Catalan Federalism and the Failure of the First Republic
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The experience of the Sexenio Democrático (’six Years of Democracy’), which began with the dethronement of Isabel II in September 1868, had far-reaching effects on the subsequent rise of political Catalanism. In the first elections with universal male suffrage held in 1869, a new political force, Federal Republicanism, won a majority in Catalonia, though it immediately became apparent that it commanded only a minority in the rest of Spain. This was the first sign of the appearance of the distinct personality of Catalonia. Although Federal Republicanism was an organization that encompassed the whole of Spain, it presented an alternative project for a Spanish State into which Catalonia could fit without either being disloyal to Spain or giving up its distinctive features or aspirations to self-government. The rationalist, universalist formulas of Federal Republicanism served to conceal a strong undercurrent of Catalan particularism, though the regionalism of the early leader of Catalan Federal Republicanism, Pi Margall, was Spanish and not Catalanist.
KeywordsTerm Lease Constitutional Monarchy Industrial Bourgeoisie Nationalist Feel Catalan Authority
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