History of Catalunya

Catalunya, origin of language

Each town has its roots. Our country was a passing through one. It was visited and occupied by different people such as Phoenician, Greek, Visigothic, Roman, Saracean and Frank. Each one of them left their influence on customs and laws. Among all of them, those who influenced the most were Roman people because they talked Latin, a language which after evoluting and after receiving other determining factors create our language, the Catalan language.

Rests from First stone age

During the long period of the First Stone Age, man build their first tool for hunting using silex and other tough stones. On the bed of some Catalan rivers such as Ter, there have been found pebbles roughly cut which seem to be of that human culture first age (750.000 B.C.)

Use of fire in First Stone age

Fire discovery became a powerful weapon to endure the low temperatures of that age. Men kept on improving their tools and also their spirit, two characteristics which produced the creation of art. Catalonia has important deposits of that First Stone Age.

First tools in Neolithic

During the age called Neolithic (4500-2000 B.C.) it take place an important change of human race. Men stop hunting and harvesting to be shepherds and farmers adding pottery in their tools. In Catalonia the first potters left their prints on Montserrat mountain caves.

Megalith building, and using of metal

The period which goes after Neolithic is called Eneolithic and it is the place of megalith builders. All the Catalan geography is plenty of that funerary monuments. The village which built them began to use metal to made some parts of the tools. That improvements happened during the years close to 2000B.C.

Empowerment of technology - bronz discovery

The bronze discovery (an alloy of copper and tin) was an important technical breakthrough. It allowed to build tools stronger than that of stone which were still used. In our country there are many deposits of that age. An age in which there was a constant rise of demography (1800-1000B.C.)

Relationship between Catalan people and colonized town on mediterranean

After the First Iron Age (VIII or IX century B.C.) the inhabitants of the current Catalan land began to keep on touch with colonizing towns of Mediterranean. Due to this fact appeared Iberian civilization which had its own characteristics different from that of another cultural processes (from 500 B.C. to Roman influence). During that age there were built villages which had urban features.

Roman occupation during Punic Wars

As a consequence of Punic Wars, Roman people led by Gneu Scipió landed in the colony of Empúries in the year 218 B.C. They occupied most of the Catalan coast. Once the Carthaginian people were defeated, Roman people began to occupy Catalan land.

Eight centuries of roman occupation

After Carthage destruction, Roman people had any problem to occupy the Iberian Peninsula. Their occupation totally changed the society, and the commercial, cultural and urban characteristics. The presence of Roman people in Catalan land goes from the end of III century B.C. to the turn of the V century A.C.

Visigoth succeded Roman from 415 until 711 due to arrive of Sarcacin

In the year 410 B.C. Alaric took and sacked Rome. After the defeating of that city, Visigoth people were stretched until crossing the Pyrenees in the year 415 A.C. Ataülf conquered the city of Barcelona and he settled there. The Visigoth kingdom was defeated in the year 711 due to the Saracean invasion.

End of Saracin domain by Farnk and Catanalan

The military help of Frank people was essential during the first moments of the Reconquest. Lluís El Piadós, the son of Charlemagne participated in the conquest of Barcelona. Since then, most of the counts named to rule the country were Frank and all the bishoprics were reported to Narbonne see.

Catalan identity take form

In the year 870 Guifré el Pilós who belongs to the Carcassonne Occitan family is named by Carles el Calb (the bald person) count of Urgell, Cerdanya and Conflent. After some years he added to his lands the counties of Barcelona and Girona. He was the first member of what is called Casa de Barcelona (Barcelona House) and he was the first responsible of Catalan repopulation.

Indipendence from Frank

Thanks to Guifré el Pilós (840-897) and specially to his son Guifré II Borrell (897-911) the Catalan counties began the freedom from their Frank kings. Traditionally, that fact was linked to the legend of the four stripes, the lineage shield created afterwards and which was the origin of Catalan flag.

500 years of Catalan House

This is the "right line" of the Barcelona House which continued for more than 500 years. In the box there only are Catalonia sovereigns until Ramon Berenguer IV. His son Alfons I was also king of Aragon.

Iberian internal fight

After this marriage the kingdom of Aragon belongs to the Barcelona House, so that, the plans of Castilian monarchy were failed and Ramon Berenguer IV was not only the count of Barcelona, but also the soveraign of Catalonia. Peronella was the daughter of the last Aragon king Ramiro el Monje (the monk) who transferred his kingdom to Ramon Berenguer IV.

Expension of Catalunya to Valencia and Balears islands

This battle represented the end of the Catalan expansion in Occitain lands. Pere el Catòlic obtained the vassalage of Tolouse, Foix and Comenges counts. After that, the expansion began to Valencian lands and the Balears Islands.

The conquest of Majorca

Majorca was the first step in the conquers of Jaume I. This expansion joined the interests of all the Catalan social sectors of that period, a fact which gave to the country an important vitality.

Spanish people and saracin

This was a slow conquest and it had the collaboration of Aragon people. Once it finished Valencia was organized as an aside kingdom. The repopulating print was not enough strong and there were some Saracean in the country. From the beggining, the Catalan was the language of culture.

After Jaume I, unstable unition between spanish land

Jaume I divided his kingdoms between his sons. The feeling of dinastyc unit was still kept, but this division caused many problems until the reunification of Pere el Cerimoniós (the formal).

Sicily and Catalunya trade

Sicilian people claim to Pere el Gran (the great) to get involved in the problem of Sicily considering that his wife Constanza who was a daughter of the previous king Manfredo was the heiress of the kingdom. Sicily represented an important trade place for the Catalan merchants.

