Place:Aragón, Spain

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NameAragón
Alt namesAragon
Aragónsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Aragónsource: Wikipedia
TypeAutonomous community
Coordinates41.5°N 0.5°W
Located inSpain
Contained Places
General region
Monegros
Inhabited place
Aguaviva
Municipality
Altorricón
Province
Huesca
Teruel
Zaragoza
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Aragon ( or , Spanish and) is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces (from north to south): Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza (also called Saragossa in English). The current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a historic nationality of Spain.

Covering an area of , the region's terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spain's largest river in volume, which runs west-east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza. It is also home to the highest mountains of the Pyrenees.

, the population of Aragon was ,[1] with over half of it living in its capital city, Zaragoza. During the same year, the economy of Aragon generates a GDP of million, which represents 3.1% of Spain's national GDP, and is currently 6th in per capita production behind Madrid, Basque Country, Navarre, Catalonia and La Rioja.

In addition to its three provinces, Aragon is subdivided into 33 comarcas or counties. All comarcas of Aragon have a rich geopolitical and cultural history from its pre-Roman, Celtic and Roman days, and four centuries of Islamic period as Marca Superior of Al-Andalus or kingdom (or taifa) of Saraqusta, and as lands that once belonged to the Frankish Marca Hispanica, counties that later formed the Kingdom of Aragon and eventually the Crown of Aragon.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Aragon, occupying the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula has served as a bridge between the Mediterranean Sea, the peninsular center and the coasts of the Cantabrian Sea. The human presence in the lands that today form the autonomous community date back several millennia, but the current Aragon, like many of the current historical nationalities, were formed during the Middle Ages.

Prehistory

The oldest testimonies of human life in the lands that today make up Aragon go back to the time of the glaciations, in the Pleistocene, some years ago. This population left the Acheulean industry that found its best weapons in the hand axes of flint or the cleavers of quartzite. In the Upper Palaeolithic appeared two new cultures: Solutrean and Magdalenian. The Epipaleolithic was centered in Lower Aragon, occupying the epoch between the 7th and the 5th millennium.

In the first half of the 5th millennium BCE, Neolithic remains are found in the Huescan Outer Ranges and in Lower Aragon. The Eneolithic was characterized in the province of Huesca presenting two important megalithic nuclei: the Pre-Pyrenees of the Outer Ranges and the High Pyrenean valleys.

The Late Bronze Age begins in Aragon around 1100 BCE with the arrival of the Urnfield culture. They are Indo-European people, with an alleged origin in Central Europe, who incinerate their dead by placing the ashes in a funeral urn. There are examples in the Cave del Moro of Olvena, the Masada del Ratón in Fraga, Palermo and the Cabezo de Monleón in Caspe.

From the metallurgical point of view there seems to be a boom given the increase in foundry molds that are located in the populations.

The Iron Age is the most important, since throughout the centuries it is the true substratum of the Aragonese historical population. The arrival of Central Europeans during the Bronze Age by Pyrenees until reaching the Lower Aragon area, supposed an important ethnic contribution that prepared the way to the invasions of Iron Age.

Ancient history

The Mediterranean contributions represented a commercial activity that will constitute a powerful stimulus for the iron metallurgy, promoting the modernization of the tools and the indigenous armament, replacing the old bronze with the iron. There is presence of Phoenician, Greek and Etruscan products.

In the 6th century BCE there are six groups with different social organization: products Vascones, Suessetani, Sedetani, Iacetani, Ilergetes and Citerior Celtiberians. They are Iberized groups with a tendency towards stability, fixing their habitat in durable populations, with dwellings that evolve towards more enduring and stable models. There are many examples in Aragon, among which Cabezo de Monleón in Caspe, Puntal of Fraga, Roquizal del Rullo or Loma de los Brunos. The type of social organization was based on the family group, consisting of four generations. Self-sufficient societies in which the greater part of the population was dedicated to agricultural and livestock activities. In the Iberian scope the power was monarchical, exercised by a king; there was a democratic assembly with participation of the male population. There were visible social differentiations and established legal-political statutes.

