In this book we have analysed a number of explanations for the rise of Catalan nationalism. As seen in Chapter 2, perhaps the most influential argument has been that it was down to the weakness of the Spanish state’s nation-building programme. The roots of this interpretation are to be found in the argument developed by modern historians and social scientists that there was little sense of national identity in western Europe amongst the majority of the population before the nineteenth century. Hence it followed that states and cultural elites had to take the lead in the process of nation-building. However, a major problem with this perspective is that in Catalonia from the late eighteenth century both social and cultural elites bought into the Spanish national project. As noted in Chapter 1, this first took the form of what has been referred to as state patriotism. Subsequently, in the early nineteenth century, with the rise of liberal nationalism the link was made by both Right and Left between the Spanish pueblo and the nation. For the former, national sovereignty emanated from this pueblo.
KeywordsPolitical Elite Early Nineteenth Century Spanish State Nationalist Movement Cultural Elite
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