The Catholic Kings unified foreign policy, the royal treasury and the army, but they did so respecting the privileges and privileges of each of their kingdoms. It was not until the arrival of the Bourbon dynasty, when Felipe V endowed the Spanish State with fully modern tools and resources. Only after his reign, one can speak of the “Kingdom of Spain” as a political entity. Of course, one thing was the state and another was the nation states. Within the Envelope Size Chart current that maintains that nations are not objective realities, but imagined constructions, the fall of the old regime is pointed to with the point of departure for the great European states to begin to elaborate their national accounts.
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The puny development of the railway network, the school (a great factor of cohesion) and the poor health of the army at the end of the 19th century ended up manifesting the discontent of some leading sectors in front of that Spanish nation state. In Catalonia, the textile industrialists lost a lot of business volume with the collapse of the last colonies and decided to make a commitment to other projects of the nation. That is the origin of the peripheral exclusionary nationalisms, not of the independence movement, which has always been marginal until recently.
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Tomás Pérez Vejo, author of the book “España Imaginada,” tells that precisely in Catalonia and the Basque Country “a story from Spain believed was first articulated, because they were the most economically dynamic areas and the process of nationalization was easier”.
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This is demonstrated by the large number of Catalan and Basque volunteers in the African wars with respect to the rest of the country. The turning point was the crisis of 1898, which coincided with the attempts in other European nation states to build colonial empires, while Spain lost the last remnants of its own.
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“The story of Spain until then had been marked by its imperial vocation and now had to be defined as a dying country, a nation without a pulse. Nobody wants to be part of a failed project, “says Pérez Vejo.
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The generation of 98 gave up the great historical story, which was defined in the phrase of Joaquin Costa” let’s put seven keys on the tomb of El Cid “or in his criticisms of Historical painting: “Let’s throw away those big names: Sagunto, Numancia, Otumba, Lepanto, with which our youth is poisoned in the schools, and let’s sponge them.” His bet to create another story based on progress also wrecked with the political turmoil of the beginning of the new century and, finally, the Civil War.
Until then, the legitimacy of the State had been dynastic-religious, but the rupture of that world in the nineteenth century required a nation that would give sustenance to the Envelope Size Chart State. In short, the states became nations, not the other way around. Using better infrastructures, an army that brought together people from all over the country and a school at the end generalized, the Empire-States, city-states and monarchies-State were transformed into nation-states that developed a coherent and unifying story. great historical novel mode.