The Basque people were never vanquished by Visigoths, Franks, Normans or Arab Moors.
It is possible that to some extent, their small, remote, rugged region never represented a coveted target for acquisition.
They were not downtrodden folk and, in setting out into the wider world, they took with them, their sense of independence.
In later years, during the troubled times of the nineteenth century, the Basque country found itself embroiled in the violent affairs of its large neighbors and this sparked another wave of migration.
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The Spanish provinces, Alava, Vizcaya and Guipuzcoa are collectively known as the autonomous community.
The fourth and largest Spanish province, Navarra, was granted status as a separate autonomous community.
Two significant aspects of this independence were the establishment and preservation of Basque common laws “fueros” and the preservation of the Basque language.
Under Spanish occupation from 1512, when part of the region was ceded to France; the Spanish and French learned to respect Basque requirements for autonomy.
Basques were considered noblemen in Spanish society and were accorded prominent positions in the church and state. They were accomplished sailors and navigators and were the first people known to circumnavigate the world by sea and ocean.
The Basque region reveals evidence of family burial chambers, the introduction of agriculture to support animal husbandry and the building of stone gathering circles.
Basque forefathers created the Pyrenean cave paintings of the Stone Age period.
Barely a hundred miles across, this tiny region spans the forests and the granite crests of the Pyrenees mountain zone between France and Spain and is fringed to the north by the rugged coastline of the Bay of Biscay.