Breaking and Setting the Pattern: European Influences on Early Catalan Nationalism

Gabriel Black-Planas, William & Mary


During the development of the Catalan nationalist political tradition between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, early Catalanist thinkers drew heavily from the examples of their European and American contemporaries. As Catalonia developed an industrial base and began celebrating its linguistic and cultural heritage during the nineteenth century, it increasingly looked outwards. Seeing themselves as more European than Spanish, Catalanist desperately wished to modernize their region and nation. To this end, Catalanists developed a very specific and Eurocentric standard for civilizations that they thought critical for national development. This work traces the development of this model, what it entailed, how it emerged in reaction to perceived Spanish failures and European successes, how it was wielded to criticize the Spanish Restoration state, and what it implied for Catalonia's national aspirations.