December 6th, 2006

Let me see..

Today is Constitution Day

To celebrate Constitution Day, Spain's Constitution is read out loud at Madrid's City Hall, a task that takes about two hours. The Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1978, in a nationwide referendum, the final act that made Spain's government a constitutional monarchy instead of fascist dictatorship. It's been a big improvement.

The Constitution has 169 articles and gets quite detailed. I think Article 19, paragraph one, is interesting: "Spaniards have the right to freely choose their residence and to move about within the national territory." Why would that have to be specified?

Because Spain still remembers feudalism, when the peasants belonged to the land and couldn't even travel to visit the next town without the local lord's permission, much less decide to move there permanently.

They're now free to move about the country.