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The Nueva Planta decrees (Spanish: Decretos de Nueva Planta) were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won.

Taking his native France as a model of a centralized state, Philip V suppressed the institutions, privileges, and the ancient fueros of almost all the areas that were formerly part of the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands). The decrees ruled that all the territories in the Crown of Aragon except the Aran Valley were to be ruled by the laws of Castile ("the most praiseworthy in all the Universe" according to the 1707 decree), embedding these regions in a new, and nearly uniformly administered, centralized Spain. Other historic territories such as Navarre and the Basque Country, which supported Philip V during the war, kept using their own charters.

The acts abolishing the fueros were promulgated in 1707 in Valencia and Aragon[1], in 1715 in Majorca and the other Balearic Islands (with the exception of Minorca, a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time), and finally in Catalonia on January 16, 1716[1].

These acts constituted the first realization of Spain as a centralized state and were meant both as a modernizing element, in line with other European countries where the monarchs were increasing their powers, and also as a punishment on these territories which had fought against Philip V in the War of Succession. Top civil servants were appointed directly from Madrid, the king's court city, and most institutions in these territories were abolished. Court cases could only be presented and argued in Castilian, which became the sole language of government, displacing Latin, Catalan and other Spanish languages.

See also

References

  • This article draws on material from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia, accessed January 2006.
  1. ^ a b Stanley G. Payne. "Chapter 16, The Eighteenth-Century Bourbon Regime in Spain". A History of Spain and Portugal Vol. 2. http://libro.uca.edu/payne2/payne16.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-17.  

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