The cradle of Catalan separatism

White-collars in Barcelona during WWI


  • Joan Esculies


This paper attempts to explain why, in Barcelona during World War I, Catalan white-collars a part of them radicalised their Catalan nationalism positions and can be considered the cradle of Catalan separatism. In order to accomplish it, the article provides an overview of the origins and social background of Catalan white-collars and their relationship with bourgeois and blue-collar workers. The analysis presents the major pillars of the separatist white-collars and it depicts the profile of the enemies ofthis ideology: Spanish ultra-nationalism. Although references to previous periods are made, the article focuses on the WWI period (1914-1919) when the process took place.

Author Biography

Joan Esculies

Historian dr. Joan Esculies is a Member of the Research Group in States, Nations and Sovereignties (GRENS) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain). He has published several papers and books on Catalan nationalism. His main areas of interest are History of Spain/Catalonia, European Transnational/Comparative History of the European Nationalisms 19th-20th centuries, Youth & Nationalism, World War One & Nationalist Movements Paradiplomacy, Catalan Radical Nationalism (Separatism). More info:



How to Cite

Esculies, J. (2014). The cradle of Catalan separatism: White-collars in Barcelona during WWI. Studies on National Movements (SNM), 2. Retrieved from