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Barcelona, Catalonia and the Crown of Aragón in the Bourbon Spanish Empire

  • Horst Pietschmann (a1)

Abstract

After an outline of present-day ‘glocalization problems’ of the European Community this article analyses the problem of whether the centralizing policy of the Spanish Bourbon government after the War of Spanish Succession provides historical evidence on the origins of contemporary Catalan nationalism, as often argued, or not. Referring briefly to the medieval and early modern imperial traditions of both the Aragonese kingdoms, especially of Catalonia and its predominant city of Barcelona, and the Castilian kingdoms, the article argues that during the 18th century the Crown made strong efforts to integrate Catalans into the imperial government and trade and spent large quantities of fiscal income in the modernization of Catalonia as a central base of its Mediterranean policy. Therefore, the historical origins of present-day nationalism have to be explained in the context of more recent historical phenomena in the context of the so-called ‘uncompleted Spanish national project’.

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1. Perez Herrero, Cfr. P. (ed.) (2014) Universalización e Historia (Madrid, Barcelona and others: Marcial Pons). Included among others: H. Pietschmann (2014) Reflexiones sobre Historiografía: entre el pasado y el futuro, in: P. Perez Herrero (ed.), Universalización e Historia (Madrid, Barcelona and others: Marcial Pons), pp. 63–76.
2.The self-image of the ‘European Union’ as it relates to the problem of ‘Globalization – Glocalization’ cannot be further entered into here, as there are strongly differing positions on this within the ‘European Union’ which mostly result from the varying self-images of the nation states it contains, and it appears these are not yet a topic of methodologically sound historical research.
3.The primary reason for this is because, on the one hand, other regions within federal states either already have or are seeking independent representation at the ‘European Union’ in Brussels and, on the other hand, as a result of this, centralizing attempts can presently be observed in eastern Central Europe, which it may be possible to interpret as a reaction either against corresponding efforts for autonomous representation in Brussels or against centralizing tendencies in Brussels.
4. Pietschmann, Cfr. H. (1989) El estado y su evolución al principio de la colonización de América (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica). German Edition published by Aschendorff Münster 1980, which discusses the literature prior to 1980. Referring to the same period before 1700, cfr. C. Hermann (ed.) (1989) Le premier Age de l’État en Espagne (1450-1700). Collection de la Maison des Pays Ibérique, vol. 41 (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). Above all the contributions from B. Bennassar (1989) Un État, des États, in: C. Hermann (ed.), Le premier Age de l’État en Espagne (1450-1700). Collection de la Maison des Pays Ibérique, vol. 41 (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). pp. 69–86. and from P. Molas Ribalta (1989) Les royaumes de la couronne d’Aragon, in: C. Hermann (ed.), Le premier Age de l’État en Espagne (1450-1700). Collection de la Maison des Pays Ibérique, vol. 41 (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). pp. 113–146.
5. Álvarez Junco, Cfr. J. (ed.). G. de la Fuente Monge, C. Boyd and E. Baker (2013) Las historias de España. Visiones del pasado y construcción de identidad. Josep Fontana y Ramón Villares, directores. Historia de España, vol. 12 (Barcelona and Madrid: Crítica and Marcial Pons).
6. Bernal, A. M. (2005) España, proyecto inacabado. Los costes/beneficios del imperio (Madrid: Fundación Carolina. Centro de Estudios Hispánicos e Iberoamericanos and Marcial Pons Ediciones de Historia).
7. Dann, Cfr. O. (ed.) (1968) Nationalismus in vorindustrieller Zeit. Studien zur Geschichte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Abhandlungen der Forschungsabteilung des Historischen Seminars der Universität zu Köln, vol. 14 (München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag). Among others also of relevance: H. Pietschmann (1968) Zum Problem eines frühneuzeitlichen Nationalismus in Spanien. Der Widerstand Kastiliens gegen Kaiser Karl V, in: O. Dann (ed.), Nationalismus in vorindustrieller Zeit. Studien zur Geschichte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Abhandlungen der Forschungsabteilung des Historischen Seminars der Universität zu Köln, vol. 14 (München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag), pp. 55–71. Later published in Spanish translation as: H. Pietschmann (1992) El problema del nacionalismo en España en la edad moderna. La resistencia de Castilla contra el emperador Carlos V. Hispania, LII/1, no. 180, pp. 83–106.
8. Brunn, Cfr. G. (1978) Die Organisation der katalanischen Bewegungen, 1859–1923 (München: Oldenbourg). More generally also H. Timmermann (ed.) (1998) Entwicklung der Nationalbewegungen in Europa 1850–1940 (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot).
9. Puhle, H.-J. (2014) Trajectories and Functions of Catalan Nationalism since the 19th Century. Studies on National Movements, 2, pp. 1–27. http://snm.nise.eu/index.php/studies/article/view/0203a also printed H.-J. Puhle (2015) Trajectories of Catalan nationalism and its present discontents, in: K. J. Nagel und S. Rixen, (eds), Catalonia in Spain and Europe – Is There a Way to Independence? (Baden-Baden: Nomos), pp. 14 – 27. I thank the author for providing me the text and the references.
10. Dandelet, Cfr. T. J. (2001) Spanish Rome 1500 – 1700 (New Haven & London: Yale University Press). According to the author approximately 30.000 Spanish lived at Rome at this time. pp. 109 ff.
