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The Catalan Nation and Identity Throughout History

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Edited By Àngels Casals Martinez and Giovanni C. Cattini

The present book is a complex approach to the elements that built the Catalan national identity, which can only be analyzed through its complexity and longue durée historical times.
Regarding medieval and early modern centuries, the territorial construction, law and state are presented, along with the complexity added by the appearance of composite monarchies in the 16th century, and taking into account the significance of constructing a literary and historiographic tradition to define national character.
Regarding modern centuries, the authors do not ignore the importance of socioeconomic dimensions in a very complex diversity which flows both in the intellectual and political world and in the dissemination of identity through the mass media in an international level as well.
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Catalonia: Identity, Representativity, Territorialisation, by Flocel Sabaté

Catalonia: Identity, Representativity, Territorialisation

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Flocel SABATÉ

Universitat de Lleida

An understanding of the process by which a specific identity for Catalonia was created and justified remains heavily influenced by previous explanations in which the narrative has been formulated in a powerful, secular mould. It is without doubt necessary to deconstruct these historical assumptions and find new references, supported by their documentary corroboration and by their suitability under the renewed scientific historical method being employed currently.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the chief point of reference for the narrative of the Catalan social and political élites’ resistance to the Spanish monarchy consisted of the Catalan institutions of medieval origin. This tension became Iberia’s contribution to the pan-European struggle between so-called mixed government and the new absolutist model.1 The confrontation between narratives of justification that both precede and accompany the tensions of the 17th century2 is not unrelated to the evolution of the perception of belonging to national groupings although into a contemporary backdrop of ambiguity and fluidity.3 It is worth ←11 | 12→noting that even though at the beginning of the 17th century Antoni Vicenç Domènec defined Pere Rigau as de nación catalana y natural del Empurdán [of Catalan nationality, originally from Empordà],4 later in the same century Roig i Jalpí presents Count Wilfred the Hairy as de nación española [of Spanish nationality].5 The obliteration of the institutions of the old Crown of Aragon in the early 18th century was just...

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