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Spanish nationalism

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Title: Spanish nationalism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Basque Conflict, Ethnic nationalism, Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, Carlism, La Razón (Madrid)
Collection: Nationalism by Country or Region, Nationalisms of Spain, Spanish Nationalism
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Spanish nationalism

The badge of the Spanish co-monarchy of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It officially represents the unification of Spain.[1]
Civil flag of Spain, the Spanish bi-colour has been a symbol of Spain during its monarchial periods from 1785 to 1873, 1874–1931, and 1975–present, and was used by the First Spanish Republic and Francoist Spain. It has been a common symbol of Spanish nationalism.
Civil flag of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939, in exile 1939–1977). This flag has been used by Spanish republican nationalists since 1931.[2] Note that this republican nationalism should not be confused with the Nationalist faction of the Spanish Civil War that opposed the Second Spanish Republic.

Spanish nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Spaniards are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of the Spanish. In a general sense, it comprises political and social movements and sentiment inspired by a love for Spanish culture, language, and history, and a sense of pride in Spain and the Spanish people. Spanish nationalists often reject other nationalist movements within Spain, most importantly Catalan and Basque.

It has typically been closely tied to the conceptions of a Castilian-based culture.[3] The Castilian language became the Spanish language. Other expressions of Spanish nationalism have included pan-Iberianism and pan-Hispanism.[3] The origins of Spanish nationalism have been claimed to have begun with the Reconquista—beginning with the victory of Catholic armies against Muslim Moor occupiers in Granada in 1492. This resulted in a surge patriotic sentiment amongst Catholic Spaniards.[3] The development of Spanish nationalism has been tied to the state-building process of the Castillian-ruled Spanish monarchy.[3]


  • History 1
  • Modern 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Just as in all other Western European nation-states (Portugal, France and England), the shaping of an authoritarian monarchy as of the late Middle Ages gave rise to the parallel secular development of the state and nation in Spain under the Spanish Monarchy's successive territorial conformations.[4] As occurred in each one of these cases, the national identity and the territorial structure proper gave rise to many different outcomes in the end, but always – and also in the case of Spain – as a result of the way in which the institutions responded to the economic and social dynamic (at times despite these very institutions) and not fully flourishing in their contemporary aspect until the Old Regime had succumbed. The clearest-cut identification factor existed throughout this ethnic-religious period in the form of "Old Christian" status. At the end of this period (18th century), the linguistic identification factor was gradually accentuated revolving around the Castilian with new institutions such as the Spanish Royal Academy.

Historically, Spanish nationalism emerged with liberalism, and in the Spanish War of Independence against Napoleon I of France.[5]

Since 1808 we can talk about nationalism in Spain: ethnic patriotism became fully national, at least among the elite. This was unmistekabily the work of liberals. The modernizing elites used the occasion to try to impose a programme of social and political changes, and the method was to launch the revolutionary idea of the nation as the holder of sovereignty. The national myth was mobilising against a foreign army and against collaborationist with José Bonaparte, regarded as non-Spanish (afrancesados). The Spanish liberals resorted to the identification between patriotism and the defense of liberty: as the Asturian deputy Agustín Argüelles while presented the Constitution of 1812, "Spaniards, you now have a homeland."[6]

Since then, it has often changed its contents and its ideological and political proposals: successively doceañista, esparterista, even briefly iberista (advocating union with Portugal in the dynastic crisis of 1868). The Carlism, who was a defensive movement of Old Regime, did not regard the adjective "national" with any esteem (national sovereignty, National Guard national properties... were the vocabulary of liberals, particularly since more progresistas). However, the Spanish nationalism that demonstrated to be decisive in the twentieth century came from the frustration due to the disaster of 1898, that has been called regenerationism, claimed from movements very opposite one another: the ruling bourbon-dynastics (Francisco Silvela, Eduardo Dato, Antonio Maura), the republican opposition (that only had a contradictory and brief stay in power) and even the army (1917 crisis and dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera and Francisco Franco).

