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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 3

Misha Glenny explores flashpoints and fragmentation in the Spanish monarchy's territorial possessions - from the revolts of Catalonia to the emergence of the United Provinces.

September 11th in Barcelona is celebrated annually as the national day of Catalonia. This year more than a million people marched through the city, waving their distinctive flags - many want independence from Madrid. This is clearly a critical moment in Spanish history, but the mood of separation is not new.

In The Invention of Spain, Misha Glenny explores flashpoints and fragmentation in the Spanish monarchy's territorial possessions - from the revolts of Catalonia in both 1640 and 1714, to the emergence of the United Provinces, or the Dutch, as a nation separate and free from their Habsburg overlords.

"This was a David and Goliath struggle. The Spanish army was indisputably the strongest in Europe," says Ben Kaplan of UCL. ""For this smattering of rebels living in this marshy bogland was adventurous at best, and suicidal at worst."

With contributions from Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo, Felipe Fernandez Armesto and Sir John Elliott. Misha Glenny is a winner of a Sony gold. Producer Miles Warde previously collaborated with him on The Invention of Germany.

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30 minutes