16

I mean I cannot comprehend how the separatist sentiment has risen so much in just a little more than 40 years (considering that when Franco died nationalism did exist, but nowhere near where it's now in intensity). I think that a pair of news that show how far this has gone are this one or this one or this one.

Which are the main reasons this has gone so far considering events from that 40 years?

  • 2
    If you visit the museum in downtown Barcelona (which i visited in 2008), it emphasizes Catalan history pretty heavily and shows it how extends back centuries. A lot of it appears to be rooted in the Middle Ages around 1100-1400 when Catalonia was apparently in a high-profile position in Mediterranean affairs. – Smith Jul 27 '16 at 22:48
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    I think you should not compare the political climate right after the death of Franco and the current one. While you could say that the legal situation has changed little since the current Constitution (1978) or the Statute of Autonomy (1979) were approved, politically things were very different. There was a long time in which fears of a military coup was very present (as it happened in 1981), and also political nationalist groups were just being formed after being forbidden for forty years. – SJuan76 Jul 28 '16 at 0:08
  • "City States" were the norm until the Germans came along. The only one left today is Singapore so I'm not sure if this missive is to be taken seriously. Europe ... including even Spain and yes obviously the United States as well ... are all Nation-States now. What's going on in Turkey I think is big deal however. – Doctor Zhivago Jul 28 '16 at 2:11
23

Short answer: The latest flareup is the most recent of many that have taken place over the centuries.

More details are found in this wiki article on Catalonia. But basically, Catalonia was always the "non-mainstream part of Spain. It formed the heart of the Kingdom of Aragon, which was united to the rest of Spain (Castile) by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Even though the couple "officially" ruled Spain "jointly," they were actually ruled separately by the two rulers and their respective staffs.

Catalonia rebelled in 1640, along with Portugal, which won its independence from Castile. Spain barely recovered Catalonia because the alternative was even less palatable French rule. Catalonia rebelled again against French-controlled Spain during the War of Spanish succession, and on more than one occasion during the nineteenth century. Finally, Catalonia was the heart of the "Republican" side of the Spanish Civil War; most of "Castile" north and west of Madrid supported Franco.

Bottom line: Catalonia always felt itself to be a different, almost "separate" part of Spain even when technically under Spanish rule.

  • 3
    The idea of a "nation state" where everyone in the state is of the same ethnicity dates from the 19th century, and it was only effectively implemented in most european countries after WW1 and WW2. Before it was fine to have people of as many ethnicities ruled the same monarch and unified by their Christian faith. I do not see why/how catalans would have been any exception. – Bregalad Jul 28 '16 at 19:16
  • @Bregalad: Because the Catalans tried more than most to break away from "the same monarch" as the rest of Spain before the 19th century. – Tom Au Jul 28 '16 at 19:18
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    I don't know - but if that is effectively the case then it had nothing to do with their language and ethnicity. Back then a catholic German and a catholic Spaniard would feel closer to eachother than a catholic German and a protestant German, for example. Since both Catalans and Castillans are almost 100% catholic traditionally, it had nothing to do with ethnicity if those events happened. – Bregalad Jul 28 '16 at 19:22
  • One correction: the Spanish Civil War was more a conflict of rural areas (more conservative politically) vs urban areas; the heart of the Republican side was Madrid (which continued fighting for a time after Barcelona and Catalonia had been conquered). That said, the fact that the Second Spanish Republic allowed a degree of self-government to Catalonia and Euskadi meant that those regions (including rural areas) sided completely with the Republic, which was specially meaningful in the case of the conservative Euskadi. – SJuan76 Jul 29 '16 at 10:06
  • @SJuan76: Changed that to "most of Castile north and west of Madrid supported Franco." – Tom Au Jul 29 '16 at 15:55
13

a response from a mostly neutral, catalan born citizen.

TL;DR:

Catalonia isn't suffering a rise of nationalism, but of neo-autonomism / pro-independence, mainly due to loss of civil rights, economic power,and, or, more correctly, the final and uttermost understanding that those rights and power were never there in first place.

By looking at the past, and the explained reasions, we can get a quick list running of "what has pushed people to want to vote YES", instead of "what has pushed people to be nationalists" :

  • Catalan parties push for independence ( since 2012)
  • Spanish Government's actions agains't the catalan parliament's will
  • Catalan and spanish government's lack of hability to fight the 2007 and 2009 economic crysis.
  • The actions of individuals and social movements towards a referendum / independence.
  • The pursue of a better, more social country ruled without the countrains of being a small part of a very different whole.
  • The popular party winning in spain unconditionally since 2011 even when having more than 300 open corruption cases.

