Tax Resistance in Catalonia (in 1899)

The International Year Book for 1900 included this summary of events in Catalonia:

The National Union Movement

The refusal of Catalonia to pay imposts, , led to the formation of a committee of National Union, which assumed the direction of the widespread movement for reform. The greatest activity was displayed by the merchants of the northeastern part of the country, but the economic feature was not the only one. To some degree all the liberal elements in Spain sympathized with the National Union party, for its demands included the entire reorganization of the vital forces of the nation: fiscal and administrative reform, the amelioration of the judicial system, the introduction of an effective system of compulsory education, the improvement of the provincial governments. In view of the excessive burden of taxation and the government’s policy of expenditure the National Committee advised property holders to refuse to pay taxes. On , 400 delegates, representing 50 chambers of commerce. 39 agricultural societies, and 37 mercantile and industrial associations, met at Valladolid and adopted the programme outlined above. The fiercest opposition to the Nationalists came from the upper classes and the clergy, who would wish to see the army aggrandized and secular education neglected. The government vigorously prosecuted the leaders of the National Union party and all who refused to pay taxes. In riots broke out in Seville, Valencia, Polencia, and Barcelona. Martial law was declared in the provinces of Valencia and Barcelona, and on in Madrid. The constitutional guarantees were suspended in many other provinces, and at had not been restored.

I think this was part of the same agitation that led to the tancament de caixes — an event that has the same sort of rhetorical value in Catalonia today as the Boston Tea Party does in the U.S.

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