Reform Plan Adopted in the Valleys of Andorra

Description

The political system of the traditional Andorra of the 19th century was an oligarchy, based on the privileges of a small social group, formed by traditional Andorran families, known as focs. The less-favored group, formed by the rest of the families and households, were called casalers. This oligarchic organization made it possible for a minority of families to control all the decisions made by the Consell General de les Valls (General Council of the Valleys) and to manage public resources as they pleased. The number of casalers was on the increase and their economic power grew stronger as time went by, eventually surpassing that of the original wealthy families. Nonetheless, they still had no access to public office. In the midst of an economic crisis, and in response to the steady refusal by the General Council to introduce any changes in the political structure, a group of reforming citizens proposed a number of political changes. On April 22, 1866, the episcopal co-prince, Bishop Josep Caixal i Estradé, accepted the demands of the reformers and signaled his approval by publishing a decree entitled Pla de reforma (Reform plan). This tract, printed in La Seu d'Urgell (also seen as Seo de Urgel) in 1866, reproduces Bishop Caixal's decree. It contains a preface explaining the action, four articles approving the right to vote and the electoral participation of all heads of family, and 16 articles that specify how these measures were to be put into practice. It also includes a text by the trustee of the provisional council, Guillem de Areny de Plandolit.

Last updated: March 24, 2017