The civil movement will dissolve as soon as a valid legal referendum is done and one of either sides wins with a good (>55%) result, because none of the sides have a strong nationalist nucleus.

Edit: 28 August, 2017 I collected a example list of non-core law changes revoked by the spanish government, to showcase the vast differences on them and to display the irrationality behind the revocation, except in two (pro-independentist) cases.

Law on audiovisual matters (2/2012)

Decree-law of business hours (4/2012, 2/2014)

Decree-law of taxes to banks (5/2012)

Decree-law against energy poverty (6/2013)

Law accompanying budgets (2/2014)

Law of popular consultations not referendaries (10/2014)

Law of the Ombudsman (2008, decision 3/2015)

Foreign Action Law (3/2015)

Commissioner for the National Transition (4/2015)

Rate for Internet operators (9/2015)

Consumer Code of Catalonia (10/2015)

Reform of the commercial law of Catalonia (10/2015)

Tax Agency of Catalonia (9/2015 - 11/2015)

Parliamentary declaration of independence (11/2015)

Study Group Study Commission (2/2016)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2/2016)

Decree-law against energy poverty (4/2016)

Law of taxes on empty housing (4/2016)

Law of local governments (4/2016)

Law of effective equality between men and women (4/2016)

Fracking ban law (3/2012, 4/2016)

Law prohibiting large areas outside cities (4/2016)

Tax creation law for the production of nuclear energy

Law that allowed the creation of Medinyà as a new municipality separated from Sant Julià de Ramis (8/2015)

Emergency housing law, or against evictions (24/2015)

Long answer

The bases of the current catalan nationalist (catalanisme) and catalan independetist movements is strongly tied to the past of this 8 million citiziens region of spain.

To truly understand the roots of the problem, we must first analize the political , administrative and social structure of the crown of Aragon until 1714, when it was legally dissoved into spain.

Historical background, part I , XV to XVIII

I will not enter in the detail to explain the history before the 15th century, it's not necessary.

At this point of history, we've got, at the start of the 15th century, the crown of aragon, a big blob of kingdoms, principalties, duchies, and counties across the whole mediterranean, from the lowest part of Murcia to the shores of Neopatria (Greece).

This "empire", as it's formed, has had three core regions since the end of the Two kings war, the kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Valencia ,the Kingdom of Mallorca and the principalty of Catalonia. These territories all share a common trait : they are ruled equally by the noblemen, the church and the richmen in some sort of proto-parliamentary system, that edicts constitutions that are later approved ( or not ) by the king.

Each citizien of each one of these regions has inherent rights by being so, for example, a citizien from Valencia can't be rallied as levy if the courts of valencia haven't said so, and it's the courts ( or consell de cent in catalonia) that dictates the taxes, the grants, etc... a citizien must pay or collect.

Meanwhile , the kingdom of castille was way more feudal, and had a more centralist idea on how regions should be ruled.

With the death of the last member of the house of barcelona, Martin Ist the Human, the dinasty of Alphonse the cast died. This started a period of turmoil and civil wars that ended with Ferdinand, a very charismatic and strong handed king, who married Isabel of castille.

The marriage wasn't very convincing at first, but the access to mineral and trading resources was seen as very profitable by the merchantmen of valencia and Catalonia, who saw an open and few exploited market.

At this point of history it's clearly noticeable a merely political clash of cultures, that didn't go anywhere further as every Trastamara dinasty king accepted the different region's laws and constitutions or quickly removed opositors without big bloodbaths.

The habsburg dinasty

This dinasty ruled from the first half of the 16th century to the year 1700. They were a very conservative but open dinasty overall, coming from a elective empire they weren't unkown to pseudo-parliamentary systems, and didn't have big troubles with the culture and language of the different regions of the two crowns. Until Phillip IV.

Phillip IV was not a bad king, but was left an almost depleted treasury, a decaying empire and a uncivilized army , only a shadow of the Tercios that his grandfather Phillip II raised, and a even smaller fleet.