The Romans arrived and progressed easily into the interior. In the territorial distribution that Rome made of Hispania, the current Aragon was included in the Hispania Citerior. In the year 197 BCE, Sempronius Tuditanus is the praetor of the Citerior and had to face a general uprising in their territories that ended with the Roman defeat and the own death of Tuditanus. In view of these facts the Senate sent the consul Marcus Porcius Cato with an army of men. The indigenous peoples of the area were rebelling, except for the Ilergetes who negotiated peace with Cato. There were different uprisings of the Iberian peoples against the Romans, in 194 BCE sees a general uprising with elimination of half of the Roman army, in 188 BCE Manlius Acidinus Fulvianus, praetor of the Citerior, must confront in Calagurris (Calahorra) with the Celtiberians, in the 184 BCE Terentius Varro did it with the Suessetani, to those who took the capital, Corbio. In the 1st century BCE Aragon was the scene of the civil war to seize the power of Rome where the governor Quintus Sertorius made Osca (Huesca) the capital of all the territories controlled by them.

Already in the 1st century BCE, the today Aragonese territory became part of the province Tarraconensis and there was the definitive romanization of it creating roads and consolidating ancient Celtiberian and Iberian cities such as Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza), Turiaso (Tarazona), Osca (Huesca) or Bilbilis (Calatayud).

In the middle of the 3rd century the decay of the Roman Empire began. Between the years 264 and 266 the Franks and the Alemanni, two Germanic peoples who passed through the Pyrenees and came to Tarazona, which they sacked. In the agony of the Empire groups of bandits emerged who were dedicated to pillage. The Ebro Valley was ravaged in the 5th century by several gangs of evildoers called Bagaudae.

Middle Ages

After the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, the current area of Aragon was occupied by the Visigoths, forming the Visigothic Kingdom.

In the year 714 the muslims conquered the central area of Aragon, converting to Islam the ancient Roman cities such as Saraqusta (Zaragoza) or Wasqa (Huesca). It was at this time that an important Muladi family was formed, the Banu Qasi (بنو قاسي), their domains were located in the Ebro Valley between the 8th and 10th centuries. After the disappearance of the Caliphate of Córdoba at the beginning of the 11th century, the Taifa of Zaragoza arose, one of the most important Taifas of Al-Andalus, leaving a great artistic, cultural and philosophical legacy.

The name of Aragon is documented for the first time during the Early Middle Ages in the year 828, when the small County of Aragon of Frankish origin, would emerge between the rivers that bear its name, the Aragón river, and its brother the Aragón Subordán river.


That County of Aragon would be linked to the Kingdom of Pamplona until 1035, and under its wing it would grow to form a dowry of García Sánchez III of Pamplona to the death of the king Sancho "the Great", in a period characterized by Muslim hegemony in almost the entire Iberian Peninsula. Under the reign of Ramiro I of Aragon would be extended borders with the annexation of the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza (year 1044), after having incorporated populations of the historical comarca of Cinco Villas.

In 1076, on the death of Sancho IV of Pamplona, Aragon incorporated part of the Navarrese kingdom into its territories while Castile did the same with the western area of the former domains of Sancho "the Great". During the reigns of Sancho Ramírez and Peter I of Aragon and Pamplona, the kingdom extended its borders to the south, established threatening fortresses on the capital of Zaragoza in El Castellar and Juslibol and took Huesca, which became the new capital.

This leads to the reign of Alfonso I of Aragon that would conquer the flat lands of the middle Ebro Valley for Aragon: Ejea de los Caballeros, Valtierra , Calatayud, Tudela and Zaragoza, the capital of the Taifa of Saraqusta. At his death the nobles would choose his brother Ramiro II of Aragon, who left his religious life to assume the royal scepter and perpetuate the dynasty, which he achieved with the dynastic union of the House of Aragon with the owner of the County of Barcelona in 1137, year in which the union of both patrimonies would give rise to the Crown of Aragon and would add the forces that to its they would make the conquests of the Kingdom of Majorca and the Kingdom of Valencia possible. The Crown of Aragon would become the hegemonic power of the Mediterranean, controlling territories as important as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia or Naples.

The monarch was known as King of Aragon and also held the titles of King of Valencia, King of Majorca (for a time), Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier, and (temporarily) Duke of Athens and Neopatria. Each of these titles gave him sovereignty over the specific region, and the titles changed as territories were lost and won.

According to Aragonese law, the monarch had to swear allegiance to the Kingdom's laws before being accepted as king. Like other Pyrenean and Basque realms, the Aragonese justice and decision making system was based on Pyrenean consuetudinary law, the King was considered primus inter pares ('first among equals') within the nobility. A nobleman with the title "Chustizia d'Aragón" acted as ombudsman and was responsible for ensuring that the King obeyed the Aragonese laws. An old saying goes, "en Aragón antes de Rey hubo Ley" ("in Aragon Law came before King"), similar to the saying in Navarre, "antes fueron Leyes que Reyes", with much the same meaning.

