The Basque Region

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The Basque region is in the northern part of Spain and Southern France. The Basque language is completely different from any other language. Neither the language nor physical characteristics of the people are comparable to any other culture, and not similar to French or Spanish. The Basque people are mostly in Northern Spain and therefore are perceived for the most part, as a part of Spain. In 1492 when the Catholic monarchies led the conquest of Spain, they found that the Basque had a completely separate culture from the Spanish. Because of this they allowed them political autonomy and rights to protect their culture. In 1876 the Spanish government abolished these. This was the start of the Basque Nationalist Party, whose goal was to preserve the rights of the Basque people. Because the Spanish took their rights away, it created negativity between them starting in the 1800’s. Then in 1939 Francisco Franco came to power in Spain. Under Franco, the Basque people suffered great losses of their rights. They were banned from the use of their language and other cultural practices. While Franco was in power the new Basque nationalist group was formed. University students founded the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) in 1959. ETA stands for Basque fatherland and liberty. These students did not believe that the Basque Nationalist party was doing enough. They saw their people suffering under Franco and wanted more to be done. They started by using small amounts of violence to get the
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