Building Barcelona: A Second Renaixença

The fate of modern Barcelona has been and continues to be defined by a particular grasp on external events, a sense of Catalan nationalism, and by the ebbs and flows of an industrious and pragmatic-minded populace. As a provincial capital, the city has been engaged, sometimes disastrously, in the debate between the two Spains: progressive vs. backward, modern vs. traditional, secular vs. catholic, and liberal vs. authoritarian. It has also sought, on several occasions, to escape the geography of this debate by reaching beyond Spain and appearing to be more international.

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