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By IV BC Celtic tribes populated the area that today we now know as Brittany. After the fall of the Roman Empire other Celtic peoples such as the Welsh and Cornish arrived here, bringing with them their language that later will result in Breton.In 840 the attacks by the Franks will led to the unification of the different existing small kingdoms, creating the Kingdom of Brittany (later to became a Duchy). This will remain independent, but involved in constant disputes and wars between with France and England, finally in 1532 it will become part of France but maintaining rights and exemptions.In 1675 and 1719 two major uprisings occurred trying to resist the french centralizing attempts, but with the arrival of the French Revolution in 1789 the Duchy would be abolished. Several rebellions in following years would be crushed by the new French authorities. Brittany would enter an economical recession in the nineteenth century that forced thousands of Bretons to emigrate. Breton language would be banned and a long decline began.Following the devastating world wars, attempts to revitalize Brittany on the cultural and political field were done but without much success, in 1956 the Region of Brittany was set up, but divided the Breton nation, leaving out its historic capital Nantes. Despite this, an strong Breton cultural identity will resurge in the ’60s and ’70s and will bring the creation of the first schools in Breton and the appearance of numerous singers in the Breton language. In addition, several environmental disasters created a strong environmental consciousness. It was also be in that context the Breton Liberation Front would emerge later to become the Breton Revolutionary Army that carried out armed actions against French interests. After the accidental death of a worker in an action against a McDonald’s in 2000 the armed organization has virtually disappeared.Today most Bretons are in favor of the reunification of Brittany and a higher level of autonomy. Last year the so-called Bonnet Rouges, a new movement inspired by the 1675 rebellion, along with other previous initiatives, have come to the streets to protest in great numbers in favor of the right to “live, work and decide in Brittany” while some surveys speak of a revival of the pro-independence consciousness.
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