The situation came to a head in 1640 when the reapers, who gathered in Barcelona to work on the harvest, revolted, burned down government buildings and murdered Felipe IV’s Viceroy.The destructive 19-year Guerra dels Segadors, the three-way Reapers’ War involving Castilian, French and Catalan troops ensued, and in the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, Felipe IV ceded all Catalonia’s French territories to the French Crown. Things went from bad to worse when Felipe IV’s son, the half-wit Carlos II, died without heir in 1700.When the Romans came to the peninsula, more than 200 years before Christ, they divided their newly-conquered territory into two; Hispania Citerior, which roughly corresponded to modern Catalonia, and Hispania Ulterior, the rest of the peninsula.Tarraco, present-day Tarragona, was the capital of Roman Hispania and when Emperor Augustus made the city his home in 26 BC, it was briefly the capital of the whole of the Roman Empire.Introduction Though Catalonia has formed part of Spain for nearly 300 years, Catalans only grudgingly admit the fact.Current relations with distant Madrid are as good as I can remember.
The next step on the road to nationhood came in 985 when the Moors, under Al-Mansour, managed to cross the River Llobregat and sack Barcelona.
Under Jaume I the Conqueror (1213-1276) the Catalans sought to drive the Moors out of the Mediterranean completely.
During his reign, Catalonia conquered Mallorca in 1229, Ibiza in 1235 and Valencia in 1238.
The Principality has suffered too many periods of repression at the hands of the Spanish for the Catalans to ever completely trust Madrid.
Catalonia’s independent streak is also justified by more than 2,000 years of history.