region in NE Spain, on the Mediterranean: 12,328 sq mi (31,929 sq km); cap. Barcelona
Sp. name Ca·ta·lu′ña·
A region of northeast Spain bordering on France and the Mediterranean Sea. A center of socialist and anarchist activity in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was granted limited autonomy in 1932 by the Spanish Republic. After Catalonian separatists unsuccessfully opposed the Falangist forces in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Catalonian national identity and the Catalan language were suppressed until after the death of Francisco Franco (1975).
- In the course of a bloody insurrection in Catalonia, which ended in the bombardment of Barcelona, Ferdinand de Lesseps showed the most persistent bravery, rescuing from death, without distinction, the men belonging to the rival factions, and protecting and sending away not only the Frenchmen who were in danger, but foreigners of all nationalities.
- He repelled an invasion of Catalonia undertaken by the king of France in support of Charles of Anjou, and died on the 8th of November 1286.
- In Catalonia " Pragmatics," letters from the prince, issued to restrain jurisdiction assumed by ecclesiastical judges contrary to the customs of the principality.
- Under Napoleon he became a member of the council of state, and from 1812 to 1814 he governed Catalonia under the title of intendant-general, being charged to win over the Catalonians to King Joseph Bonaparte.
- As early as 970 the recovery of the territories lost to Mahommedanism in the East had been begun by emperors like Nicephoras Phocas and John Zimisces: they had pushed their conquests, if only for a time, as far as Antioch and Edessa, and the temporary occupation of Jerusalem is attributed to the East Roman arms. At the opposite end of the Mediterranean, in Spain, the Omayyad caliphate was verging to its fall: the long Spanish crusade against the Moor had begun; and in 1018 Roger de Toeni was already leading Normans into Catalonia to the aid of the native Spaniard.