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Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic

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Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic

At the beginning of the 20th century, numerous political figures appeared very important to the history of Spain, some of which influenced the different nationalisms of the regions that make up Spain. One of these figures is Francesc Macià, one of the most important Catalan politicians in history. That is why in this lesson from a TEACHER we are going to talk about Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic.

You may also like: History of Catalonia in the Second Republic


  1. Who was Francesc Macià?
  2. Proclamation of the Catalan Republic by Macià
  3. Dissolution of the Catalan Republic

Who was Francesc Macià?

Francesc Macià was a Spanish politician and military man born in Vilanova i la Geltrú, a municipality located in the province of Barcelona. He was a lieutenant colonel in the land army, president of the Generalitat de Catalunya and one of the founders of the Català Status and of Republican Esquerra de Catalunya.

Macià was a soldier in the land army until he entered as a national deputy, for Solidaritat Catalana, at which point he ceased to belong to the army and turned into his political career.

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In 1922 he created the party called Esta Català, a Catalan nationalist party, which is currently the oldest Catalan party, and whose objective was to bring together all radical and left-wing Catalanism.

Years later Macià he left in exile of Spain due to dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, trying to enter Catalonia years later to provoke a popular uprising against the regime, but being arrested in France. It would not be until 1931 that he returned from exile, joining his party in Esquerra Republicana.

Francesc Macià was chosen President of the Generalitat in 1932, dying in 1933 due to appendicitis at age 74, while he was still in office.

Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic - Who was Francesc Macià?

Proclamation of the Catalan Republic by Macià.

The April 14, 1931 the proclamation of the Catalan Republic was carried out, which took place in the Plaza de San Jaume where the Barcelona City Council is located. Francesc Macià, who had won the municipal elections a few days before the proclamation, proclaimed a Catalan State, defined in the Republic, a few days before the announcement of the Spanish Republicin Madrid.

Macià asked other Spanish peoples to follow his example, creating numerous republics that would unite to form a Confederació de Pobles Ibèrics, which never happened. This action was feared by the leaders of the II Spanish Republic, who began a dialogue with the leaders of the Catalan Republic.

Macià began to exercise power as soon as he proclaimed the Republic, making numerous appointments and dismissals, such as appointing Lluís Companys as civil governor of Barcelona, ​​or Eduardo López de Ochoa as captain general of Catalonia. He also appointed the members of his government, the vast majority from the Esquerra Republicana party, naming only one member of the PSOE and another from the Radical Republican Party.

Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic - Proclamation of the Catalan Republic by Macià

Dissolution of the Catalan Republic.

To continue with this lesson on Francesc Macià and the Catalan Republic, we must talk about the dissolution of the Catalan Republic and the consequences it had for Spain.

The II Spanish Republic he saw the Catalan Republic as one of the problems that he had to solve more quickly, considering it a serious problem for the consolidation of the republic as the new government of Spain.

A few days later, the government of the Spanish Republic sent a series of politicians to speak with Francesc Macià and try to find a solution. Quickly an agreement was reached, according to which Esquerra Republicana renounced the Catalan Republic in exchange for a series of measures by the Spanish Republic, which were the following:

  • Presentation in the Constituent Courts of a Statute of Autonomy chosen by Catalonia.
  • Change of name of the Council of the Government of the Catalan Republic to the Generalitat of Catalonia.
  • The Generalitat would have the functions of the four Catalan councils.

Just two parties refused to sign the agreement with the Spanish government, these parties were the Statute Català and Bloc Obrer i Camperol, who accused Macià of traitor for making pacts with the government of Madrid, considering that it turned its back on the ideals of the nationalist parties Catalan.

A few months later the Statute of Autonomy of 1932, also called the Statute of Autonomy of Núria, approved by a large majority of the Catalan population. The problem with the statute is that it responded to a federal model, something that clashed with the Constitution of 1931, for which had to undergo a few modifications before being accepted by the Cortes of the Second Republic Spanish.

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