Catalan trade market expanding

Catalonia is a country opened to the sea with an important trade market, and it needed a big army such as that of the admiral Roger de Llúria who kept the control of Catalan people in the west Mediterranean.

The exploits of Almogàvers in the Near East achieved to create the duchies of Athens and Newhomeland which were joint to the Barcelona House. Although they did not last many time, these duchies have left a print in our historiography. It is famous the words of Pere III el Cerimoniós (the formal) which were found in the Parthenon of Athens, called Santa Maria de Cetines by the Catalan people of that period: "La més rica joia que al món sia" (the most rich jewel that exists in the world).

The conquest of Sardinia against Pisa and Genova

Pisa people and Genove people wanted Sardinia. In the same time, they are the trade competence of Catalan people during that period, and the conquest of Sardinia in 1326 represented the control of Catalan people in the west Mediterranean.

Catalan decline

The war called "dels tres Peres" (war of three Peters) caused economic problems to the Crown and that was the beggining of Catalonia political and economic decline, after the mark of Black Death. The number of people of that age needed 400 years to be increased.

Catalan parliament acquire importance throw solving economic problem

The Catalan parliament achieved an important role and although the serious problems which had the country in the XV century, the parliament kept and increased its importance. Generalitat (Catalan Government) which at the beggining was an office of the parliament took on important political functions as the years came.

decline of house of Barcelona

The Barcelona House last king death was linked to the Catalan decline without having into account that its roots were ancient. The new dinasty from Castilia were the Trastamara and they inherited a country with crises and they did not know how to solve this economic problems.

Catalan decline

The Commitment of Casp took place to decide the successor of Martí l'Humà (the humane). Several political and military steps were the responsibles of naming Ferran d'Antequera, which belongs to the Castilian family of the Trastamara. This election showed the loss of Catalan influence within the Crown of Aragon, and the poor reaction capacity of Catalan institutions.

Catalan people resist

This confrontation -possibly too mythicized by the traditional historiography- represents the failure to adapt of the new dinasty to the Catalan policy. In fact, the claim of taxes to the king which was made by the adviser Fivaller was a proof of strongness between the party that made pacts and the authoritarian trends of the Crown. Barcelona, in 1416.

Castlew of Jativa

(Castle of Játiva in 1430). Jaume d'Urgell was the most popular pretender and the most immediate heir to succeed Martí l'Humà (the humane). However, Martí l'Humà never named Jaume d'Urgell as his successor when he was alive, and Jaume d'Urgell was not able to compete with the powerful resources of Ferran d'Antequera. Jaume d'Urgell died in the prison of Játiva.

Naple as center of Catalan Kingdome

(Year 1442). Alfons IV called el Magnànim (the magnanimous) was the third Trastamara who settled the center of his kingdom in Naples. Due to this fact he was more than 30 years outside Catalonia and he neglected the government of the country. The serious problems of the Catalan society got even more worse during that period, and these conflicts blow up in the next kingdom. After his death, Naples was formally detached from the Catalan Crown as they asked for it.

Civil war and revolution (1462-1476)

This was other problem within the serious conflicts which blow up in Catalonia during the XV century, and it was the last problem of what has been called the Catalan standstill during the first Middle Age. After the civil war and the revolution of 1462-1476 the country was ruined and empty.

Catalunya under Ferran II monarchy

This marriage was celebrated in the middle of the Catalan civil war and it deeply marked the future of Catalonia. Under the rule of Ferran II Catalonia was not the center of the monarchy, it was just a land of a large crown. However, Catalonia kept its own laws, institutions and organizations.

the Revolta dels Segadors

That proclamation took place during the Revolta dels Segadors (harvesters'revolt), and it had very little importance and an ephemeral length. The death of Pau Clarís -who was poisoned- limited the length and the effectiveness of that proclamation. After 19 years of having war Catalonia returned to the control of the Castilian Felip IV.

Revolta dels Segadors

'Revolta dels Segadors' (harvesters'revolt): Due to that revolt Catalonia lost the regions of Rousellon, Conflent, Vallespir and a part of Cerdanya. After returning under the rule of the Castilian Felip IV , he got important advantages which limited the Catalan autonomy.

Migration of Felip IV in France

After that treaty Felip IV accepted to transfer to France the land wich is currently called the North Catalonia. That transfer was never accepted by the Catalan parliament and there were many revolts. France offered many times the exchange of North Catalonia lands for those Spanish lands in Flanders, but the Spanish monarchy never accepted it.

11/09 nothing will be like before

The date of September, 11 meant the collapse of many national hopes based on the social and economic recovery of the country during the second half of the XVII century. Moreover, that date represented a political deep depression -the elimination of Catalan constitutions, Catalan government and other institutions- which lasted 200 years, and which even today has repercussions.

Dark period

The philipist authorities were extremely meticulous in the repression of moral and material Catalan symbols. The bell which called Barcelona resistance was cast, flags, insignias and standards were burnt, and the seats of Consell de Cent (Barcelona local body) were destroied. In that repressive atmosphere there was the exhibiton of general Moragues head.

Renaissance from poetry

The Catalan disatisfaction for that events was declared the day after September, 11 and apart from the armed uprising such as that of Pere Joan Barceló, disatisfaction was also reflected in patriotic and popular poetry. That thematic was also used by the intellectual people of Renaixença (in the second half of XIX century, process to recoup the Catalan laguage and literature), and afterwards by the politic nationalism.