Answer to Question #164429 in Human geography for zada

Question #164429

State: Spain; Regions: Catalonia, Galacia, and Basque Country

In Spain, which is a parliamentary monarchy, the king and the elected president share the power. Although there is a national parliament, Spain is one of the most decentralized democracies in Europe. Each of its 17 regions manages its own schools, hospitals, and other public services.

Basque culture greatly suffered during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Francisco Franco and his fascist party wanted to rid Spain of all heterogeneity, and the Basque people were specifically targeted. Franco banned the speaking of Basque, and the Basques lost all political autonomy and economic rights. Many Basques were imprisoned or killed.  When Franco died in 1975, the Basques received much of their autonomy again, but this did not satisfy all Basques.

In 1959, ETA, or Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, Basque Homeland and Liberty was founded. ETA has conducted terrorist activities to try to break away from Spain and France and become an independent nation-state. Over 800 people, including police officers, government leaders, and civilians have been killed by assassinations and bombings. Thousands more have been injured, kidnapped, or robbed.

The Basque Country is heavily industrialized and energy production is particularly important. Politically, the Basques in Spain have a great deal of autonomy. While they are not independent, the Basques control their own police force, industry, agriculture, taxation, and media.

Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region in north-east Spain with a distinct history dating back almost 1,000 years.  The wealthy region has about 7.5 million people, with their own language, parliament, flag and anthem.  Catalonia also has its own police force and controls some of its public services.  Catalan nationalists have long complained that their region sends too much money to poorer parts of Spain, as taxes are controlled by Madrid.  They also say Spain's changes to their autonomous status in 2010 undermined Catalan identity.  In 2014, 80 percent of Catalan participants voted yes on an informal independence referendum. Three years later, 90 percent of participants voted yes in a follow-up referendum approved by the Catalan parliament. But Spain insisted the referendum had not occurred, and after a violent police crackdown, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled it illegal.  Defiant, Catalonia’s regional parliament declared independence in October 2017; Spain then suspended Catalonia’s political autonomy and fired the entire Catalan cabinet.

Galicia is another region with a unique identity, language and separatist strain is found on Spain's northwestern Atlantic coast.  The Kingdom of Galicia existed from the fifth century, at times encompassing much of northwest present-day Spain and northern Portugal, until the 15th century, when it joined Spain. Galician and Portuguese are in the same language grouping and were mutually ineligible until that time.  Given this shared history, there is a group in Galicia that believes their land should reunite with Portugal. Others argue it should be independent, citing the Celtic history of Galicia.

But Galicia remains a rural, largely agrarian region with much less industrialisation than the modern Basque Country and Catalonia, with a lower economic output.

Using the graphic/map and information provided above, explain how each of the following forces lead to devolutionary pressure within SPAIN.

1. Cultural diversity

2. Regional Economic differences

3. Physical Geography and Territorial size

Expert's answer

1. Cultural diversity

The country demonstrates differences in language, religion, history, and ethnicity

2. Regional Economic differences

The different regions in Spain exhibit inequality, uneven economic development and differences in predominant economic activities

3. Physical Geography and Territorial size

Spain has physical features, like` mountains or bodies of water

There are also regional differences in the location or availability of natural resources

Some regions are also bigger than others.

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