After Franco's death in 1975 and the adoption of a democratic constitution in Spain in 1978, Catalonia recovered and extended the powers that it had gained in the Statute of Autonomy of 1932 but lost with the fall of the Second Spanish Republic at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.
The region has gradually achieved more autonomy since the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The Generalitat holds exclusive jurisdiction in culture, environment, communications, transportation, commerce, public safety and local government, and shares jurisdiction with the Spanish government in education, health and justice. In all, the current system grants Catalonia with "more self-government than almost any other corner in Europe"
A relatively large sector of the population supports the ideas and policies of Catalan nationalism, a political movement which defends the notion that Catalonia is a separate nation and advocates for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia.
The support for Catalan nationalism ranges from the desire for independence from the rest of Spain, expressed by Catalan independentists, to a demand for further autonomy and the federalisation of Spain
In the Middle Ages, these counties in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula became the basis for Catalonia under the rule of the counts of Barcelona. The counts of Barcelona were Frankish vassals nominated by the emperor of the Franks, to whom they were feudatories (801–987).