February 1937 the national army, with the help of Italian volunteers and under the orders of the General Queipo de Llano, launched an offensive against the city that was occupied on February 7. The repression of Franco's military dictatorship was one of the hardest and cruelest of the war, we calculate some 17,000 people executed, buried in common graves, like the one of the cemetery of San Rafael.
During the military dictatorship, the city saw an augmentation of foreign tourism to the Costa del Sol, which led to a boom in the economy of the city in the 1960's, supported by massive emigration to other parts of Spain and northern and central Europe countries. After the military dictatorship, the first mayor of Malaga belonged Spanish Socialist Workers Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español), he remained in this position until 1995, year where the Popular Party (Partido Popular), that still governs today (2011), won the municipal elections.