Specifically, under the name of panhispanism (more properly referred to a movement focused on the unity of hispanoamerican nations) understood as Spanish imperialism, it is used to refer specifically the movement emerged after the crisis of 1898, within the broader context that included the regeneracionism and the generation of 98 (whose authors, coming from the Spanish periphery, agreed to consider Castile the expression of "the Spanish"), expressed in its more clear way by the second phase of Ramiro de Maeztu. Its ideologues and politicians were Ramiro Ledesma and Onésimo Redondo (founders of the JONS) and José Antonio Primo de Rivera (founder of Falange); using an expression that has its origins in José Ortega y Gasset, defines Spain as a unity of destiny in the universal, defending a return to traditional and spiritual values of Imperial Spain. The idea of empire makes it universalist rather than localist, what makes it singular among certain nationalisms, but closer to others (especially the Italian fascism). It also incorporates a component resolutely traditionalist (with notable exceptions such as the vanguardism of Ernesto Giménez Caballero), rooted in a millennial history: that of traditional monarchy or Catholic Monarchy (although often is indifferent on the specific form of state) and, most importantly, it is not lay or secular, but expressly Roman Catholic, which will define (in the first franquism) the term National Catholicism.


The political transition which, together with social and economic changes in a profound sense of modernisation, was brewing since last franquism until the building of the current institutions (Spanish Constitution of 1978 and Statutes of Autonomy), produced a very sharp reversal of the social use of Spanish symbols of national identification,[7] while peripheral nationalisms acquired a significant presence and territorial power, which becomes electorally majoritary in Catalonia (Convergence and Union, Republican Left of Catalonia) and Basque Country (Basque Nationalist Party, EA and so-called abertzale left) and substantially lower in Navarre (Nabai) and Galicia (Galician National Bloc). Canary Islands (Coalición Canaria), Andalusia (Partido Andalucista) or other autonomous communities have less obvious nationalisms (often described as regionalisms), based on linguistic or historical differential facts no less marked than the previous ones.

From the field of these other nationalisms, "Spanish nationalism" is often spoken of[8] or españolismo[9] as an equivalent to centralism. Usually with a controversial political purpose, it may be identified with conservative nostalgia for Franco's regime [10] or with alleged state oppression in those territories, which in extreme cases (particularly ETA in the Basque Country and Navarre) is used as justification for terrorism that sees itself as armed struggle for national liberation.[11] By contrast, none of the major political parties affected by such designation of españolistas or "Spanish nationalists", self-identifies as such and often, instead, use the phrase non-nationalist to separate themselves from the nationalist, which is how they usually designate the so-called "periphery".[12]

From the majority point of view, in social, territorial and electoral terms,[13] the identification with Spain, its symbols and institutions has become more characteristic of constitutional patriotism or civic nationalism,[14] which seeks to respect the different visions of Spain fits in a pluralistic framework, inclusive and non-exclusive, concepts in which often coincide the majority political parties (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and People's Party) or minority (United Left, Union, Progress and Democracy, other regional parties or nationalist parties sometimes called moderate), despite maintaining deep political differences sometimes expressed in a very strong way.[15] Spanish nationalistits claim Gibraltar as a part of Spain.

See also


  1. ^ Wendy Parkins. Fashioning the Body Politic: Dress, Gender, Citizenship. Oxford, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Berg, 2002. Pp. 178
  2. ^ Helen Graham. The Spanish Republic at War, 1936–1939. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. 31.
  3. ^ a b c d Motyl 2001, pp. 506.
  4. ^ The centralist pretension of monarchy was part of their seeking to gain authority among local and estamental privileges and every type of particularisms. Continuously, it was tensioned, since the late Middle Ages, and the Modern Era, noticeably from the different formulations of the idea of Empire from Charles V (War of the Communities of Castile, religious wars in Germany) and from hispanization of monarchy with Philip II of Spain (capitality of Madrid, Rebellion of the Alpujarras, Revolt in Flanders, Portuguese succession crisis (1580), Alterations of Aragon). The desire or decision to increase the capacity of king to intervene in each kingdom, was significantly lower among the Habsburgs that among the Bourbons, but always had a greater or lesser degree, and became explicit in documents among which the Great Memorial by Count-Duke of Olivares to Philip IV of Spain in 1624:
    Tenga Vuestra Majestad por el negocio más importante de su monarquía el hacerse rey de España; quiero decir, Señor, que no se contente Vuestra Majestad con ser rey de Portugal, de Aragón, de Valencia, Conde de Barcelona, sino que trabaje y piense con consejo mudado y secreto por reducir estos reinos de que se compone España al estilo y las leyes de Castilla sin ninguna diferencia, que si Vuestra Majestad lo alcanza, será el Príncipe más poderoso del mundo.