The royal advisor Conde Duque de Olivares,named Gaspar de Guzmán, was the Vicerroy of catalonia and a very conservative and centralist politician. He was renowed as a great diplomat and strategist, but felt a great disrespect and hate to the catalan and portuguese people, whom considered inferior. There are songs and stories of the 17th century that relate how the infamous advisor, only rivalized at that time by the Cardinal Richeleu, another "little angel / angelet"(catalan expression usually used sarcastically refering to the bad will of someone) of the 17th century, convinced the king to ignore portugal's (and catalonia's, and valencia's) laws and constitutions that stated clearly that a citizien of those regions could neither be rallied on levy by the king without courts approval, neither him be charged of the maintenance of a soldier in his home, neither him being forced to feed that soldier.

Yet the count forced the citiziens to do so during the last years of the 80 years war, provoking a prominent anti-crown and anti-castillian movement across the population of those territories. by 1635, both catalonia and portugal had started many civil revolts that ended in a civil war with the support of france, and by the end of the war Phillip decided to claim peace with France in exchange of the Rousillon and the liberation (de iure, it was already independent de facto) of portugal.

The loss of the Rousillon, a pretty valued region, was seen as treason by the loyalist catalans, and as an act of villany from france's and spain's side by the rebel catalans. so pretty much everyone that didn't live deep in the pyrinees was pissed.

And, then, unexpectedly, the Heir of Phillip, Charles IInd, was crowned king even when being whithout any doubt ill of mind and body, he was born with almost every possible inbred trait, lisps, bad feet, completely unfertile... and so he died in 1700.

There are many conspiracy theories on whom the crown of Castille and Aragon belonged to, but we'll pick the "official" story for now.

The spanish Succesion war

By the start of the 18th century, catalonia was a rich and prosperous trader and manufacturer ( weapons, liquor, packed american groceries, rice, wine, oil , wheat..) region, and politically speaking, pretty advanced for it's times, matching england's parliamentary system by having both a parliament ( consell de cent), a senate ( Junta de braços ), and a fully powered government ( diputació del general ) improved over the years of the habsburg dinasty rule.

All this self-government though, conflicted widely with Phillip's Vth idea of how a state should be ruled, being Louis XIV's grandchild, didn't contribute to avoid turmoil.

By 1701 Charles , archduke of Austria,was proclaimed as King of The Spains ( castille and aragon), and by 1702 half the world had joined his cause ( mostly to piss the grandparent of Phillip V and grab some lands and trade from him, though, chivalry was long dead.) Phillip at that time was seen neutrally from catalonia, as Charles. It was the events succeded during his visit on catalonia ( He didn't want to bow and approve the constutions, and was perturbated that the consell de cent didn't want to grant him a prize for getting married, though they later did) , and pretty much the same happened on his visits on Aragon and Valencia.

In 1704, catalan and valencian ex officials of the Habsurg army that had ben retired from service joined the english attack with their men on Gibraltar, landing on Catalan bay ( well, it didn't had that name before the landing, but i don't know the past name.). This was one of the many little actions that ended up in the proclamation of Charles III as king of The Spains in barcelona in 1706, and the whole spanish sucession war.

By 1713, the war was slightly ( Charles had taken madrid two times already, but France's reinforcements turned the tables ) lost on the Habsburg side, and England pacted a peace treaty as soon as the tories got their hands on the government.

But the Catalan junta de Braços, the governing core of the military, decided to keep fighting in Charle's name, because they were facing complete loss of their constutions and being absorved into castille.

The war ended before the english whig government of 1714 could send a reinforcing army on the 11th of September, Mallorca kept resisting until early 1715, and every Crown of Aragon territory lost it's laws and constitutions ( Furs, Fueros ).

Catalan was banned from law, clerical or administrative use, and the Phillip's advisors ordered the territory to be slowly populated (it had lost more than 30% of it's population) by ex-soldiers, to lower the chance of fulture turmoil ( if you can't win them, marry 'em ).

XVII to XIX

It pretty much worked on the more industrial cities, mostly Barcelona, but on the rural regions people kept speaking and talking catalan (to the point that rich noblemen had to ask for a translator to recieve the holy oils before dying ). The production of liquor and weapons, catalonia's main exports, was banned until the last days of Charles IV, and that helped that those rural farmers and richmen kept a rivalry feeling towards the Bourbon dinasty.

By the end of the 19th century, though, there was ( like in almost every part of europe) a rise on the nationalist movements, and the legends and tales of old were rewritten and the language recorded in the first dictionaries.

