Complete 4 page APA formatted essay: Stateless nation.
In essence, the Catalonia community has a similar surface area and population as Switzerland. The nation’s history is ancient with Phoenicians, Romans, and Greeks all leaving a mark on the community. The nation was united with Castile in the 15th century through marriage of the two communities’ royal families, although the union resulted in a confederate state that had different languages, laws, and parliaments. The Catalonia community has been involved in various wars over the centuries, losing the Harvester War in 1640, which forced it to give up part of its northern territory to France, as well as the 18th century’s Spanish Succession War that they lost and lost their institutions and right to use their language in official channels (Payne 29). The state structure of Catalonia was ended, and assimilation with Spain began until the 20th century. However, their national conscience was re-awakened in the early 20th century as Europe found itself in a wave of nationalism (Payne 30). While it started as a movement focused on the Catalan culture and their literary and political richness, the re-awakening soon became a regionalist movement that sought increased autonomy from Spain. Prior to the Spanish Civil War of the mid to late 1930s, Catalonia was, at various times, self-ruled, and they twice proclaimed a Catalan Republic. The victory of General Franco at the end of the decade, however, began what is one of the Catalonia nation’s darkest periods. It is essential to understand the dictatorship of General Franco, in order to understand modern Catalonia. Although Franco’s regime was harsh on majority of Spaniards, Catalonia suffered what can only be described as an attempt to annihilate them systematically and cruelly. It was during this period that their cultural rights were repressed collectively and individually, including banning of the Catalan language, punishment for any expression of their culture, and public officials publicly denying regarding their identity (Payne 30). Democracy, which was institutionalized in 1975, started a period of recuperation for the language, culture, and institutions of the Catalonia. At present, the nation is enjoying self-governance at a level that was only possible during the advent of the Bourbon Dynasty some three hundred years ago (Alba 23). Substantial responsibilities have been placed in an autonomous Catalan parliament and government, especially in fields like policing, healthcare, culture, and education. Spain, therefore, after Belgium and Germany, is the EU’s most decentralized state, consisting of Catalonia, Navarre, and Basque. To understand the identity of Catalonia, their language is vital. Surviving over three hundred years of repression has not dulled their literary scene with over 8 million people still using the Catalan language across all societal levels. The language is used in Valencia, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Andorra, Aragon, Southern France, and Alguer in Italy. In fact, the language is more popular than some languages with official status in the EU, such as Maltese, Lithuanian, Danish, Slovenian, Slovak, and Finnish. However, the language is not recognized by national institutions in Spain and the EU, despite the prevalence of magazines, newspapers, and TV and radio channels in Catalan (Alba 24). Still, the language is weaker in the Spanish bi-lingual society and continues to face numerous threats.