Catalan Republic (1931)

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Catalan Republic
República Catalana (Catalan)
Flag of Catalonia
Location of the Catalan Republic within Europe
Location of the Catalan Republic within Europe
StatusRepublic within Iberian Federation
Common languages
GovernmentUnitary republic under provisional government
• 1931
Francesc Macià
Historical eraInterwar period
• Proclaimed
14 April 1931
• Establishment of the Generalitat
17 April 1931
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Restoration (Spain)
Generalitat of Catalonia
Second Spanish Republic
Today part ofSpain

The Catalan Republic (Catalan: República Catalana, IPA: [rəˈpubːlikə kətəˈlanə]) was a state proclaimed in 1931 by Francesc Macià as the "Catalan Republic within the Iberian Federation",[4][5] in the context of the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic. It was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, and superseded three days later, on 17 April, by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan institution of self-government within the Spanish Republic.[6]


Proclamation of the Catalan Republic in Plaça de Sant Jaume by Francesc Macià, Barcelona, 14 April 1931
Francesc Macià i Llussà
Copy of the Proclamation of the Catalan Republic published on the afternoon of April 14

After the Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, Spanish republican parties agreed through the Pact of San Sebastián (17 August 1930) to prepare for a change of regime in case of victories in upcoming elections. In this project, there was a provision for the political autonomy of Catalonia, within the Spanish Republic. On 12 April 1931, local elections gave a large and unexpected majority in Catalonia (including Barcelona) to the Republican Left of Catalonia[7] (Catalan: Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC), a party that had been founded three weeks earlier by the union of Macià's pro-independence Estat Català, the Catalan Republican Party, led by Lluís Companys, and the L'Opinió group. Two days later (14 April), few hours before the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in Madrid, ERC's leader, Francesc Macià, proclaimed the "Catalan Republic" from the balcony of the Palau de the Generalitat (then the seat of the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona), "expecting that the other peoples of Spain would constitute themselves as republics, in order to establish an Iberian Confederation".[8] The proclamation of Macià was preceded by a proclamation of the Spanish Republic by another ERC member, Lluís Companys, from the balcony of the City Hall, and the Catalan and Spanish Republic flags were hoisted from the balcony.[9][10] Francesc Macià proclaimed himself president of Catalonia,[11] and ratified in this position by the elected councillors of Barcelona.[12]

Macià immediately dismissed General Ignasi Despujol [ca], chief of the Spanish Army in Catalonia, appointing in his place General López Ochoa, who was loyal to the new republican government,[13] while Companys was designated civil governor of Barcelona and Jaume Aiguader became mayor of Barcelona. The jurist Josep Oriol Anguera de Sojo [ca] was appointed president of the Territorial Audience of Barcelona[14] (the highest court of justice in Catalonia at the time). Helped by socialist Manuel Serra i Moret, he also appointed the ministers of the Catalan government, dominated by the Republican Left of Catalonia. He included among his ministers a member of the Radical Republican Party, a member of the UGT trade union, a member of Catalan Action, as well as two representatives from the Socialist Union of Catalonia, but none from the previously hegemonic and conservative Regionalist League. (In the streets many citizens clamored against the leader of the League, chanting "Long live Macià and death to Cambó!").[15] Macià even offered a ministry to the anarchist trade union CNT, but the anarcho-syndicalist organization finally refused to participate, claiming its traditional apoliticism.[16]

The provisional government of the Catalan Republic was made up of:[17]

The next steps of the new Catalan Government involved taking control of the territory. It ordered every municipality in Catalonia to ensure the proclamation of the Republic. It also appointed delegates of the government in the provinces of Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. A volunteer militia, the Civic Republican Guard (Catalan: Guàrdia Cívica Republicana) was raised in order to protect the Palace of the Generalitat and the sourrondings. On 15 April, a decree making Catalan the official language was passed.[18] On the same day, Macià signed a decree allowing freedom of broadcast time to Ràdio Associació de Catalunya [ca].[19] On 16 April, the first issue of the Official Journal of the Catalan Republic (Diari Oficial de la República Catalana) was published.[20]

