Historyline 25

The Teacher

Miquel Santaló Parvorell was a politician, pedagogue and geographer of great value, influence and recognition of Catalonia and Spain in the 20th century, especially during the republican period.
Our protagonist was the son of a rural teacher who continued his father’s pedagogical vocation as a student in Girona and at the Escola Normal de Barcelona until 1907. He later became involved in the renovation movement of the public school as a member of the Association of National Teachers of the Province of Girona, once he won the position of national teacher. Between 1915 and 1918 he went to Madrid to study at the School of Teaching and worked as a teacher of History and Geography at the Normal Schools of Zamora, Segovia and Girona.
In 1919 he was one of the founders of the GEIEG (Grup Excursionista i Esportiu Gironí).
In 1921 he married Adelina Cortina Benajas, a fellow student at the Escola Superior de Magisteri and director of the Escola Normal de Mestresses in Girona, with whom he had three children, Adelina, Joana and Miquel Àngel.
During the 1920s Miquel Santaló published several important works on the pedagogy and teaching of Geography.
His political training is due to his contact with the republican nuclei of the first quarter of the twentieth century in Girona, especially around the Centre d’Unió Republicana de Girona, writing in the federal republican publication L’Autonomista and being the founder of the political party Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC, 1931). The first positions he held were that of deputy in the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (1923-1925), that of Mayor of Girona (1931-1933) and that of deputy councillor of the Provisional Government of the Generalitat, representing Girona (1931).
He later held the position of Member of Parliament (1931-1939) for ERC, Minister of Communications with the Lerroux government (1933), CEO of Francesc Macià (1933-1934) and Minister of Finance (1933- 1934).
In October 1934 he supported the proclamation of the Catalan State in Girona and after the failure of the movement, he was imprisoned and tried by a military tribunal in January 1935. Once acquitted, he returned to his seat in Congress.
In 1935 Miquel Santaló was one of the founders of the Societat Catalana de Geografia, a subsidiary of the Institut d’EC.

From so far to so close.

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