“Moral Revenge of the Crowd” in the 1854 Revolution in Madrid

The 1854 revolution in Spain has been relatively little studied. Here we try to understand and explain the phenomenon from a Cultural History perspective. In 1854 Spain suffered several Progresist-cut revolutions which took place caused by an unsustainable situation: the Conservative groups (called moderates) had held power for ten years, with politics of its last years being a nest of corruption, ornamented with anti-constitutional nuances. The situation was worsened by a famine, which stimulated a military led revolution, followed by a popular uprising. This was successful in Madrid, and promptly extended from here to various Spanish provinces. This article analyses the attacks that took place against the Conservative power groups. Studies the war in the streets, looking for popular justice in a sort of moral revenge of the multitude (paraphrasing Edward P. Thompson’s expression), by selectively targeting the symbols of power. It takes into account the collective mentalities, the constructive processes leading to the representations of power, the systems leading to the resistance against it and the mobilisation of the masses, with the specific manner of assimilation Liberalism undertook to put popular justice in place. The result was the triumph of Liberalism, which would sustain power between 1854 and 1856 (progressive biennium), popular victory that transformed the way the power looked back to that revolution.

German Propaganda in Francoist Spain: Diplomatic Information Bulletins as a Primary Tool of Nazi Propaganda

Many monographs have been written about the power and the appeal of nazi propaganda but, as new studies flourish, one idea seems to be confirmed – that of effective propaganda in Germany versus inadequate and ineffective propaganda abroad. Although this seems to be certain, specific studies need to be written in order to confirm it for each country. In order to study the Spanish case in depth, this article analyses the collection of information bulletins issued by the German embassy in Madrid, and reserved for the Spanish authorities only, in order to explore how the propaganda directives issued from Berlin were adapted to Spain. This study provides an insight into how Hitler’s Germany wanted to present the war, not only to the world, but foremost to its potential allies in the conflict. In addition, the analysis of the bulletins provides us with an instrument to understand better the possible expectations that the course of the war aroused in Franco’s own party and to what extent they influenced how the Falange foresaw the future and acted in consequence.

Negroafricanos, marginación y violencia en el mundo hispano en la Edad Moderna

En general, las personas de origen negroafricano, libres y esclavas, tenían reputación de estafadores y ladrones en la España moderna porque la ideología dominante se encargó de desarrollar esta imagen que convenía tanto al Estado como a los propietarios, ya que justificaba los castigos inflingidos, así como su esclavitud y su discriminación social. En este artículo trataremos las relaciones entre marginación y violencia en la población negroafricana en España a través de algunas huellas conservadas en la documentación histórica. Para ello, expondremos algunos casos de maleantes de origen subsahariano, varios ejemplos de esgrimidores que participaron en riñas urbanas con sus espadas, algún caso de violación y noticias de negroafricanos condenados por asesinato. Nuestra intención es poner de manfiesto, que, aunque es cierto que determinados negroafricanos participaron en episodios de violencia y criminalidad, el imaginario colectivo de la época alimentó la imagen violenta de las personas sometidas a esclavitud.

La mujer en la prensa católica de Murcia a principios del siglo XX

El siguiente artículo pretende analizar el discurso sobre la mujer a través de la prensa católica de comienzos del siglo XX en Murcia, teniendo en cuenta la nueva situación social a la que debía enfrentarse la Iglesia tras el asentamiento de las ideologías laicistas y secularizadoras que venían configurándose ya desde siglos anteriores. Para ello, se estudiará el papel que debía desempeñar la mujer dentro de la familia (como esposa y como madre); así como la construcción del estereotipo femenino en el ámbito público. En definitiva, se trata de desentrañar los intentos de la Iglesia católica por utilizar a la mujer en particular y a la familia en general, en su proyecto de recristianización de la sociedad a través de un nuevo medio de expresión: la prensa.

“Preparing for the Next War”: the Portuguese Army Staff Corps and the Military Reforms on the eve of the Colonial Wars

This text is part of an ongoing research project on the Portuguese Army Staff Corps, created in the first half of the 19th Century. The project focuses mainly on the period between its modern reorganization, in 1937, and its extinction in 1974. One of the main topics of the project is to evaluate and to understand the way officers from the Portuguese Army Staff Corps (ASF) played a relevant role in preparing the Portuguese Army for the colonial wars that started in Angola in 1961. Since the late 1950s many members of the ASF realized that the next armed conflicts Portugal would have to face would be the wars for national liberation in Africa, therefore, wars of counterinsurgency, very different from the conventional wars they were prepared to fight.

NATO and the reorganization Portuguese Army Staff Corps instruction in the 1950’s

This article examines the impact that the Portuguese accession to NATO had to the modernization of the Portuguese Armed Forces. We are particularly concerned in understanding the consequences of the Alliance on the development of the Portuguese Army Staff Corps’ (ASC) instruction. As we will show, the ASC was an idiosyncratic body within the Army, whose main function was to perform General Staff duties in high-ranking headquarters. In the beginning of the authoritarian regime of Estado Novo, reforms in the Portuguese Armed Forces led to the political submission of the military, including the ASC. According to the SHAPE’s officers that participated in the Portuguese Army modernization in the beginning of 1950’s, this political submission of the ASC was considered to be an obstacle to the proper effectiveness of the Portuguese Army. As we will see, even though some changes occurred in the instruction of the General Staff officers in order to increase its efficiency, NATO was not able to reverse the elitist nature of this particular body of the Portuguese Army.

Popular Front, war and internationalism in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War

This article analyzes during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the connexion between the communist movement in Catalonia and the strategy of Popular Front designed by the Communist International. Catalonia was the only zone of the Spanish Republic where this Popular Front was materialized in terms of political fusion. The result was the beginning of an antifascist, Marxist and nationalist party, called Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia. This party questioned the real will of the Communist International and its Spanish official section to put the project of politic fusion into practice. It also questioned the will of both to recognize and accept the national diversity of the Spanish State.

Barcelona, escenario simbólico del paso a la “neutralidad” franquista durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial

The changes in the foreign policy of the dictatorship of General Franco during the Second World War constitute a topic of considerable importance to understand the evolution of the regime in its foundational years. This article analyses this issue by using the scenarios created by the exchange of Anglo-German prisoners in Barcelona during the autumn of 1943 and the spring 1944. The article contextualizes these events by connecting them to the discourses of the Spanish government appealing to “peace” and “neutrality”, both basic concepts of the ideological re-configuration of Francoist policy.

The Democratic Revolution as a Path towards the Republic (Spain, 1873)

This article analyses the genesis of the Spanish I Republic (1873) starting from the Democratic Revolution initiated in 1868 with the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy. This initiated a process of democratisation and of citizens’ participation in Spanish public life that took form in a new constitution, inspired by some of the proposals of the United States Constitution as a model of federation, and in which we find one of the most advanced declarations of citizens’ rights in Europe at that time.