La Renaixença

This period was the furthest and most radical cultural movement spain lived on the 19th century, and it saw a big rise in idenditarian poesy, literature, architecture ( Gaudí anyone? ) , theather acts, etc...

This can be stated to be the main origin of modern Catalanism, but nobody was clearly independentist yet.

Here the first political parties that were in favour of the devolution of Furs were born, and the first "Pan-Hispanical" federation ideas were crafted.

Pre - Republican years

There are many moments between the loss of Cuba and the Spanish republic where political movements in favour of more autonomy gained a lot of renown, such as the Mancomunitat catalana, the pan-hispanical federation, and the truly independentist movements by the hand of Estat Català and Esquerra Republicana.

In 1926 Francesc Macià, founder of estat català prepared a coup d'etat from the pyrinees to finish the dictatorship of primo de rivera, but failed, even when helped by anarchists and communists, that later gained more notoriety.

The dictatorship of primo de Rivera saw little repression for Catalonia, mostly on the political side , with party members being detained and executed or expelled from the country.

The spanish Republic

The main events in the spanish republic related to the pro-independentist movements were remarkably big :

The proclamation of an Independent Catalan Republic , confederated in a pan-hispanic fedetaion of states, that was stopped after some days by the army but saw the reinstauration of self-autonomy on Azaña's Victory.

The victory of Esquerra Republicana and Estat Català in the 1936 general elections, that marked a statistical no-return point on catalan politics, as well as other parties started losing support.

The military failed coup, and the civil war start, with the government of catalonia siding with the spanish republic and defending itself on the last days.

Post-War

yes, i'll skip the war. Lots of people died, the Rebel side won, they executed a lot of pro-republican people once the war ended, and there's still 350.000 persons missing, buried in massive pits.

The post war period in spain didn't actually ended until the very late 70's, but the first years were the most crude.

My family saw some members detained for being ex-officers in the republican army, but living on a small city at that time, dind't had as many problems as those living in barcelona.

One of the things i'll always remember is what my grand grandmother told me about the visits of Franco. by that time, the 1940's, everyone had ration cards, and, oh surprise, the month that franco had to visit Barcelona, the card-giving tables were positioned near the Diagional, the whole month ration cards for all the family members, officers watched as the crowd "applauded", and if somebody wasn't enthusiastic enough, well, no food that month.

Ofcourse, there was a lot more repression than that. the Autonomous government was dissolved, the president Lluis Companys and many parliament deputies executed, the language completely banned, and it wasn't until the 1950's that cultural expressions such as human castles and "sardanes" were accepted, only the most folklorical and less reivincative ones, ofcourse.

By the 1970's, catalan was still banned and unteached, the population in catalonia had Shifted due to internal migrations, but surprisingly those migrations helped retain that culture because the newcomers ( or atleast, a big % of them) were greatly interested in learning and accepting as theirs that new culture.

One could say it was thanks to all of those people that came from the south-west of spain that Catalan , and many catalan traditions, survived.

Those people, ofcourse, were ridiculized by their own kin, and were called "Xarnegos", because they talked half of every language at the same time. Catalans were called "Polacos", in reference to the polish people opressed by the nazis during WWII, so both were treated as 2nd - class citizens. Not everyone ofcourse, most of the rich families sided with the Regime, like the Samaranch's or the Roca's, some just for profit and some for ideology.

Democracy (?)

By 1983, Franco had died, spain had it's first constitution, Catalonia had recovered their republican Estatuts ( constitutions, furs) , there had been another coup (failed, but Erdogan style, some say) , and CIU had won the Catalan elections. Their mild catalanism and their small commerce support helped them retain the goverment for 23 years, and some of their projects are still working and praised, althought all have detractors.

** 1 - Linguistic Inmersion **

This project seeked to regain the normative use of catalan by the citiziens, by creating a Catalan Language and Literature class, and making (thought it is completely at will of teachers even today) every other class "mainly in catalan", so, every student had atleast double teaching time in catalan than in castillian. The idea behind this project was to protect the language , that was already declining, and teach it quickly to the new generations. A

As Televion, Radio, Cinema, Newspapers and almost every media was in Spanish, this edict tried to establish some sort of language parity.