The subsequent legend made the Aragonese monarchy eligible and created a phrase of coronation of the king that would be perpetuated for centuries:



This situation would be repeated in the Commitment of Caspe (1412), which avoids a war that had dismembered the Crown of Aragon when a good handful of aspirants to the throne emerged after the death of Martin of Aragon a year after the death of his first-born, Martin I of Sicily. Ferdinand I of Aragon is the chosen one, of the Castilian House of Trastámara, but also directly connected with the Aragonese king Peter IV of Aragon, through his mother Eleanor of Aragon.

Aragon is already a large-scale political entity: the Crown, the Cortes, the Deputation of the Kingdom and the Foral Law constitute its nature and its character. The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon with Isabella I of Castile, celebrated in 1469 in Valladolid, derived later in the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, creating the bases of the Modern State.

Early Modern Age ca 1500-1789

The Early Modern Age was marked by increasing tension between the power of the Spanish Monarchy and those of the regions. The appointment of a Castilian as Viceroy in 1590, contrary to the agreement all Royal officials be Aragonese caused widespread unrest; when the Madrid authorities attempted to arrest the Aragonese writer and politician Antonio Perez in May 1591, it caused street violence in Zaragossa and a revolt known as the Alterations of Aragon. The unrest was largely confined to Zaragossa and quickly suppressed, with Perez going into exile. Philip then ordered a reduction in the proportion of taxes retained by the Generality of Aragon to lessen their capacity to raise an army against him.

The decay of independent institutions meant political activity focused instead on the preservation of Aragonese history, culture and art. The Archive of the Kingdom of Aragon preserved legal documents and records from the Justiciar and the Palace of Deputation or Parliament, unfortunately largely destroyed by the French in the battles of 1809. Debates on the causes of the 1590/91 revolt became a contest between opposing views of history that arguably persist in modern Spain.

The new emphasis on Aragonese history led to the creation of the position of Chronicler or Historian of Aragon; its holders included Jerónimo Zurita y Castro, the De Argensola brothers, Bartolomé and Lupercio, Juan Costa and Jerónimo Martel. Much of the work produced by Aragonese writers challenged Philip II's version of events and were censored by the central government. In retaliation, the Generality of Aragon ordered the work of Castilian historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas to be burned and commissioned Vicencio Blasco de Lanuza to write an alternative. His 'History of Aragon' was published in two volumes, 1616 and 1619 respectively; the urgency shows the importance placed on responding to Herrera. Other works commissioned at this time for the same purpose include a History of the Aragonese Deputation by Lorenzo Ibáñez de Aoiz and a detailed cartography of the Kingdom of Aragon by João Baptista Lavanha.

In 1590/91, the Spanish monarchy was at the height of its strength but during the 17th century Spanish power declined for a number of reasons. Famine, disease and almost continuous warfare, largely in the Spanish Netherlands drained money, energy and men and weakened the economy; it is estimated the population of Spain fell nearly 25% between 1600-1700.

War and economic decline inevitably led to increases in taxes, with predictable results; the refusal of the Catalan Cortes to contribute their share of the 1626 Union of Arms eventually led to a full-scale revolt in 1640. While Aragon itself remained relatively peaceful, it had to be treated with care by the Madrid government; during the reign of Charles II from 1665-1700, it provided his half-brother John of Austria with a power base in his battle for control of government with the Queen Regent Mariana of Austria.

During the 1701-1714 War of the Spanish Succession, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and Majorca supported the Austrian claimant Charles. The victory of Philip V accelerated the trend towards greater centralisation; the Nueva Planta decrees of 1707 abolished the fueros and Aragonese political structures with their powers transferred to the Deputation of the Kingdom in Madrid; Aragon and Valencia were brought into the system in 1712, Catalonia and Majorca following in 1767.

1790 - 1936

The French invasion of 1808 that made Joseph Bonaparte King led to the outbreak of the Guerra de la Independencia Española or War of Independence in May. Zaragoza was largely destroyed in February 1809 during the Second Siege of Zaragoza, bringing a halt to its economic development. The 1812 Constitution proposed a number of reforms, including the creation of provincial territories and dividing Aragon into the four provinces of Calatayud, Teruel, Soria and Guadalajara. However, these reforms were delayed by Ferdinand VII's refusal to accept the constitution and finally implemented in 1822 during the 1820-23 Trienio Liberal. When Ferdinand was restored by French Bourbon forces in 1823, he abolished the Constitution along with the provincial reforms. When he died in 1833, the provincial division of 1833 divided Aragon into its current three provinces.

