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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

It occasioned the dismissal of Olivares in 1643


Beginning of the Catalan revolt.]

The questions of lodging the soldiers and of procuring additional funds continued to provoke trouble. Olivares said in an open meeting of the _Consejo Real_ that the Catalans ought to be made to contribute in proportion to their wealth. Later he ordered an enforced levy of Catalan troops for use in Italy, and stated in the decree so providing that it was necessary to proceed without paying attention to "provincial pettiness" (_menudencias provinciales_). The impulse for the outbreak proceeded, however, from the conflicts between the soldiers and the peasantry of the country districts, especially on account of the excesses of the retreating royal troops at the time of the French invasion of the Roussillon. Curiously enough, the peasantry acted very largely from religious motives. Many of the soldiers were utter foreigners to the Catalans,--such, for example, as the Italians and the Irish, both of which elements were present in considerable numbers. To the ignorant peasants these strange-mannered people, who were Catholics in fact, seemed most certainly heretics. Attacks on the soldiery began in the mountain districts early in 1640, and soon extended to the cities as well. In June a serious riot occurred in Barcelona, during which the hated royal viceroy was killed. That act marked the triumph of the revolution and the beginning of the war.

[Sidenote: The war against the Catalans.]

style="text-align: justify;">It is possible that a policy of moderation might still have avoided the conflict, but such action was not taken. The war lasted nineteen years, and was fought bitterly until 1653. In 1640 the Catalans formed a republic, and made an alliance with France, putting themselves under the protection of the French monarchy. The republic was short-lived; in 1641 the monarchical form returned, with a recognition of the king of France as ruler. French troops aided the Catalans in many expeditions, but in this very fact lay the remedy for the grievances against Spain. The Catalans found that French officials and French soldiers committed the same abuses as those which they had objected to in the case of Castile. Coupled with a statement of Philip IV that he had never intended to interfere with the Catalan _fueros_, or charter rights (although Olivares certainly had so intended), this proved to be the turning point. Philip confirmed the charters in 1653, but the fighting went on in certain regions until 1659, when Catalonia was recognized as part of Spain in the treaty of peace with France. The war had one good result; it occasioned the dismissal of Olivares in 1643. Nevertheless, the evil had been done beyond repair, though the dispute had experienced a turn for the better, dating from Olivares' deprivation from office.

[Sidenote: Mildness of Spanish rule in Portugal.]

Meanwhile, Olivares had involved

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