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Generalitat (Catalan: [ʒənəɾəliˈtat], literally in English 'Generality') is the name of medieval courts of the ancient Principality of Catalonia and the Kingdom of Valencia as well as, today, the systems of government of the Catalonia and the Valencian Spanish autonomous communities. The term is also used for the government of the semi-autonomous comarca of Val d'Aran, the Generalitat a l'Aran.

The institution of the Generalitat dates back to the 13th century when the medieval courts of the ancient Principality of Catalonia and the Kingdom of Valencia respectively were created. The term originally referred to a delegation of members of the Corts, who oversaw the implementation of the decisions of the Corts between sessions, and is derived from the Catalan Diputació del General (de Catalunya). The Catalan and Valencian Generalitats were both abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees, signed by Philip V of Spain at the start of the eighteenth century, and only reinstated after the death of Franco in 1975, although in Catalonia it also had a few-years existence during the Second Spanish Republic. The Generalitat a l'Aran was legally created by the 2006 modification of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, although the Val d'Aran had also enjoyed considerable autonomy within Catalonia under the 1979 Statute of Autonomy.

Today, Generalitat refers to all three branches of government, not simply the executive. For example, the Catalan executive is, officially, the "Government of the Generality of Catalonia" (Govern de la Generalitat de Catalunya: cf. Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Gobierno del Reino de España), while those of the community of the Valencian Country and the Val d'Aran are known as the "Council of the Valencian Generality" (Consell de la Generalitat Valenciana) and the Síndic respectively.

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ReferencesEdit

  • Història de Catalunya. Barcelona: El Periodico, 1992.