Edited By Flocel Sabaté
France and the Formation of Political and Social Identities in 17th Century Catalonia
The study of politics in France and southern Europe has (re-)kindled European interest in what happened on the Iberian Peninsula, especially in Catalonia. The evolutions in military habits, the social and cultural world and political culture spark a variety of analyses around a kind of incipient international diplomacy. This is the teleological evidence through which the survival of the perception and identity of territories like Catalonia necessarily find more or less solid origins in time. For this to happen, the length and intensity in certain historical times has to have led to the survival or, more accurately, the crystallisation of (more or less) heterogeneous collective identities1.
In any event, the Modern Age is one of the key eras in the political and institutional world characterised by the monarch’s desire to create powerful states free of seigniorial burdens; furthermore, it was a period in which war came to the people with devastating, counter-identity effects. France’s policy in Catalonia in the 17th century and onwards signals a turning point in the consolidation of a Catalan identity which until then, also according to the historiography of the past few decades, was affected more by pressure from the Spanish monarchy. In this sense, we can explain the factors that shape a collective and socio-territorial identity, always according to a political and military entity that captured the collective imagination of peoples who had always been somewhat heterogeneous. This also shaped spaces with a degree of evolution in this identification...
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