Catalan Nationalism: Past and Present by Albert Balcells

By Albert Balcells

This e-book, the 1st research of Catalan nationalism to seem in English, outlines the background of Catalonia, exhibiting how the nationwide and cultural identification of the zone continued regardless of persecution. this offers the mandatory heritage for the research of the modern political and cultural scenario in Catalonia within the wider context of the eu Union.

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Additional info for Catalan Nationalism: Past and Present

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The political subservience of the Catalans was matched by the Catalanophobia detectable in the Madrid press, especially in times of political instability such as the War of the Matiners (1846-49), the Bienio Progresista ('Two Years of Progress') (1854-56) and the Sexenio Democrtitico ('Six Years of Democracy') (1868-74), and notably during the period of the Second Republic (1873). ' Seen from Madrid, Catalonia was a rebellious and disloyal province, and if the Catalans wished to take part in Spanish politics they must renounce their Catalan identity.

At the same time, however, Catalonia occupied an entirely subsidiary position in the Empire, most of which - especially the American colonies - was considered to be the heritage of Castile. The Catalan political system had seriously degenerated. The kings, The Origins of Catalonia 13 who resided at the Court in Madrid, tended to summon the Catalan Corts less and less frequently. Under Charles I they met eight times, under Philip II only twice, under Philip III once, and on the two occasions when they were summoned by Philip IV, in 1626 and 1632, they ended in failure without the grievances against royal functionaries having been repaired or the grant of money requested by the Crown having been submitted to a vote.

To present the failure of Catalonia to intervene in the governmental affairs of Spain as the overriding factor in the emergence of Catalan nationalism was to underestimate the importance of the determination of the Catalans to resist assimilation and develop a collective identity by making Catalonia itself advance without submitting it to outside influences. In the 1970s the Catalan historians Felix Cucurull and Josep Termes rejected these theses, each of them from a different point of view, by defending the notion of a political Catalanism with roots in the popular classes and claiming that it was only later that part of the Catalan bourgeoisie joined in a movement that had previously been alien to it.

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