** 2 - The Catalan Public Radio Television**

Born in the 80's, both Tv3 and catalunya radio lead most ratings in political plurality in spain, althought lately critizied for being widely used as megaphone of the demonstrations performed by the independist movement, plurality and veracity are a "house seal".

** 3 - The pactist / pactism **

Usually known as "la puta i la ramoneta" ( the whore and the grandma) and the "peix al cove" (fish in hand), this way of doing politics, mostly by making small deals over a big range of issues with as many parties as possible to gain all the possible and imaginable political supports has always been seen as somewhat treacherous to ideology but very pragmatical, and has rooted in the parliament to the point it's not strange to see extreme left and conservative right parties reaching stalemates easily and deciding a middle point without visceral confrontations of hours long ( like sometimes has happened in england).

2006-2010

It's the year 2006. Catalonia holds almost every year the highest grades in Spanish language, it's the 3rd most productive region with over 24% of the GDP, holds only 16% of the country's population, and is in the process of writing a new Autonomy Statue, and the independist movement is scarce, with less than 12% support.

The independist movement is against this new statue until the last moment because it doesn't force spain to accept any more than what already has, and finally the next preface is included to gain their support or abstention :

Catalonia is a nation, forming part of the plurinational state of Spain, and it's main goals are embrace, strengthen and increase the federal, democratic, and social aspects that conform it.

That preface was a pie in the face of the conservative spanish parties.

graphical description

enter image description here

The Popular Party retrieved over 3 Million signatures of citiziens to stop the Estatut from being approved, causing great commotions in catalonia as it was the first time since democracy that a spanish party publicly positioned themselves against the will of the majority of catalans for electoral purposes.

The PP forced a vote , lost it, and finally used it's power on the senate to place the Statute on the Constitutional Court . (The Constitutional Court is a political court picked by the main parties of the senate, separation of powers : none ).

2010

And then, the shit hit the fan.

The Constitutional Court cut away the core articles of the Estatut, removing rights that were already approved by them on the 1980's, and ending up being almost as lacking as that one (the 1980's estatut).

All the political parties of Catalonia except the PP were ashamed, and organized the first demonstration, with over 500.000 partipants.

enter image description here

enter image description here

At this point, the demonstration was far from being an independentist movement, but it started an inmense row of demonstrations and a campaing to pursue a new estatut by CIU, the party in the opposition at that time.

late 2010

The elections that year saw CIU win with over 40% votes and a anti-independence, but pro-estatut and catalanist programme, that imed to recover those recently lost rights. it was a very rough govern mostly identified by taxes and social cuts. ERC lost many votes, the PSC and IU fell a lot of seats due to their lack of power in their respective national (spain ) parties.

During 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 different non-binding, community driven referendums were made on the independence of catalonia in many cities and villages. the average participation rate was 22%, and the results were of over 90% of those in favour of it.

2011

2011 was a turmoil year, with the PP winning with aboslute majority the spanish elections, cutting social expenditure and forcing autonomous communities on how they should behave. the whole year was a mess as a result, and the independentist movement started arising as soon as the population noticed that CIU was unable to negiotate a new estatue or a new economical pact with the spanish government.

At this point, independentist movement was barely 20%.

2012

The rise of indepentism started early that year, with the ANC (National Catalan Assembly) being born as a result, a social, non-political entity created to promote the independence movement,

2012 saw even more parts of the estatut cut down by the spanish government and the constitutional court, independentism rose to the 30%, and the first big demonstration with over 750k participants happened on the 11th september :

enter image description here

The catalan association of cities for the independence ( AMI ) was born early that year, and by the day of the demonstration it had already 80% of the catalan villages, towns and cities as members.

This demonstration provoked new elections, and CIU (pro referendum, anti independence at that time) , ERC and CUP ( pro referendum and pro independence ) won with over 60% of the votes and started the independence process as we know it.

Since then, each year, a new demonstration has attracted more and more citiens, because each year, more articles of the estatute and more laws edicted by the parliament have been cancelled, to the point that only 1 out of ever 5 laws made by the parliament survives a month.

demonstrations :

2013

440km human chain with over 1Mil participants, evoking the baltic human chain.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

2014

2014 saw the Via catalana 2014, also known as V, in the center of barcelona, over 2Million participants.

The pro independence movement was 45%.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

2015

2015 saw a stalemate on independentism rising , and it stopped at barely 48%.

