The population of Catalonia since the beginning of the last century has been upon the increase. In 1718, it amounted to 407,132 ; in 1768, to 722,506 ; and in 1788, to 814,412, which is nearly its present state. Among these ore 6608 priests, 5801 monks and nuns, 1266 nobles, 6968 students, 1020 writers and lawyers, and 20,963 domestics.
Catalonia contains an archbishopric, 7 bishoprics, S cathedral and 18 collegiate chapters, 2'2 abbeys, a grand priory, and 16 commanderies of the order of Malta, 2738 parishes, 28• religious houses, 84 hospitals, a univer sity, fifteen colleges for the education of youth, 14 cities, 283 towns, 1806 villages, 22 fortresses, and live ports. Its principal towns arc Barcelona, the capital, Tarragona, Urgel, Lerida, Gerona, Salsona, Vicq, Tortosa, Figue ras, Aulot, Igualda, Reus, Mataro, Villa Franca de Panades, Cervera, Manresa, and Palanios.
Catalonia, with the rest of Spain, was overwhelmed by the irruptions of the northern barbarians in the be ginning of the fifth century, and continued under the do minion of the Goths until 712, when it was compelled to yield to the Saracens. The Saracen power in this province, 110WeVer, was not of long continuance ; fur be fore the conclusion of the same century, they were com pletely expelled by Lewis le Debonaire, the son of Char lemagne. It was then erected into a province of France, and was governed by counts or viceroys, removeable at pleasure, until Godfrey ur Wifred the Hairy was creat ed hereditary count of Barcelona, and the sovereignty of the province bestowed upon him and his heirs for ever. As soon as it became a separate power, it rose to re spectability among the independent nations of Europe ; and besides Catalonia, the counts of Barcelona compris ed tinder their dominion, lioussillon, Cerdagnc, the country of Foix, and a great part of Languedoc. AL this time Catalonia was divided into "idgueries or jurisdic tions, each governed by a viguier, or lieutenant, who en joyed a very considerable authority ; and when its count, Raymond V., succeeded to the crown of A rragon in 1137, by his marriage with Petronilla, the heiress of that kingdom, it still continued to be governed by its own states, which shared in the legislative power with the so vereign. These states were composed of the three or ders, the clergy, the nobility, and the commons, whose power consisted in proposing to the king such laws as they thought necessary, and in sanctioning those that ori ginated with him. This privilege was continued (Well after its union with the crown of Spain ; but it was gra dually undermined by the viceroys, and at last complete ly withdrawn by Philip V., who allowed them to retain merely the empty right of sending deputies to the states general of the Spanish monarchy. Catalonia, during its
union with A rragon, was engaged in repeated, and some times lengthened rebellions. It frequently opposed the most obstinate resistance to the commands of its sove reign; and even often attempted to choose a foreign prince as its ruler, or to erect itself into a republic. But notwithstanding its exertion,: for independence, it conti nued under the dominion of Arragon, and Spain, till 1640, when the Catalans, enraged the rest of their deputies at Madrid by the command of Phi lip IV., flew to arms, and declared themselves free. Be ing unable, however, long to maintain their freedom, they gave themselves up to France ; and in 1641 proclaimed Louis XIII. count of Barcelona. But even the pou er of Louis was insufficient to support them against Spain. They were reduced in 1652, by Don John of Austria, and in 1659 their submission was confirmed by the trea ty of the Pyrenees. The most desperate and obstinate struggle, however, which the Catalans made in defence of their privileges, was in the war of the succession, when attaching themselves to the cause of the Archduke Charles, they resisted every °trey of accommodation from the French ; and when at last deserted by the king, whom they had chosen, and by every foreign power, they stood alone, and single-hand maintained the contest against the united efforts of Spain and France. By this war the province was drained of its wealth, and almost depopulated, as many of its inhabitants, preferring exile to submission, emigrated to foreign countries. Its ma nufactures and commerce were destroyed ; and when Barcelona capitulated in 1714, Philip V. received a coun try without resources. Every privilege was abolished, and heavy taxes imposed in order to defray the expellees of its reduction. But though depressed and impove•ish ed, it in a short time recovered its activity and energy ; and its trade being relieved from the impolitic and para lysing taxes of alcavala cientos and millones, under wilich many of the other provinces of the Spanish monarchy labour, it soon rose to its present state of vs e .1th and splendour. Except a kw partial insurre( tions, t Ca talans have submitted to the yoke, with sullen apathy ; and such is their character of pride and indt pcn(., ( that several of their nobility lent constantly refused to ( any titles and dignities, till the last journey 01 Charles IV. into this pros ince, to ho, by his kindness and manners, greatly conciliated its inhabitants. See Sr and BA nel.Lo N See also Laborde's View of .Spain, vol. i. p. 1-136; Su inburne's Travels in .S/rain, vol. i. p. 16 and .19 ; and Townsend's Travels, sul. iii. (p)