The Day of the Catalonian Nation
Every September 11 the urban landscape of Catalonia is dotted famously with our national colors as they are draped over every window sill and balustrade. Let us now turn our virtual city into a display of our pride in our nation, our history, and our symbols. Now, thanks to Internet, we can tell the whole world about them. Copy the Senyera, the emblem heading this page, and hang it on your Web today in commemoration!
Commemorating a Defeat
Throughout her long history as a sovereign nation, Catalonia had her own language, currency, army, culture, and political institutions, which were clearly different from those of neighboring countries. And Catalonia was one of the first true democracies in the world. The Catalonian Courts, our legislative body, had representatives from cities and villages since
1283. Unfortunately, Catalonia was eventually engulfed by Castile and turned into another Spanish province (‘province’ being a term coined by the Romans to mean ‘a territory of the vanquished’).
The year 1700 saw the death of Charles II the Bewitched, the last king of the Hapsburg dynasty in Spain, who died without issue. The question of who would succeed him created an international conflict, the War of the Spanish Succession, which pitted the forces of the Bourbon Prince Philip, representing French centralism and the interests of the aristocracy and feudal lords, against those of Charles of Austria, representing the spirit of federalism and decentralization and the interests of the middle and working classes. In 1713, after the Treaty of Utrecht, Catalonia lost the support of her Austrian allies. Castilian and French troops besieged Barcelona for thirteen months. Five thousand Catalans withstood the attack of forty thousand Castilian and French soldiers until the fall of the city September 11, 1714.
In 1716, during the military occupation of our country, the conquerors issued the Nova Planta (New Disposition) Decree, dissolving the Catalonian nation, forbidding the use of the Catalan language and abolishing all of the nation’s institutions, including the Council of Cent (One Hundred), the Courts, the executive branch or Generalitat, and the Army, as well as her national and local constitutions and her financial and monetary systems.
Since then, we Catalonian men and women have been plundered, impoverished, and oppressed by every Spanish government of whatever persuasion, including the present “parliamentary democracy” cum monarchy one. Madrid -the central government- is also responsible for the dismembering of our country, which originally included territories now under French of Spanish control.
The Nova Planta Decree has never been abrogated!