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History[edit | edit source]
Andorra is a principality of only 181 square miles,and is located in the heart of the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Andorra was part of the Roman empire and when Rome fell it became a gateway for the barbaric tribes of Alans, Visgoths and Vandals into the Iberian peninsula.
By the time the Moors conquered Spain, Andorra was Christian. Andorrans welcomed Charlemagne’s incursions against the Moors in the 8th century. The most important document in Andorran history is the Carta de Fundacio d’Andorra, written by Charlemagne to grant Andorra’s independence. The country is divided ecclesiastically and civilly into parishes. Andorra had seven histroic parishes: Andorra la Vella, Aós, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana,Ordino, and Sant Julià de Lòria. Aós was dissolved in 1936. In 1978, the new parish of Escaldes-Engordany was established.
After the death of Charlemagne, Andorra came under the influence of the Count of Urgel, one of the most powerful families of the Spanish nobility. In 1133 the Count of Urgel ceded Andorra to the Bishop of Urgel. In 1159 Andorra became the object of a prolonged struggle between the Count of Foix (from France) and the Bishop of Urgel. The bloody dispute lasted for decades and was settled in 1278 when France and Spain agreed that the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Urgel would be joint rulers.
In 1419 Andorra was granted permission to establish a parliament, known as the Council of the Land. The Council of the Land consists of twenty-eight members elected for four years, half of whom represent the seven parishes and the other half elected on the basis of a national constituency. In 1981 an executive branch of government was created with a Head of Government elected by the Council of the Land, and four to six ministers responsible over such areas as defense, education, finance, foreign affairs, and tourism.
The 1968 population was 18,000. It doubled by 1982 and doubled again by 1999 when there were 65,877 inhabitants. The people are ethnically Catalan and, by religion, Roman Catholic. The capital of Andorra la Vella has 21,630 inhabitants and is the largest town.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1278 - The present principality was formed by a charter and it is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two Co-Princes the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain and the President of the Republic of France.
1364 - The political organization of the country named the figure of the syndic now spokesman and president of the parliament, as a representative of the Andorrans to their co-princes
1419 - General Council of the Valleys was founded and is the second oldest parliament in Europe
1601 - The Tribunal de Corts (High Court of Justice) was created as a result of Huguenot rebellions from France
1809 - Napoleon I reestablished the Co-Principate and deleted the French medieval tithe.
1812–13, the First French Empire annexed Catalonia during the Peninsular War and in 1814 a royal decree reestablished the independence and economy of Andorra
1882-1885 - Troubles of Andorra when the struggles continued between pro-bishops, pro-French and nationalists
1933 - France occupied Andorra following social unrest which occurred before elections and Andorrans took the Andorran Parlimant under their custody in rebellion to their requests 1936 - 1940 A French military detachment was garrisoned in Andorra to secure the principality against disruption from the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Spain
1982 - The first separation of powers took place when instituting the Govern d'Andorra, under the name of Executive Board, chaired by the first prime minister with the approval of the Co-Princes
1989 - The Principality signed an agreement with the European Economic Community to regularize trade relations