To very advanced 18th century the Betancuria and the island economy was based on rainfed cereal agriculture, livestock, mainly goats, and trade of agricultural surpluses. Both agriculture and livestock relied on climatology, so abundant crops, allowing supply to the population of the island and to export surplus to the rest of the archipelago and Madeira were obtained in rainy years. But dry years, happening often elicited deficiency crisis which forced the population to emigrate. The economic crisis, involving important demographic breaks, occurred on a cyclic basis throughout the 17TH and 18th centuries. Nonetheless in this last century there was an important economic boom, with abundant harvests of cereals, which were joined by the explotation and commercialization of Barilla, sued in European markets for the production of soda. This economic bonanza meant a considerable population increase and influenced the expansion of towns like Tuineje, Antigua, Pájara, Casillas del Ángel and Tetir.

The military organization was based on companies of militia, formed by residents, whose chief was the territorial Lord as Supreme Military Commander and captain at war, to which the masters of field, lieutenants and captains of militia were subordinate. In the 17TH century was created the post of sergeant major, subordinate to the Lord and maximum head military in the absence of this. At the beginning of the 18th Regiment of militia and the rank of Colonel, which is made all the military was created. The colonels were the Supreme military authority in the absence of the Lord and acted as sheriffs, given that the territorial Lords moved his residence to Tenerife from the second half of the 17TH century.

In Century XVIII Betancuria began to lose its character of guiding Centre of the island, as a result of the expansion of other population centres. In this century the military government moved to La Oliva, where colonels, established their residence at the so-called House of the colonels. In addition occurred ecclesiastical decentralization, creating in 1708 the supports for our Lady of Regla in Pajara and our Lady of Candelaria in La Oliva. In 1777 became the suffragan parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Tetir and in the year 1792 created parishes independent Santa Ana Casillas del Ángel, San Miguel Arcángel in Tuineje and our Lady of the Antigua, in the homonymous village.

Despite this Betancuria remained capital of the island and seat of the Cabildo, principal organ of Island Government, until the first half of the 19th century, when the capital becomes Port of Goats, today Puerto del Rosario. The abolition of the domains in this century occurred in 1811, disappeared the old City Council and created the modern town halls, dividing the island into eight municipal districts: La Oliva, Tetir, Port of Goats, Casillas del Ángel, Antigua, Tuineje, Pájara and Betancuria. In the 20th century came a new municipal restructuring, which resulted in the current 6 municipalities: Pájara, Tuineje, Antigua, Betancuria, Puerto del Rosario and La Oliva.

Historic and Artistic Heritage

Historic and Artistic Heritage

With the administrative reforms of 19th century Betancuria became a lesser territorial extent of the island municipality. But its extensive history left its mark in the survival of a rich cultural and artistic heritage that has determined the Betancuria as historic Declaration in 1978. This historic is a must-see for all those interested in the culture generated on the island over time.

The municipality of Betancuria is currently made up of the villages of Santa Ines, Vega de Rio Palmas Valley and the historic villa de Betancuria, seat of the Town Hall and municipal capital.