“Had it not been for Juan Clarós today we would probably be French”. Pedro Clarós, full academician, vice-president of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) and descendant of one of the most outstanding heroes of the Spanish War of Independence, introduced with this reflection the debate “Juan Clarós cambió la historia de Cataluña en la Guerra de la Independencia (1808-1814)” (Juan Clarós changed the history of Catalonia in the Spanish War of Independence (1808-1814)), held on February 14 in the series “Characters of history” organized by the RAED.

In the session participated the historian Óscar Uceda, author of diverse studies on the Spanish War of the Independence; Letícia Darna, Doctor in History and corresponding academician of the Spanish Royal Mathematical Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy, and Domingo Neuenschwander, Baron de Padro Hermoso. During the event the report “Clarós, una piedra en el zapato de Napoléon”. (Clarós, a stone in the shoe of Napoleon) was presented.

Uceda highlighted the popular character of this conflict, which, together with the leadership of figures such as Clarós, was the key to victory before a professional army like the French. “Unlike what happened in the rest of Europe, this was a popular uprising from below and this rebellion became the great defeat of Napoleon”.

Darna emphasized in this argument: “As the Spanish army was not very organized, in the towns and in the cities all the people, even the peasants, went out to fight against the French soldiers. They raised a guerrilla war that sometimes is much more effective than a conventional warfare”.

For Neuenschwander, “Clarós was the popular hero of this war, without his leadership victory would have been impossible”. “Preventing the French from dominating Catalonia, made sure they did not dominate Spain”, concluded Pedro Clarós.