Most of you may be wellaware of the ensuing political issue between Catalonia and mainland Spain. Catalonia's strong stand on wanting to become its own independent state, free from the ruling of the mainland is evident in their recent clashes and rallies against the central government. This much uprise is not without just cause, Catalonia used to be independent. Before the War of the Spanish Succession, Catalonia existed with its own language, customs, and laws. So their cry for independence now may not be to claim it - but to reclaim it.
The Spain that we now know and see in modern-day times is the by-product of Valencia's defeat in 1707 and of Catalonia in 1714. The rest of the islands fell just a year later and that gave birth to the centralized government of Spain.
But before discussing that in detail, what was Catalonia like in the first place?
Catalonia was born when the County of Barcelona rose as one of the major sea superpowers in the 12th century, alongside the Kingdom of Aragon. It also followed the way the neighbouring kingdom ruled its people. In the 15th century, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille decided to jointheir kingdoms by becoming husband and wife. At first they held their ground as two separate entities but this union somehow led to the kingdoms to create stronger ties with Spain.
It was not until the 19th Century that the Catalan spirit was rekindled and called for the need to revive the Catalan identity. Which they successfully achieved in the year 1931 when Catalonia was given broad autonomy over their region. But then, General Francisco Franco came into the picture and put a halt to Spanish resistance after he claimed victory on the Spanish Civil War. Being highly conservative in nature, he repressed the Catalan's culture and prohibited the use of their native language.
After General Franco's death and democratic Spain was conceived, Catalan was once again granted autonomy and was even allowed to instate its own parliament and executive office often referred to as "Generalitat".However in recent years, the central government has once again threatened Catalonia's independence (2010) by setting limits on their claims in nationhood.
Once again, separatism is a fervent desire for the majority of Catalans. With almost 20% of Spain's annual GDP coming from the region, Catalonia believes that what they give to Spain is not consummate to what they receive in return. This resolve is even more amplified with the economic crisis Spain has been continually recovering from since year 2008. Catalans believe that it may be better for them to separate. After all, industrialized as they are, they have all the means to fend for themselves. However, Spain is strongly opposed to this reality and takes drastic (if not desperate) measures to counter the uprise. Losing Catalonia would impact their economic standing even more negatively and may result to unfavorable consequences.
With Catalonia trying to revive and reclaim their own culture and language, the uproar continues. Recently, as per BBC news,Spain had declared to seize Catalonia's finances if they push through on their referendum to leave Spain. The future of whichstill remains unknown but should be given light soon enough - hopefully.