Catalonia’s struggle for independence

For centuries, Catalans have rebelled against Spain. In 1640, for example, after a 12-year protest, they lost the battle against the Spanish government. Within the next centuries, Catalonia largely retained its own laws. But gradually the monarchy started to adapt the local laws to the central authority. This led to several civil wars where Catalonia was on the losing side and lost more of its autonomy (Wikipedia, 2017).

In the second half of the 19th century Catalonia became a major industrial center. This fact contributed to the October Revolution of 1934, in which Catalonia declared independence but also this revolt was knocked down. In 1936 the Spanish Civil War broke out: in Catalonia, anarchists came to power and conducted an anti-capitalist revolution. Subsequently, ‘in 1939, the Nationalists won the victory, and the subsequent dictatorship of General Francisco Franco was a major blow to the region. All that was Catalan, or better all that, according to the dictator, was non-Spanish, was strictly prohibited during this period. Violations were heavily punished. After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain ended 36 years of dictatorship. Three years later, the region gained a stronger cultural character and a little more political autonomy’ (Wikpedia, 2017).


At the present time, a new statute was introduced by the Spanish Government on 9 August 2006. Since then, Catalonia is considered a nation within the Spanish state. Today, Catalonia is one of the three most important autonomous regions of the country, especially due to Barcelona’s appeal. In part, therefore, a movement towards independence is still louder. On December 12th 2013, the Catalan government announced a referendum on self-determination, Spain immediately blocked this referendum because it contravenes the Spanish constitution (Jalta, 2017).

The Spanish government, representing the Spanish democracy, simply can not allow Catalonia to separate itself because a majority of all Spanish inhabitants do not want that. The Spanish government therefore believes that holding a referendum is illegal and “is sending additional agents to the region to prevent the referendum being held. The Catalan police are even put out of action. This is all very repressive. It is still not a matter of fact that a majority of the Catalan people will vote for independence, but by responding so heavily, the Spanish government is committed to increasing sentiment’ (Jalta, 2017). Now it seems that, for the time being, it remains to be restless.