The secessionist crisis revives the debate: was Catalonia ever an independent country

The answer is complex, because the modern idea of ​​a country cannot simply be applied to the past. But history offers several milestones in that search and reflects a changing relationship between this community and the rest of Spain.
It has been part of Spain for five centuries when the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon joined The Constitution of 1978 had more support from the Catalans (90%) than from the rest of the country
That story could add a new chapter this week if the President of the Government, Carles Puigdemont, today declares unilateral independence before the Parliament in Barcelona. Madrid would respond with the intervention of the autonomy, including the dismissal of Puigdemont. Next, six historical keys.

Five centuries

Catalonia has been part of Spain since the origins of the country we know five centuries ago, when the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon (which included the county of Catalonia since the 12th century) sealed their union with the wedding of the Catholic Monarchs in 1469.

The uprising of 1640
Catalonia maintained its awareness of a nation based above all on its own language and culture and on advanced autonomous powers. An uprising in 1640 even led to part of the Principality remaining under French sovereignty until 1652.

The key date

The key date in Catalan history came on September 11, 1714 (which commemorates the Diada), when Barcelona fell to the Bourbon troops in the War of Succession (1701-1715). The institutions, structures and civil liberties of the region were abolished in 1716.
The independence story presents that date as the defeat of a Catalonia that was fighting for the secession of a monarchical Spain that submitted it.
However, most historians remember that the war was not one of secession, but of succession.
Indeed, it was an international conflict that pitted the Bourbons and Austrians across the continent over the throne of Spain, which had become vacant after the death without issue of King Charles II, the last of the House of Habsburg.
Catalonia fought against the Bourbons more than against Spain, as reflected in the edict sent to Barcelona by Rafael de Casanova (then the city’s authority and today a myth for the independentistas) in which he proclaimed: “For us and for the entire Spanish nation we fight.”

The failed attempts at independence
In the 19th and 20th centuries there were three failed attempts at independence. After those of 1873 and 1931, the third and last one took place on October 6, 1934 when the president of the Generalitat, Lluis Companys, proclaimed “the Catalan State of the Spanish Federal Republic” taking advantage of the convulsive political panorama that was recorded during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936).
The rebellion lasted one day: Companys was arrested the following morning. Although the Catalan president managed to flee to France, in the early stages of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) he was arrested by the Nazis at the request of the Francoist police, transferred to Spain and shot in Barcelona in 1940.

Franco’s repression
During the repression imposed by the Franco regime throughout Spain, the Statute that regulated the autonomy of Catalonia was abolished, Catalan was prohibited in the public sphere and the culture of the region was persecuted, consolidating the feeling of oppression by Spain and the desire for independence.

Democracy and the 1978 Constitution

With the return of democracy, however, the 1978 Constitution in force until today was massively supported by 90.46% of Catalans, three points more than the Spanish average.
The text grants Catalonia a high level of autonomy, well above other European regions, providing it, for example, with educational competences and its own Police or recognizing Catalan as a co-official language with Spanish.

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