During the second half of the 19th century, the basque economy started to sink and was leading to a deep crisis. A number of basque lords went abroad to Europe to finish their Further Studies and realized that the country was falling into the abyss. They quickly imbued themselves with the ideas of the Illustration that were spreading across Europe. They concluded that in order to be able to escape the crisis, they needed to use reasoning, and thus it was essential to boost quality education and scientific investigation.

A good example of this is the book “The critical villagers”, written by the 7th Count of Peñaflorida and the 3rd Marquess of Narros. In this book both of them agree that Physics based on old beliefs was out-dated and that the new Physics Science was spreading across the continent. The new Physics was experimental and not speculative anymore. They defended that without mathematics the scientific work was impossible, and after mentioning Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler, they mentioned the magnificient Newton. In 1764 they decided to start an Association -The Real Sociedad Bascongada de Amigos del País- to develop the new ideas of the Illustration and to encourage quality education and scientific investigation. Xabier María de Munibe (Count of Peñaflorida), Joaquín de Eguia (Marquess of Narros), Vicente Lilí and Miguel José de Olaso (the last two from Bergara) created, among others, the Royal Seminary of Bergara, that was provided with enviable scientific infraestructure.