IÑAKI LOPEZ DE LUZURIAGA.
The totem of a historic Spanish unity crumbles in the subject addressed in this article by its author: the resolution passed by the General Assembly of Gipuzkoa to create a Republic of Gipuzkoa, out of Spain. Gipuzkoa is one of the seven constituent territories of the Basque Country, showing the highest ratio of Basque speakers and enjoying significant political powers until 1876.
In 1793, war erupted between Spain and France, called the War of the Pyrenees. As a result, the French Army moved first into continental Basque Country and advanced later over the peninsular Basque Country, occupying the capital city of Gipuzkoa, Donostia.
In these circumstances, the General Assembly of Gipuzkoa, the jurisdictional parliament of the territory, reunited on 14 August 1794 in Getaria, resolved to create a Republic under French protection. The Spanish authorities, spearheaded by the plenipotentiary minister Manuel Godoy, considered it treason, sparking rage against the Basques.
The drive to suppress the Basque charters, their constitutional foundations, began to take shape, and was implemented during the 19th century. Unfortunately, the Republic of Gipuzkoa did not last long; the French would not accept the Gipuzkoan determination, deciding instead to arrest the assembly members. The Basques could taste first-hand that Spain and France, once again, would never allow them to be sovereign.