Junts pel Si party was born as a merge of ERC and CIU to pursue independence, there was some inner fights between them and the CUP ( extreme left), and still, the demonstration again got over 2Million participants.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

TODAY

For the first time in history, independentism has more than 50% of support.

What are the causes of it ?

By looking at the past, and the explained reasions, we can get a quick list running :

  • Catalan parties push for independence ( since 2012)
  • Spanish Government's actions agains't the catalan parliament's will
  • Catalan and spanish government's lack of hability to fight the 2007 and 2009 economic crysis.
  • The actions of individuals and social movements towards a referendum / independence.
  • The pursue of a better, more social country ruled without the countrains of being a small part of a very different whole.
  • The popular party winning in spain unconditionally since 2011 even when having more than 300 open corruption cases.

results of the spanish 2016 general elections

enter image description here

As said, it's my humble opinion. I'm a pro-independentist but not a nationalist, i'd really prefer being a federal state but it's impossible right now with the PP ruling.

EDIT: 19/06/2017

A referendum will be held on the 1rst of October, and the polls give a big % to the Yes unless the No mobilizes.

Green : yes. Red: No. Pink: blank/null. Grey: unknown, won't take part, won't say. enter image description here

Green shades: will go to vote. Red shades: won't go to vote. Grey: unknown, won't say.

enter image description here

Vote intention by party affiliation: enter image description here

Edit: 28 August, 2017 I collected a example list of non-core law changes revoked by the spanish government, to showcase the vast differences on them and to display the irrationality behind the revocation, except in two (pro-independentist) cases.

Law on audiovisual matters (2/2012)

Decree-law of business hours (4/2012, 2/2014)

Decree-law of taxes to banks (5/2012)

Decree-law against energy poverty (6/2013)

Law accompanying budgets (2/2014)

Law of popular consultations not referendaries (10/2014)

Law of the Ombudsman (2008, decision 3/2015)

Foreign Action Law (3/2015)

Commissioner for the National Transition (4/2015)

Rate for Internet operators (9/2015)

Consumer Code of Catalonia (10/2015)

Reform of the commercial law of Catalonia (10/2015)

Tax Agency of Catalonia (9/2015 - 11/2015)

Parliamentary declaration of independence (11/2015)

Study Group Study Commission (2/2016)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2/2016)

Decree-law against energy poverty (4/2016)

Law of taxes on empty housing (4/2016)

Law of local governments (4/2016)

Law of effective equality between men and women (4/2016)

Fracking ban law (3/2012, 4/2016)

Law prohibiting large areas outside cities (4/2016)

Tax creation law for the production of nuclear energy

Law that allowed the creation of Medinyà as a new municipality separated from Sant Julià de Ramis (8/2015)

Emergency housing law, or against evictions (24/2015)

  • 6
    as a matter of fact, all my teachers except the catalan ones have teached me in spanish, kids don't suffer bullying for speaking spanish, it's complete bullshit. didn't wanted to put it on the answer to keep it clean from purely personal experiences (ecept those from the past, ofcourse). – CptEric Aug 2 '16 at 15:20
  • 1
    I like the thoroughness of this answer, and the reference back to the three Kingdoms. From a distant viewpoint, the historic Barcelona + Aragon/Valencia/Majorca combination was probably quite helpful in originally creating a strong local sense of accomplishment, also evidenced in the 13th and 14th century Mediterranean expeditions. These feelings only grow and expand, and such places are, in my opinion, less likely to be subsumed by greater powers. – gktscrk Jun 21 '17 at 13:18
  • 1
    Thanks @CptEric, very informative, I really appreciate this issue a ton more now. The photos of the vast numbers of people in the protest were moving to me. – Nacht - Reinstate Monica Oct 4 '17 at 7:52
5

There's three main factors for rise of Catalonian nationalism:

1 - Social engineering.

For years, nationalist parties have controlled the Education, establishing since 1998 a monolinguistic system in school called "Inmersió" in which only Catalan language is used. It's not only about the language though, as they've been using the school for "constructing the nation" (in Catalan - "fer pais").

Example: My 12 years old niece, schooled in Barcelona, doesn't know who was Pericles, Socrates, Plato or Aristotle, but she is well versed in how much Alfonso XIII, Primo de Rivera and Franco hated Catalonia.