    Be V.M. the most important business of their monarchy, the King of Spain made, I mean, Lord, that VM is not content with being king of Portugal, Aragon, Valencia, Count of Barcelona, but work and think with mature advice secret, to reduce these kingdoms of which Spain is composed in the style and laws of Castile, with no difference in everything that looks to break boundaries, dry ports, the power to hold courts of Castile, Aragon and Portugal in the party desires, VM able to enter here and there promiscuously ministers of nations and temperament necessary that the hand of authority and the municipal councilors, judges, councils and boards of the same provinces, as were injurious to the government and the authority indecent real, which means there might be provided for all, that if VM it reaches will be the world's most powerful prince.

    The concept of natio (nation) used since the Renaissance, will subordinate to a semantic field chaired by the concept of Monarchy (José María Jover Zamora, as a comment to the memorial of Olivares and others' contemporary texts, such as Juan de Palafox y Mendoza Historia y civilización: escritos seleccionados Volumen 13, pg. 78 Universitat de València, 1997 ISBN 978-84-370-2692-3). The claim control of the monarchy (both authoritarian and absolute) of the subjects had very different causes and objectives for the later nationalism.
    The character irreducibly feudal of absolutism remained ... Army, bureaucracy, diplomacy and dynasty formed an uncompromising feudal complex that ruled entire state machine and guided their destinies. The domination of the absolutist state was the domination of the feudal nobility in the era of the transition to capitalism. His final signaled the crisis of power of that class: the arrival of the bourgeois revolutions and the emergence of the capitalist state.
    — Perry Anderson Lineages of absolutist state, pg. 37 (translated from spanish translation -El Estado Absolutista-)
  5. ^ The label nationalist has not succeeded in Spain as an auto-denomination, but the existence of a similar phenomenon to the contemporary European nationalisms has been broadly studied. The fact is related in these article: Joan B. Culla i Clarà Nacionalistas sin espejo, El País, 16 de marzo de 2007.
  6. ^ José Álvarez Junco (2001) Mater dolorosa. La idea de España en el siglo XIX Madrid: Taurus. Cited in José Uría, Página Abierta, 157, marzo de 2005 [1].
  7. ^ Antonia Maria Jimenez Ruiz "¿Y tú de quién eres? Identidad europea y lealtad a la nación" [2]
  8. ^ "El Parlament rechaza el «nacionalismo español»", El Mundo, June 1, 2001
  9. ^ Francesc de Carreras, criterio/archivos/000620.html "Catalanismo y españolismo", La Vanguardia, July 14, 2005
  10. ^ Edurne Uriarte reply to Gregorio Peces Barba Los nacionalistas españoles, ABC, January 28, 2005.
  11. ^ It is a constant of their documents, to name one, "zutabe"—communication—on September 26, 2007, in 20minutos: ETA announced that it will continue with the armed struggle until achieving "freedom"
  12. ^ Joan Romero:"La tensión entre nacionalismos en España", El Pais, 16 January 2008
  13. ^ surveys commissioned by the Ministry of Defence on "Pride of being Spanish" and "Emotion at symbols". Survey CIS on the Spanish identity versus European identity.
  14. ^ The prospect of People's Party is reflected in this article Cesar Alcala: The "constitutional patriotism" (66) cesa.htm. An article from Fernando Savater "Vivere libero" (El Pais, December 6, 2001) available at: C3% ADas / Topics 20de%%% C3% 20Autonom ADas / Patriotism 20constitucional.htm%.
  15. ^ José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in the last phase of his first legislature, intensified the references to Spain: "Today to speak about the Spanish flag and our fatherland is talking about freedom, rights and citizenship, which is the best way to express themselves with patriotism." Quoted by Luis Ayllón: Zapatero se arropa con la bandera en sus mítines de Uruguay y Argentina en ABC, November 12, 2007. Even has been included in advertising the words "Government of Spain", which previously was not used to refer to the central government or the State.
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