The Catalonian Fight for Independence Has Medieval Roots

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tags: Spain, Catalonia, Separatism



For hundreds of years, Catalonians have thought of themselves as distinct from the rest of Spain. And while Catalonia’s contested 2017 vote for independence is radically new, it also isn’t the first time this northeast region of Spain—home to 7.5 million people, many of whom speak Catalan—has sought to limit the state’s authority over its wealthy corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Catalonia has so far received support from Scotland, a region that unsuccessfully tried to leave the United Kingdom in 2014, and may attempt to leave again in the wake of the Brexit vote to withdraw from the European Union. Though Scotland and Catalonia’s independence movements have received more coverage over the past few years, there are also smaller movements in German Bavaria and parts of Italy. Spain’s Basque Country used to have a powerful independence movement, too, though it has since come to an agreement with Spain.

So why Catalonia, and why now? Well, Catalonia’s recent push for independence may be fueled by the 2008 financial collapse, and Spain’s ensuing debt crisis.




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