Social engineering doesn't end at school, and reaches almost all civil society in Catalonia thanks to the generous spending of public money the Catalonian government (the "Generalitat") has been doing: All catalonian newspapers and media are heavily subsidized as long as they keep a partisan point of view about the catalonian independence process, known in Catalonia as "el procés".

2. Economic crisis.

This point doesn't need much explanation. People don't vote very well when angry, and this happens in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain and Europe, where populist parties have been blooming after the economic crisis.

3. Spain's laissez faire.

During many years Catalonian parties, specially CiU (Convergencia i Unió) were useful for the two biggest national parties: PP and PSOE.

CiU gave support in Madrid in exchange of concessions in Catalonia. Ex-president Zapatero has been blamed for this, but the biggest of these concessions were made by ex-president Aznar, ironically a figure most hated by Catalonian separatists.

CiU support also made the Spanish government to turn a blind eye for the many corruption scandals in Catalonia, most of them related to Jordi Pujol, catalonian president for 23 years and father of "Inmersió" and "fer pais".


By the way, in your question you linked a survey made by the Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió (CEO), directed by Jordi Argelaguet Argemí, ex-member of MDT (Movement per la Defensa de la Terra), a Catalonian terrorist group.

Talk about the wolf guarding the sheep!

  • 6
    Apart from ignoring all the history before 1979, this answer suffers from a "chicken and egg" problem. It claims that the issue is that nationalist parties controlled the government, but does not explain why such parties did continuosly win the elections in Catalonia since the restoration of democracy if there was not a nationalistic majority of voters to begin with. – SJuan76 Jul 29 '16 at 11:49
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    Because your answer is saying that Catalonian nationalism is due to "social engineering" of the parties ruling since 1979, while a) there are plenty of examples of it existing way before that and b) does not explain why nationalist parties got the majority of votes if there was not already a majority of people already leaning that way. The nationalistic movement has become more vocal and visible, but there has not been a significant shift of the population support (check electoral results). – SJuan76 Jul 29 '16 at 12:08
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    And BTW, I have not being schooled in Catalonia, but nobody ever mentioned Pericles to me and Plato, Aristotles and Socrates were taught as part of Philosophy course (16 - 17 years old). So there is still hope for your niece :-D. – SJuan76 Jul 29 '16 at 12:10
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    You're just trying to be argumentative here. I never said "Catalonian nationalism was due" to anything. I just tried to explain its rise since 1979, as question asked for. If you see something false in my answer, please point at it. I'm glad you were not schooled here: Not much fun in studying Alfonso XIII hate of Catalonia when you're 12 years old. – Brasidas Jul 29 '16 at 13:02
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    Agreed with @SJuan76 . The answer suffers from a very severe lack of background, just focusing on things happening from 1979, pinned with continuous opinion-based comments. – fedorqui Aug 2 '16 at 9:40
0

The great change in catalonia has been Catalan nationalist party. Catalan nationalist party as a moderate and regionalist party was always the first one in the region normally with a friendship with PP or PSOE during long time.

When the economical crisis hit spain and also catalonia. The catalan nationalist party has nearly the popular support of the 40% catalans (Catalan 2010 lections). In numbers, were hegemonic party of catalans. Regionalist and liberal. Was seen as the best party to fight the crisis. Governing wih the support of PP.

Election 2012 (two years after). With the impossible to agree any econonmical and financial reform with its partner PP. They changed the partner from Spanish PP to Catalan separatist party ERC. Provocking even a tensions in his own coalition. Results: The catalan nationalist party received a support of 31% of the catalan support.

Election 2015 (three years later). After the catalan nationalist coalition breakdown in two. One part CDC decided to make a pro-separatist coalition with ERC, while the other part UCD decided to present alone. Results: Separatist coalition achieved 39,5% of the support losing 5% of the popular support. UCD disappeared but Spanish Liberals received nearly the 18% of the popular support (espectacular increase). CDC was affected also by Corruption scandals. In order to govern for Separatist coalition decided to find the minority party CUP (a divided party in order to support them).

Opinion polls august 2017:

CDC (catalan moderate nationalism): 13,9% ( in 5 years nearly 17 points punished)

ERC (The original Separatist party):23,9% (the most benefit party in Separatist policy in 5 years more than 10 points.)

Cs (spanish Liberals): 17,5% ( the most benefit spanish party in 5 years 10 points more)

PSOE (spanish labourism): 13,9% (In five years they lost 1 point)

Podemos (Spanish communists): 12,1 % (in five years increase of 3 points )

PP (Spanish Conservatism): 9,5% (In five years they lost 3 points)

CUP (Catalan Communists separatist party: 6,5% ( In five years they increase 3 points)

these are real result.

