The First Catalanist Political Organizations



The founder of political Catalanism and the first theoretician of Catalan aspirations to self-government was Valentí Almirall. In 1879, while still a militant Federal Republican, he founded the first Catalan-language newspaper, El Diari Català, and in 1880 he convened the first Catalanist Congress in an attempt to create an inter-class front in which Republicans and Monarchists, Catholics and free-thinkers could collaborate. Almirall failed at this congress to reach an agreement with the group linked to the magazine La Renaixensa, which styled itself ‘apolitical’ and turned its weekly paper into a daily to compete with his own. The Congress did however decide to appoint a commission to defend the survival of Catalan civil law against the threat of the Spanish Código Civil, which was being drawn up on the basis of Castilian law. It also decided to create an academy to unify the spelling and regulate the grammar of the Catalan language. Finally, plans were laid for the establishment of a centre to coordinate the many Catalanist organizations that were gradually springing up in various localities. The fact that the Catalanist Congress was attended by the first rambling clubs is indicative of the important role played by cultural associations with patriotic leanings in the early rise and development of Catalanism.


Nationalist Movement Exclusive Jurisdiction Weekly Paper Draft Statute Catalan Language 
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Copyright information

© Albert Balcells 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomous University of BarcelonaSpain

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