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Skip to 0 minutes and 23 secondsWhy was the Generalitat de Catalunya restored in 1931? In 1931 we were still under the theoretically valid constitution of 1876 and, therefore, a monarchical constitution. After the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, who had left this Constitution on hold but had not annulled it, local elections were called, but the degradation of the system after the corruption and the disasters in North Africa was so great, as well as the involvement of the monarchy in all of these disasters, that in the Pact of San Sebastián among the Spanish republican forces it was decided to take a step to break with this monarchical law and the republic would be proclaimed.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsWell, that is what happened, there was a breakdown in democracy in 1931, the previous law was overcome, the monarch left and Francesc Macià from the balcony we can see in Sant Jaume square where the Generalitat is housed, there, from that balcony of the Generalitat, proclaimed the Catalan Republic within the future federation of states, of Iberian republics. So this occurred a few hours before the proclamation in Madrid of the Spanish republic, although he did so, theoretically, in accordance with everything that had been agreed upon in San Sebastián.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 secondsWithin a few days, three or four, three or four ministers came from Madrid to negotiate with Francesc Macià and see how this situation with which the republicans from Madrid, it must be said, were not in agreement, could be solved. And it was then that they managed to agree with Francesc Macià that he should renounce the Catalan Republic in exchange for returning to and restoring the old Generalitat or Deputació del General, of which we have spoken previously, which would, of course, not have the same functions as the historical Catalan system had had because it was in a constitutional state, but it would have some political autonomy, that is to say, it would not be sovereign but autonomous, a power that would come from the sovereignty of the State and would be approved by the republican courts in Madrid.

Restoration of the Generalitat

In 1931, the Spanish and the Catalan Republics were proclaimed, which eventually led to Catalonia becoming a political autonomy.

This video is in Catalan language, so remember to activate the subtitles in English, Spanish or Catalan.

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This video is from the free online course:

Getting to Know Catalonia: An Introduction to the Catalan Language, Culture and Society

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

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