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    While this gives a breakdown of the recent election results, it doesn't really address the core question of why nationalism has increased (if it has) in the last 40 or so years. – Steve Bird Aug 20 '17 at 16:25
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Like I said before, was always with economical crisis. Catalonia was and is one of the most industrialized region. Before bourbons came to Spain was a decentralised country. A kindgdom of kingdoms.

Ferdinand and Isabela joined in one kingdom but each kingdom had their own "cortes" or "parliament".

When spain had crisis after 80 years war the catalans rised because of they felt that they were given too much to the finance the wars in exchange of nothing.

Bourbons centralised the country and unified the spanish treasury abolishing the Aragon parliament. The catalans, Aragons and Valencians lost their privilegies.

In spite of catalan claims of recovering not arrived until the end of XIX due to strong investing in the textile industry in catalonia.

After, the Spanish-American war with very unstable governments the catalan nationalism surged asking for autonomy. I mean when Spain was weak they took advantage of the situation to claim their ancient status. However, the two main parties of the new constitutional monarchy decided not to accept any of their demands.

With the catalan moderate party ignored in the second republic (1931) surged a new movement, the separatism. Extremely weak in Basque Country but strong in catalonia.

"If you ignore the moderate ones the radicals appears". However, in that moment, the separatism governed with Spanish left favoured to the federalism while they hated spanish conservatives.

When Franco arrived to the power the problem was not sort out was even worsen because in the basque country the separatism took force.

With the new constitutional monarchy, the catalans chose the catalan moderate party ( they gave a chance to the spanish monarchy). At the first moment, was good. The spanish prime minister, Adolfo suarez, was really open mind to give the autonomy even he said why they didnt ask more more or less the same status of the basque country but the catalan moderate party rejected.

After decades of long consensus policy with Spanish party a new economical crisis appeared. So the catalan moderate party decided to ask the spanish prime minister to agree the same status of the basque country. The reason is that they will fight crisis more effectively. However, the prime minister rejected.

That is all. Economical crisis.

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    And, as I said before, this answer would be greatly improved if you cited sources to support your assertions. – sempaiscuba Aug 27 '17 at 12:24
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    This would be greatly improved if it was all in a single coherent answer rather than three separate ones using three different user ids. – KillingTime Aug 27 '17 at 13:13
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The real truth is different. The key was The catalan moderate party friend of spanish conservatives during decades. After the catalan president didnt achieve the "fiscal pact" with Spanish prime minister, a negotiation of 30 minutos saying "or you give me that or he menaced with consecuences".

After his failure and the appearence of corruption scandals in his party he decided to change the policy of decades. A policy that breakdown his party and the lost of the support of nearly half of his popular vote he decided to go ahead for a referendum agreeing with separatist parties. For separaties parties was their great chance, an agenda that was isolated during decades has the light now.

First, they fostered a big great pro-separatist propaganda on catalan TVs, schools, universities etc... the most incredible thing is that all was financed by spain because they are unsolvent region with the most debt of spanish regions. Is the same as greece against germany. However, after the impossibility of the make an official referendum they decided for a catalan elections as the last chance.

The results were even worst because the famous official coalition lost his absolute majority and the leader of the opposition was the liberal spanish party something unique in all spanish history. The catalan moderate party punished again by his own catalan people.

In order to maintein the policy they decided to ally with another smaller separatist but was very radical communist party. After a very difficult negotiation they achieved a government but the catalan moderate party was the main punished party again forcing its leader to withdraw because, the communist dont like a conservative leader united with neoliberal policy with corruption scandals. The chosen leader was an unknown mayor of northern city of catalonia.

Now the defy against spanish government and the half of catalan parlament still continuous.

In my opinion, the real guilty of this situation is the catalan moderate party because has carried a risk and illegal way making a big problem in catalonia.

In recent opinion polls says that only 29% of the catalans support the catalan government. The rest, the great majority, prefers basque nationalist party via. A deep economical and financial agreement.

Is amazing, how a political party can make so much trouble to a region making a big sacrifice.

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    This answer would be greatly improved if you cited sources for your assertions. – sempaiscuba Jun 14 '17 at 7:16

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