Catalonia monopolized trade in the western Mediterranean in the 13th and 14th centuries, and Catalan interests dominated the union with Aragon until 1410, when the male line of the counts of Barcelona became extinct.
Dissatisfaction in Catalonia with the new Trastámara dynasty of Aragon increased after 1412, and during the reign of , along with the decline of the Spanish monarchy’s prestige, led to the first of a series of Catalan separatist movements.
Full autonomy was granted in 1979 with the establishment of the autonomous community of Catalonia.
In 2006 Catalonia was granted “nation” status and given the same level of taxation responsibility as the Spanish central government.
The Esquerra won a sweeping victory in the municipal elections of 1931, and two days later its leader proclaimed a Catalan Republic.
Catalan nationalism had two major strands: a conservative, Roman Catholic one and a more liberal, secular one.
The former was initially predominant, particularly in the first decades of the 20th century.
Framing the contest as a de facto plebiscite on independence, Mas led the Junts pel Sí (“Together for Yes”) alliance that won 62 of the 135 seats in the Catalan parliament.
The antiausterity , which won 10 seats, entered into a coalition with Junts pel Sí to give pro-independence parties a narrow parliamentary majority.
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Those who favoured independence interpreted the result as a victory, while those who opposed it emphasized the fact that pro-independence parties received just 48 percent of the popular vote.