The Valencian nationalism 100 years ago

A manifesto, the Valencian Declaration; a newspaper, The Correspondence of Valencia, and a party, Union Valencianista Regionalista. This is how November 14, 1918, Valencian nationalism made the final step, and after decades of social and cultural initiatives, it constituted its first political platform. He did it in a determined way, claiming a "Valencian state" with "full sovereignty" and a "property of his own" and with the ability to "come to grips with other states" of the future Iberian Federation. One hundred years later, with other demands, nationalism lives and is in institutions, especially through Commitment, in the mayor of Valencia and in 19 of the 99 chairs in the Valencian Cortes.

That ambitious roadmap soon stumbled upon the convulsed Spanish history and only five years after its birth it came into being with the establishment of Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930) and the prohibition of political parties. It was necessary, therefore, to wait for the coming of the Second Republic because political Valencianism was able to represent institutions, including an ephemeral mayorship of Valencia in 1931. But happiness was brief and, once again, a The dictatorship, in this case headed by Francisco Franco, closed the way for Valencian citizens, and the first Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Country died at the Congress of Deputies before being approved.

Although according to Professor of History of Law at the Universidad Jaume I of Castellón Vicent Baydal, the Valencian Declaration is "the founding letter that laid the foundations for the Valencian outbreak that was 13 years later", there were already two precedents . The first, the cultural and artistic movement of the Renaissance led by poets like Teodor Llorente or Constantí Llombart. The second, the work carried out by entities such as Valencia Nova: promoted in 1904 by the doctor Faustí Barberà, who three years later organized the Valencian Regional Assembly to commemorate the second centenary of the Battle of Almansa, in an initiative that he followed the example of Catalan Solidarity born in 1906.

A link between Catalonia and the Valencian Country that, according to the former secretary of the Valencian Academy of the Language Agustí Colomer, also took place with Unió Valencianista Regionalista, de facto "Sister of the Regionalist League of Catalonia". The third great actor during the first years of the 20th century was Valencian Youth, who in 1914 convened the Valencianist Affirmation meeting, which was key to the creation of symbols of Valencianism such as Aplec del Puig and also goes Participate in the writing of the Valencian Declaration.

In addition to being a precursor of the political Valencianism that emerged during the Second Republic – with the appearance of nearly a dozen nationalist parties – the manifesto of the year 1918 also became a lever of modernity. This is how the philologist Anna García Escrivá defends her, which emphasizes how the Valencian Declaration "introduced elements such as the defense of female voting", which in Spain did not arrive until April 16, 1933.

It is precisely this transformative seal that aims to intensify the Tirant lo Blanc association, which this year has promoted the elaboration of a New Valencian Declaration that will be presented on 23 November. The new version aims to "update the text in those areas that by the historical context in which it was made could not incorporate, such as ecology, social inclusion or feminism." For the president of the entity, Gonçal Andreu Grau, "this expansion is essential" to become more transversal. That is why they have called to participate very diverse collectives such as the Sobirania Alimentaria entity or the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid. "

Integrating Valencianism

This integrating spirit is, in fact, the common denominator of the current discourse of the different actors of political Valencianism. A good example is the Republican Left of the Valencian Country, which, according to its president, Josep Barberà, wants to bet on "an agglutinating identity that goes far beyond the language that everyone speaks". In the same vein, Águeda Micó, national coordinator of the Valencian Nationalist Bloc, is the main force of Commitment, which emphasizes that the Valencian reality "demands creating specific formulas for singular realities such as those in the southern regions."

For Toni Gisbert, spokesman for Cultural Action, the most important challenge is to take advantage of the fact that Valencianism has become the central element of the political debate, "a circumstance that never happened", an analysis shared by Micó, who emphasizes that " Nor had he been so present at the institutions. " However, the blog's leader recognizes the limitations of the autonomous system, "especially in the financial field", and recalls that in the evolution or involution of the model, it will be key "the resolution of the conflict in Catalonia".

For Àgueda Micó, despite the disenchantment that is generating in Valencian society the continuous postponement of the reform of the financing model or the "radial" management of infrastructures, "Valencian nationalism will not become independent." Gisbert, on the other hand, does not share this interpretation, as he says that "if the Spanish elites do not learn what has happened in Catalonia and Valencians, there is a growing sense of grief, let's face what may happen."

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