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The former was initially predominant, particularly in the first decades of the 20th century.

By 1913 Catalonia had won a slight degree of autonomy, but the legislation conferring it was repealed in 1925 by Esquerra Republicana.

The Esquerra won a sweeping victory in the municipal elections of 1931, and two days later its leader proclaimed a Catalan Republic.

A compromise was worked out with the central government, and in September 1932 the statute of autonomy for Catalonia became law.

Catalonia’s traditional agriculture was centred on the production of wine, almonds, and olive oil for export, as well as rice, potatoes, and corn (maize) as staples.

Slightly more than one-third of Catalonia remains under cultivation, and the traditional crops of olives and grapes are being supplanted by fruits and vegetables for consumption in the cities.

Though it retained its autonomy and Generalitat (assembly), by the 17th century its conflict of interest with Castile, along with the decline of the Spanish monarchy’s prestige, led to the first of a series of Catalan separatist movements.

In 1640 Catalonia revolted against Spain and placed itself under the protection of Louis XIII of France, but the revolt was quelled in the 1650s.

The autonomous community of Catalonia was established by the statute of autonomy of December 18, 1979. North of the Catalanides is a high tableland that comprises most of Lleida province.The government consists of a Generalitat (an executive council headed by a president) and a unicameral parliament. The principal rivers in Catalonia are the Ter, Llobregat, and Ebro, all of which flow into the Mediterranean.A Mediterranean climate prevails throughout most of Catalonia, with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively rainy winters.The raising of pigs and cows is the dominant agricultural activity.Agriculture accounts for only a tiny fraction of Catalonia’s domestic product, however.

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