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The Federal Republic of Catalonia is a Western European country. Comprising the Eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, it borders Spain and Aragon to the West and France and Andorra to the North. Its name, which dates about the 11th century BC, means "Land of Castles".
Once a divided between several Spanish provinces, is a sovereign country since 1927 and a federal republic comprising several Vegueries since 1947. Its territory has been populated since the Paleolithic.
Today Catalonia is a regional economic power for the Northern Mediterranean coast and it has the second largest nominal GDP per capita in Europe. It is a founding member of the United Nations and member of the European Union and NATO since 1994.
History beyond PoD
The Independence War (1926 - 1927)
Main article: Catalan Independence War
Catalan separatism saw its origins in the beginnings of the 20th century with Cuban and Irish independencies, but it wasn't until Miguel Primo de Rivera Spanish dictatorship that became popular among Catalans. Banning of Catalan language, closing of FC Barcelona football stadium and eradication of Catalan self-governing institutions highly contributed to it. This is why Estat Català, an illegal separatist Catalan Party founded in 1922 by Francesc Macià i Llussà, started to organize a guerrilla consisting of 54 Sections scattered on the Spanish and French sides of the Pyrenees. The party and the guerrilla were financed by various secret organizations located in South America and leaded by rich Catalan exiled families. The central headquarters were installed in the outskirts of Prats de Molló, at that time a French town next to the Spanish border.
In the early morning of 30th October 1926 Francesc Macià, who proclaimed himself President of the Provisional Government of Catalonia and Commander-in-Chief of the Catalan Armed Forces, gave the order to the guerrilla volunteers to cross the border. They found no resistance and could reach the town of Olot before midday, where local authorities surrendered. In the afternoon the Proclamation of Olot was read in the Town Hall and broadcast by radio to all the country. In the following days, many Catalan gave their enthusiastic support to the armed revolt and controlled large regions of the country. Trade Unions organized strikes in large cities. On the 4th November, only some cities like Barcelona, Palma, Valencia and Alacant were out of control of separatists, and their Base was re-ubicated at the Guilleries. However, the Spanish Army gain the control of those cities and large sieges started. Any person, including children, suspect of being a separatist collaborator was killed. Francesc Macià, who knew the situation, sent diplomat Josep Carner i Puig-Oriol to start conversations with United States President Calvin Coolidge for sending help to Separatists. Firstly, President Coolidge was reticent to join Catalans, but finally change his mind. He sent troops to the country, expelled Spaniards and bind them to sign the Treaty of Lausanne with the Provisional Government of Catalonia, where Catalan independence was recognized.
The Third Republic (1927 - 1941)
Main article: Catalan third republic
Once the new State saw its independence recognized from international community made great efforts for gaining prestige around the world. In January 1928 the country became a full member of the League of Nations and in 1929 Barcelona hosted the Universal Exposition, where Catalonia show its power as a modern, industrial nation. The 1936 Summer Olympics also became a successful worldwide meeting.
The Provisional Government called for legislative elections on May 1928. It also began to rebuilt the most important infrastructures and paid the debt with American Catalans. Several political parties were allowed to participate in the political life of the country. Of those parties, only two gain seats at the Constituent Parliament: the Republican Party, which won, and the Conservatives. The new Parliament confirmed Macià as President, a position he will held until his death in 1933, and wrote a Constitution which was passed after a National Referendum celebrated in September 1930.
Most tasks held by Catalan cabinets during the 1930s where modernization of public infrastructures like the railway and road networks, and the update of health and education systems, which reach many rural and isolated areas for the first time in history. However, the World economic crisis didn't allow a great economic growth during this period.
Occupied Catalonia (1941 - 1944)
When the Second World War started in 1939, the Catalan Government declared war to Germany along with France and Great Britain. At the first stages of the war, Catalans stayed calm, but became victims of panic with the French surrender in 1941. Then, the state of war was declared and a defensive barrier was settled along the Pyrenees. In large cities like Barcelona, Valencia and Alacant many goods were stored in public stores and nuclear bunkers were built.
German invasion started in April 1941, two months after Operation Felix, which invaded Spain and Gibraltar. The invasion of the country was pact in Hendaye in 1940 between Axis powers. The Spanish fascist leader, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, asked for Catalonia and Portugal as a Price for helping Germans to control the Iberian Peninsula and especially Gibraltar, and Hitler accepted. After a three-month siege over Barcelona, the Catalan Government surrendered and Spain re-annexed the country. A Government-in-exile leaded by President Daniel Cardona i Civit was established in London with various political leaders. The Resistance was organized inside and outside the country and collaborated closely with the Allies.
Meanwhile, Spanish fascist government started a strong political repression. Many political activists, especially leftists and former collaborators of Independence War were illegally tried and executed. Many institutions, like FC Barcelona and the Institut d'Estudis Catalans were banned and unestablished.
After WWII (1944 - present)
Catalonia was liberated in 1944 by allied powers according to the conclusions of the Tehran Conference which was celebrated in 1943. The National Council of Catalonia was recognized as the legitimate government of the country and its members triumphantly returned to Barcelona. The National Council immediately started national reconstruction and called population for legislative elections in September 1945. Because of the war, the Republicans lost much popularity among Catalans and for the first time a conservative was chosen as President of the Republic: Manuel Carrasco i Formiguera. During its presidency a new Constitution was written and although no economic help arrived from the Allies GDP grow at very high speed because of his libertarian policies; this later was known around the World as the Catalan economic miracle. In the same year, the country became a founding member of the United Nations. In 1946 a Friendship Agreement with the USSR was signed and the country kept neutral policies during the hole Cold War. Moreover, political tensions between Barcelona and Valencia increased during the 1950s and the Federal capital was trasferfed to a recently-built city in the centre of the country in 1957, Ciutat Macià. After Carrasco i Formiguera, three Conservatives held the highest office in the Catalan state consecutively: Miquel Coll i Alentorn (1951-1959), Josep Maria Trias i Peitx (1959-1967) and Joaquim Xicoy i Bassegoda (1967-1969).
In 1968 strong influences from the French May came to the country and made many changes in Catalan society. Student and workers strikes in late 1968 and early 1969 reclaiming better life conditions to the federal government and changes in the Catalan foreign policy made president Xicoy to resign his post in March 1969 and call Catalans to new presidential elections in May. They where won by a Republican, Josep Tarradellas i Joan, who became the first Republican Catalan president in 24 years. His presidency is known because of his efforts for improving the Catalan warfare State. However, the last period of his presidency matched an economic worldwide crisis and in the 1977 Catalan Presidential Elections a new Conservative candidate was chosen as President of the Republic: Jordi Pujol i Soley (1977-1985).
Late 1980s and early 1990s were difficult times for Catalonia's political stability. With the fall of the Soviet Block in 1989 communist Spain lost its natural allies and war started in 1993. Around 100,000 Spanish political refugees got on the country and social services collapsed. President Macià Alavedra i Moner had to ask for help to the United States and the European Union. In 1992 the Treaty of Sochi signed between Catalans and Russians replaced the 1946 Catalan-Soviet Friendship Agreement and Catalonia get a more pro-Western foreign policy. As a result of this the country entered NATO and the EU in 1994. It was also a founding member of the Eurozone and in 2002 adopted the Euro as the national currency.
In 2008 Andorra break its relationship with France because of this condition as tax heaven status and French President Nicolas Sarkozy abdicates as Co-Prince. Then Andorran Government asked Catalans to sign another Friendship Treaty for replacing and old one signed in 1946. By this one Catalonia is in charge of old the French old duties and its President is the new Co-Prince of Andorra.