The Basques and Their Claim to Nationhood

analytical Essay
2163 words
2163 words

The Basques and Their Claim to Nationhood

Historical Background

The Basque "nation" --for lack of a better word-- is composed of seven different "provinces" --for the lack of a better word-- four are located within the borders of Spain and three within those of France in the triangle formed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Garonne and Ebro rivers, as shown in the map below.

Euskera-Herria, is the Basque name given to these seven provinces. The Basques are the descendants of the native inhabitants of the area who are referred to as the proto-Basques and for the most part did not mix with other ethnic groups. Basque speak a language called Euskera, which has been proven to be older any other Indo-European language. It is considered by linguistic experts, as perhaps, the oldest living languages in Europe and it is unrelated to any of the families of Indo-European languages

The Basques are an ancient people whose history is deeply intertwined with the people of Spain and France. Toward the end of the tumultuous period that followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Navarre (Nafarroa in Basque), centered in Pamplona, came into being. Originally this kingdom covered all of modern Navarre, plus the three Vascongadas, or Basque countries (Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Araba), and the modern French Basque countries, and into neighboring areas in modern Spain. When the moors invaded Spain, Navarre was never conquered, thus it retained many Basque characteristics Navarre was probably not a "Kingdom of the Basques", but it was a kingdom whose dominant ethnic group were the Basques . Through the high and late middle ages Navarre gradually lost bits of its territory through various dynastic marriages and inheritances, a...

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...ue dialog. Furthermore, the plea of a people cannot be delegitmized by violent actions of a handful of hardliners, instead, they must embrace the spirit of what the Basque nation stands for and bring to the table with dignity and the consciousness that true, lasting solutions often require tolerance and compromise.




In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the basques retained special "fueros", privileges of self-governance and local assemblies for that purpose.
  • Explains that the objective elements that inspire the deep felt nationalism within the basque community are primarily ethnic by nature. geertz outlines six different criteria upon which one can define ethnicity.
  • Explains that the basque are unique in their blood serology. they are primarily type o blood with an occasional b type a is extremely rare and ab is non-existent.
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