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Even though many other measures of difference can be questioned, Basque separatism, where it is endorsed, is fueled by the experience of political repression in the twentieth century in particular.There has never been an independent Basque state apart from Spain or France.Perhaps because of this power, Cataluña has suffered longer from periodic repression at the hands of the central Castilian state than has any other of modern Spain's regions; this underlies a separatist movement of note in contemporary Cataluña.The state now known as Spanish has long been dominated by Castile, the region that covers much of the Spanish meseta and the marriage of whose future queen, Isabel, to Fernando of Aragón in 1469 brought about the consolidation of powers that underlay the development of modern Spain.The comarca is a community of concrete relationships; larger regional identities are more easily characterized as imagined but emerge from a tradition of local difference and acquire some of their strength from that tradition.A recognition of difference among Spaniards is woven into the very fabric of Spanish identity; most Spaniards begin any discussion of their country with a recitation of Spain's diversity, and this is generally a matter of pride.Spain's perimeter is mountainous, the mountains generally rising from relatively narrow coastal plains.The country's interior, while transected by various mountain ranges, is high plateau, or meseta, generally divided into the northern and southern mesetas.
The Catalan language, like Spanish, is a Romance language, lacking the mysterious distinction that Basque has.
The motive of this move was Madrid's centrality: it lies at Spain's geographic center and thus embodies the central power of the Crown and gives the court geographic centrality in relation to its realm as a whole.
At the plaza known as Puerta del Sol in the heart of Madrid stand not only Madrid's legendary symbol—a sculpted bear under a strawberry tree ( madroño )—but also a signpost pointing in all directions to various of Spain's provincial capitals, a further statement of Madrid's centrality.
Others are Andalucía and the Canary Islands; Aragón; Asturias; Castile; Extremadura; León; Murcia; and Navarra, whose regional identities are strong but whose language, if in some places dialectic, is mutually intelligible with the official Castilian Spanish.
The national territory is divided into fifty provinces, which date from 1833 and are grouped into seventeen autonomous regions, or comunidades autónomas. Spain occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian peninsula, with Portugal on its western border.