11. Elliott, Cfr. J. H. (1963) The Revolt of the Catalans (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). J. H. Elliott (1986) The Count – Duke of Olivares. The Statesman in an Age of Decline (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).
12.Cfr. for instance the new description, written by Joaquim Albareda Salvadó, a historian at the University of Pompeu Fabra, J. Albareda Salvadó (2010) La Guerra de Sucesión de España (1700 – 1714). Segunda impresión (Barcelona: Crítica). C. Sanz Ayán (2016) La Guerra de Sucesión Española (Madrid: Akal). Important for new Spanish military history: L. Ribot (2013) Historia militar de España. Tomo III: Edad Moderna, Vol. II: Escenario europeo (Madrid: Ministerio de Defensa). C. Iglesias (2014) Historia Militar de España. Tomo III: Edad Moderna. Vol. III: Los Borbones (Madrid: Ministerio de Defensa).
13. Cfr the catalogue to the exhibition, Baumann, K. and Bleile, R. (eds) (2015) Von Degen, Segeln und Kanonen. Der Untergang der Prinzessin Hedvig Sofia. Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf (Dresden: Sandstein Verlag). See: J. Krüger (2015) Der Große Nordische Krieg – Eine Zeit des Umbruchs, in: K. Baumann and R. Bleile, (2015) Von Degen, Segeln und Kanonen. Der Untergang der Prinzessin Hedvig Sofia. Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf (Dresden: Sandstein Verlag), pp. 76–123.
14. See: De La Torre (MDCCXXII) Mémoires et Negociations secrettes de diverses Cours de l’Europe, contenant ce qui s’y est passé depuis la Communication du second Traité de Partage jusques a l’entrée des Troupes Francoises dans les Places du Pais-Bas Espagnols, par Mr. De la Torre, 2 vols (A La Haye: Chez la Veuve d’Adrien Moetjens).
15. See for instance, Lluch, E. (1999) Las Españas vencidas del siglo XVIII. Claroscuros de la Ilustración (Barcelona: Critica).
16.Not until the end of the 18th century, with the ban on theatrical and musical performances in any other language than Spanish under Charles IV, could Castilian-Spanish ‘nationalism’ prevail, at least temporarily.
17. Pietschmann, Cfr. H. (2010) Die Verfassungsentwicklung der spanischen Monarchie im 18. Jahrhundert, in: H. Neuhaus (ed.), Verfassungsgeschichte in Europa. Tagung der Vereinigung für Verfassungsgeschichte in Hofgeismar vom 27–29. März 2006. Beiheft 18 zu ‘Der Staat’ (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot), pp. 27–47. See also W. Bernecker and H. Pietschmann (2005) Geschichte Spaniens. Von der frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart. 4. Überarbeitete und aktualisierte Auflage (Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer). See Chapter V: Spanien unter bourbonischer Herrschaft: Vom Erbfolgekrieg über die Errichtung des Territorialstaates zur Nation, pp. 176–238 and Bibliographie, pp. 481–498.
18.With respect to this, it should simply be remembered that the heirs of both important explorers and conquerors granted manors in America by Charles V were dukes residing in Naples.
19. Gittermann, Cfr. A. (2008) Die Ökonomisierung des politischen Denkens. Neapel und Spanien im Zeichen der Reformbewegungen des 18. Jahrhunderts unter der Herrschaft Karls III. Beiträge zur Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, vol. 113 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag). More generally see J.E. Covarrubias (2005) En busca del hombre útil. Un estudio comparativo del utilitarismo neomercantilista en México y Europa, 1748 – 1833 (México: UNAM).
20. Pietschmann, Cfr. H. (2003) Nación e individuo en los debates políticos de la época preindependiente en el imperio español (1767–1812), in: I. Álvarez Cuartero and J. Sánchez Gómez (eds), Visiones y revisiones de la independencia Americana. III Coloquio Internacional de Historia de América ‘La independencia de América’, Salamanca, noviembre de 2001 (Salamanca: Ediciones de la Universidad de Salamanca), pp. 49–88. In corresponding debates using the same concepts in New Spain/México around 1770, the populations of Spain and Mexico (so far as they counted as ‘Spaniards’) were already described as sister nations to be ruled separately.
21.With regard to this, it should be noted that research into the history of this concept in Spain, reaching into the 19th century and the modern era, first began comparatively late, cfr. J. Fernández Sebastián (dir.) (2009) Diccionario político y social del mundo iberoamericano. La era de las revoluciones, 1750 – 1850. Iberoconceptos – I (Madrid: Fundación Carolina and Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales and Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales).
22. Pietschmann, Cfr. H. (2012) Diego García Panes y Antonio Joaquín de Rivadeneira Barrientos, pasajeros en un mismo barco. Reflexiones en torno al México ‘imperial’ entre 1755 y 1808, in: A. Mayer (ed.), Un hombre de libros. Homenaje a Ernesto de la Torre Villar (México: UNAM). M. Lucena Giraldo (ed.) (2003) Premoniciones de la Independencia de Iberoamérica. Las reflexiones de José de Ábalos y el Conde de Aranda sobre la situación de la América española a finales del siglo XVIII. Prisma Histórico, vol. 1 (Madrid and Aranjuez: Fundación Mapfre Tavera and Doce Calles).
23. The author argues this interpretation despite the fact that recently, Escudero, J. A. (2014) El supuesto memorial del Conde de Aranda sobre la independencia de América (México: UNAM), again attempted to prove that the well-known and much-discussed anonymous memorial to Charles III from 1783 does not come from Aranda.
24. Pieper, R. (1992) La Real Hacienda bajo Fernando VI y Carlos III (1753 – 1788) (Madrid: Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda and Instituto de Estudios Fiscales)
25. Oliva Melgar, J. M. (s.a) Cataluña y el comercio privilegiado con América en el siglo XVIII. La Real Compañía de Comercio de Barcelona a Indias (Barcelona: Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona).

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