Thursday, May 27, 2010

Organization of the Principality (1)


This hand-made flowchart is intended to roughly represent, in a graphical way, the historical structure of power in the Principality of Catalonia since early Middle Age until the 1717 Decree of Nueva Planta, that abolished the Catalan government institutions, so formalizing its annexion to the Kingdom of Castile -under the name of Kingdom of Spain. Although with some slight differences, all the rest of States of the Crown of Aragon had a similar structure; in them, a main role was given to the State Constitutions (Fueros in Aragon, Furs in Valencia), which were a compendium of regulations concerning the relationship between Crown and Country -much in the same way as the English Charta Magna. This was a feature characteristic to the Crown of Aragon, so that each new State added to the Catalan-Aragonese Commonwealth was given a similar status -This happened in earlier times with Sardinia, Sicily and Naples.

After the dynastic union between Castile and Aragon, a Viceroy was present at each State of the Crown of Aragon since 1476. At the time of our what-if musing, Queen Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick had been taking office as Viceroy of Catalonia between 1711 and 1713, during her husband's absence in Vienna. After she left Barcelona, Lord Starhemberg took briefly the charge until the Imperial withdrawal was completed.

The Kingdom of Majorca had a somewhat odd status: while the Spanish Crown considered it as a separate territory and had a specific Viceroy assigned for the Islands, however the Kingdom had no Parliament of its own; instead, representatives of the Islands were sent to the Catalan Parliament in full membership. therefore, under the Parliament's point of view, the Balearic Islands were a part of the Principality -in spite of its theoretical status as a Kingdom.

BTW, the Coats of Arms assigned in this flowchart to the King and the Viceroy are purely fictional; both are intended to represent the Arms of Charles Habsburg and Elizabeth Christine Brunswick respectively as King and Queen of our what-if re-born Crown of Aragon. The rest of devices are historically correct.

This flowchart has to be completed with a particular institution called "Conferència dels Comuns", or Commons Conference, which was born about 1702 as a coordinating agency among different institutions and had a key role in the first years opposition to Philip V -before formally entering war in 1705.

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