Valencians

Valencians
Valencians / Valencianos
Flag of the Land of Valencia (official).svg
Total population
4,185,000 (Spain nationals)
(for a total population of 5,111,706)
Regions with significant populations
 Spain (Valencian Community)
Languages
Valencian, Spanish
Religion
Roman Catholicism[1]
Related ethnic groups
Catalans, Aragonese, Occitans and other Latin peoples

Valencians (Valencian: valencians, Spanish: valencianos) are an indigenous Romance ethnic group whose homeland is the Valencian Community, which is recognised as an historical nation in eastern Spain.[2] The official languages of Valencia are Valencian and Spanish.[3]

The Valencian Community is politically divided in three provinces, from south to north: Alicante, Valencia and Castellón. The current version of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy declares the Valencian Community a nationality of Spain, and its capital is the city of Valencia.

Historical background

In 1237, the Moorish taifa of Valencia was taken by king James I the Conqueror of the Crown of Aragon. The population of the new kingdom was by far mostly Muslim, so the crown started a campaign of repopulation of the lands with Christians, as usual in the Reconquista. The new Christian arrivals came from Catalonia and Aragon. Aragonese presence was most dominant in the interior parts of the kingdom (as can be assumed by geographical factors); those Aragonese from the eastern comarcas of Aragon (Matarranya, Casp, Baix Cinca, Llitera and Ribargorça) would have brought with them Catalan language varieties, whereas the rest of Aragonese settlers would've brought eastern Spanish and Aragonese varieties which would mix into Churro Spanish, which in much of the interior is the traditional language, as Valencian is in the coast, where most of the new inhabitants had Catalan or, less usual, Occitan origins.

The Bajo Segura and Vinalopó comarcas were a territory disputed between the crowns of Castile and Aragon since the Reconquista, this being because they were conquered by Aragon but reserved for Castile under a treaty, hence they were repopulated by people from both crowns at different times, and the Alto Vinalopó (Villena influence area) was actually part of Murcia (Albacete province) until the nineteenth century. Following the Black Death and later the Expulsion of the Moriscos, the then Valencian-speaking Bajo Segura (to which Orihuela and Torrevieja belong) is said to have been resettled mostly by people from the Murcia region, eventually defining the language border there (see Panocho dialect). The Requena comarca was, like the Alto Vinalopó, part of Castile (Cuenca province) until the mid-nineteenth century (1851).

Moorish presence in the Kingdom of Valencia was very high, making one third of the entire population at the time of the expulsion (the highest proportion in all of Spain). The coexistence between the Christian and Muslim was mostly good, despite some chapters of religious intolerance like the massive Baptism of Muslims during the first Revolt of the Brotherhoods; however, Valencian Moors never ceased to speak Arabic. The Christian Valencian elites disapproved the King Philip plans of Expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609, because the sudden lack of the traditional workforce would lead to the kingdom's ruin.

Other Languages
català: Valencians
Deutsch: Valencianer