On 17 April, three days after the proclamation, the provisional government of the new Spanish Republic, concerned about this proclamation and the duality of powers it created, sent three ministers (Fernando de los Ríos from the PSOE, Lluís Nicolau d'Olwer from Catalan Action and Marcel·lí Domingo from the Radical Socialist Republican Party) to Barcelona in order to negotiate with Macià and the Catalan provisional government. After some hours of intense debates, Macià reached an agreement with the three ministers,[21] in which the government of the Catalan Republic was renamed the Generalitat of Catalonia (Catalan: Generalitat de Catalunya), becoming a Catalan institution of self-government within the Spanish Republic,[22][23] that would be granted a Statute of Autonomy in 1932 after the elections for Spain's Parliament (Cortes Generales).[24] Francesc Macià would become the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia (officially appointed in November 1932 by the newly elected Parliament of Catalonia), a position he held until his death on 25 December 1933.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garrido, David (18 April 2021). "14 d'abril de 1931: la jornada de les dues Repúbliques". El Temps. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  2. ^ Angera, Pere (2010). Les Quatre Barres: de bandera històrica a senyera nacional. Barcelona: Rafael Dalmau, editor. p. 199. ISBN 978-84-232-0737-4.
  3. ^ Torra, Quim (15 April 2012). "Una República Catalana que governa". El Punt Avui (in Catalan). Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Spain: Macià's Catalonia". Time. 20 June 1932. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010.
  5. ^ Esculies, Joan (October 2012). "El cavaller de l'ideal". Sàpiens. 121: 22–28.
  6. ^ "República Catalana". enciclopè Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  7. ^ Soler Becerro, Raimon. Les eleccions municipals de 1934 a Catalunya. Apèndix 1: Les eleccions municipals de 1931.
  8. ^ Juliá, Santos (2009). La Constitución de 1931. Lustel, Madrid pp. 31-32 ISBN 978-84-9890-083-5
  9. ^ "Edición del miércoles, 15 abril 1931, página 6". La Vanguardia: 6. 15 April 1931. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Edición del jueves, 16 abril 1931, página 1". La Vanguardia: 1. 16 April 1931. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  11. ^ Stone, Peter (2007). Frommer's Barcelona. John Wiley & Sons. p. 311. ISBN 978-0470096925. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  12. ^ Pitarch, Ismael E. (September 2009). El president Macià i el Parlament de Catalunya (PDF) (First ed.). Barcelona: Parlament de Catalunya. Departament d'edicions. p. 16. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  13. ^ Fontana 2014, p. 335.
  14. ^ Fontana 2014, p. 336
  15. ^ Balcells, Albert (2006). «El reto de Cataluña». La Aventura de la Historia (15). ISSN 1579-427X.
  16. ^ De la Granja, José Luis; Beramendi, Justo; Anguera, Pere (2001). La España de los nacionalismos y las autonomías. Madrid: Síntesis. p. 125. ISBN 84-7738-918-7.
  17. ^ "El Gobierno Provisional de Cataluña". La Vanguardia: 7. 16 April 1931. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  18. ^ Bonamusa, Francesc (2006). Generalitat de Catalunya. Obra de govern 1931-1939 vol. 1. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, Secretaria de Presidència. p. 25. ISBN 9788439373957.
  19. ^ "Tal dia com avui de 1931, Macià signava com a president de la República Catalana un decret en favor de la llibertat d'emissió de Ràdio Associació". Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  20. ^ First issue of the Official Journal of the Catalan Republic, 16 April 1931.
  21. ^ Mata, Jordi (17 April 2006). "La República dels 3 dies". El Triangle. 775: 36–37.
  22. ^ Torra, Quim (17 April 2012). "L'últim acte de la República Catalana". El Punt Avui (in Catalan). Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  23. ^ Carr, Raymond. Modern Spain: 1975-1980. Oxford University Press, 1980, p.xvi.
  24. ^ Fontana 2014, p. 336
  25. ^ Fontana 2014, p. 339

Sources and bibliography[edit]

  • Sobrequés i Callicó, Jaume. Catalunya i la Segona República. Edicions d'Ara (Barcelona, 1983) ISBN 84-248-0793-6
  • Pelegrí i Partegàs, Joan. Les primeres 72 hores de la República Catalana. Fundació President Macià (Barcelona, 1993) ISBN 84-604-7580-8
  • Roglan, Joaquim. 14 d'abril: la Catalunya republicana (1931-1939). Cossetània Edicions (2006) ISBN 8497912039
  • Fontana, Josep (2014). La formació d'una identitat. Una història de Catalunya. Ed. Eumo. ISBN 9788497665261.

External links[edit]