Throughout the 19th century, Aragon was a stronghold of the Carlists, who offered to restore the fueros and other rights associated with the former Kingdom of Aragon. This period saw a massive exodus from the countryside into the larger cities of Aragon such as Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel or Calatayud and other nearby regions, such as Catalonia or Madrid.

The history of Aragon in the first half of the 20th century was similar to that of the rest of Spain; the building of infrastructure and reforms made by Miguel Primo de Rivera led to a brief economic boom, with new civil and individual liberties during the Second Spanish Republic. In June 1936, a draft Statute of Autonomy of Aragon was presented to the Cortes Generales but the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War prevented the development of this autonomist project.

1936 to present

During the 1936-39 civil war, Aragon was divided between the two sides. The Eastern Area which was closer to Catalonia was run by the Republican Regional Defence Council of Aragon, while the larger or Western Area was controlled by the Nationalists. Some of the most important battles were fought in Aragon, including Belchite, Teruel and Ebro. After the defeat of the Republic in April 1939, Aragon and the rest of Spain was governed by the Francoist dictatorship.


During the 1960s an exodus and a depopulation of the rural zones towards the industrial zones like the provincial capitals, other areas of Spain, besides other European countries was triggered. In 1964, one of the so-called Development Poles was created in Zaragoza.

In the 1970s a period of transition as in the rest of the Country was experienced, after the extinction of the previous regime, with the recovery of democratic normality and the creation of a new constitutional framework.

It began to demand an own political autonomy, for the Aragonese historical territory; sentiment that was reflected in the historic manifestation of April 23 of 1978 that brought together more than aragoneses through the streets of Zaragoza. Not having plebiscited, in the past, affirmatively a draft Statute of autonomy (second transitory provision of the constitution) and not making use of the difficult access to autonomy by Article 151 whose aggravated procedure required, apart from the initiative of the process autonomic follow the steps of article 143, which was ratified by three quarters of the municipalities of each of the affected provinces that represent at least the majority of the electoral census, and that this initiative was approved by referendum by the affirmative vote of the majority absolute of the electors of each province, Aragon acceded to the self-government by the slow way of article 143 obtaining lower competence top, and less self-management of resources, during more than 20 years.

The August 10 of 1982, was approved by the Cortes Generales the Aragon's autonomy statute, signed by the then president of the Government, Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, and sanctioned by His Majesty Juan Carlos I of Spain.

The May 7 of 1992 a Special Commission of the Aragonese Corts, elaborated a reformed text that was approved by the Aragonese Corts and by the Spanish Cortes. Again, a small statutory reform in the year 1996 extended the competence framework, forcing a definitive comprehensive review for several years, a new statutory text was approved in 2007, by majority but without reaching total unanimity.

In the 1990s the Aragonese society increases a significant qualitative step in the quality of life due to the economic progress of the State at all levels.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a significant increase in infrastructures was established, such as the arrival of the High Speed Train (AVE), the construction of the new dual carriageway Somport-Sagunto and the promotion of the two airports in the Autonomous Community, Zaragoza and Huesca-Pirineos. At the same time, large technological projects are being undertaken, such as the Walqa Technology Park and the implementation of a telematic network throughout the community.


In 2007 the Statute of Autonomy of Aragon was reformed again -which was approved by a broad consensus in the Aragonese Corts, having the support of the PSOE, the PP, the PAR and the IU, whereas CHA abstained- granting the Autonomous Community the recognition of historical nationality (since the Organic Law of 1996 reform of the statute, it had the condition of nationality), includes a new title on the Administration of Chustizia and another on the rights and duties of the Aragoneses and guiding principles of public policies, the possibility of creating an own tax agency in collaboration with that of the State, and also the obligation to public authorities to ensure to avoid transfers from watersheds such as transfer of the Ebro, among many other modifications of the Statute of Autonomy.

The designation of Zaragoza as the venue for the 2008 International Exhibition, whose thematic axis was Water and Sustainable development, represented a series of changes and accelerated growth for the autonomous community. In addition, two anniversaries were celebrated that same year, the bicentennial of Sieges of Zaragoza of the War of Independence against the Napoleonic invasion, occurred in 1808 and the centenary of the Hispano-French Exposition of 1908 that it supposed as a modern event, to demonstrate the cultural and economic thrust of Aragon and at the same time serve to strengthen ties and staunch wounds with the French neighbors after the events of the Napoleonic Wars of the previous century.

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