City between a Striped Flag and a Bisected Banner: Contested Imagination of Barcelona between Catalan Nationalism and Anarcho-Syndicalism in Twentieth Century Spain

This paper analyzes the history of bilateral relations between Catalan nationalist and anarcho-syndicalist movements in Barcelona from the Revolution of 1868 to the Spanish Civil War. Drawing from historical literature, party pamphlets, periodicals, and memoirs, the paper primarily explores the idea of conceptual frontier as the method through which both the Catalan nationalists and the anarcho-syndicalists constructed a collective civic identity wholly alternative to national Spain associated with backwardness and political oppressiveness. For the Catalan nationalists, the source of imagining Barcelona as the capital of national Catalonia distinct from Spain was the history, especially the medieval past of the thalassocratic Crown of Aragon. As for the anarcho-syndicalists, they imagined Barcelona as the heart and frontier of a whole new world not only unassociated with, but opposing all nationalisms based on the proletarian social experience and its distinct cosmography of the working-class barrios. Highlighting points of collision and common influences such as religion, cosmopolitan urban culture, international exposure, the paper concludes with the total rupture of Barcelona’s political landscape with the Francoist victory in the Spanish Civil War, reflecting upon the wider legacy of the bilateral relationship between the two movements that most importantly shaped Barcelona’s 20th century.

Liberal Protectionism in Nineteenth Century Spain: An Alternative Route to Economic Modernization

The nineteenth century dispute between the protectionist and free trade movements in Spain divided the country, often bitterly, for nearly a century. Catalan, and later Vizcaya, industrialists fiercely opposed the progressive dismantling of trade protection by a succession of free trade supporting governments. Economic and political historians have traditionally interpreted the conflict as a case of a powerful group of self-interested manufacturers defending their sectoral and regional interests against more advanced foreign products and technologies, especially from Britain. The result, they suggest, was to undermine the economic modernization of the country as it attempted to catch up with the rapidly industrializing economies of northern Europe. This paper argues that the debate is more accurately viewed as an argument between two liberal factions with competing visions about the most effective way to modernize the national economy. On the one hand, free trade supporters, encouraged by an unrelenting British campaign, looked for the strongest possible integration of the country into the new industrial economies of northern Europe, based on Spain’s natural advantages in food and mineral supply. For their part, the liberal protectionists also wanted to see Spain participate in the new dynamic world market, but as a modern industrial competitor rather than as a complementary supplier. The paper argues that both factions were committed to a fundamentally reformed and modernized economy driven by a unified and effective state. Both were strongly patriotic movements, though driven by radically different assumptions about the nature of liberalism and society.

Influence and Skulduggery: What the Vetting of Inquisition Officials in 17th-Century Spain Reveals about the Family of Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán (1618-c.1685)

The detailed records compiled by the Spanish Inquisition are an indispensable source of information not just on the controversial institution itself but also for expanding our historical knowledge of Golden Age Spain. They can also be an extremely valuable tool for the investigation of the family antecedents of literary figures of the period. This is particularly important when relatively little biographical information exists on an author, as is the case of the lesser-known Extremaduran poet, Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán (Llerena, 1618-1685), whose two younger brothers sought appointment to the junior post of familiars of the Inquisition in the 1640s. In addition to adding to our understanding of the detailed vetting required for such posts, the abundant and highly intriguing official documentation relating to their application is of immense value as it sheds light on bitter controversies involving the Ramírez family and provides irrefutable evidence of deep-running enmities and rivalries in the author’s home city, particularly within the ranks of its Inquisition Tribunal.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn Arrives in Spain: The Gulag Debate and the Transition to Democracy

This article aims to analyze the scandal sparked by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn during his stay in Spain in 1976, when he gave an interview on National TV arguing that Spaniards did not know what a dictatorship was. It will show how the scandal was connected with the convulsive Spanish political context and how the different participating actors blamed or praised Solzhenitsyn depending on the political side they occupied and the project they implicitly wanted for Spain. The controversy took place on the pages of newspapers and magazines whose analysis can help us better identify the diverse political groups that concurred after the death of the dictator. The dispute provoked by Solzhenitsyn brought to light many issues of Spanish political culture, such as the Spanish Civil War, the communist experience or the various conceptions of democracy. Analyzing all these elements, the article aims to give a broad view of Spanish political culture and how Solzhenitsyn’s example had a significant force given the historical conditions the country was going through.

Spanish Inquisitors, Etiquette Culture, and the Brain in the 17th Century

Suggestions to Granada inquisitors and royal judges locked in a 1678 dispute over public courtesies included a series of ambivalent movements to break the impasse. Whether we think of half-bows, moving only one knee if greeted while praying, and even appearing to get up from chair without actually doing so, these subtle gestures were typical of a mannered habitus informing ceremonial etiquette. Considering Spanish inquisitors during the seventeenth century, this article employs an interdisciplinary analysis of the intersection between brain, body, and culture in the formation of such a gestural habitus. After all, seeing and doing precise etiquette gestures brought neurophysiological process, such as visual perception, motor control and social cognition, into interaction with broader expectations and institutional cultures. Ultimately, even in the midst of changing gestural codes and social epistemologies, the inquisitorial performance of etiquette was built on the daily iteration of neurophysiological processes embedded in tribunal life itself.

Spain in the Depths of Russia 1941-1944

This article focuses on the history from 1941 to 1944 of one of the orphanages created for three thousand young Spaniards evacuated in 1937 and 1938 from war-torn Spain to the USSR. It examines the relationship between Spaniards at the orphanage, both children and adults, with their Soviet counterparts at that facility and in the surrounding community. It also measures the extent of a Soviet commitment to the well-being of its young guests and the revolutionary cause abroad. Finally, this article’s close observation of a Spanish institution compels, if ironically, an assessment of the loci and practice of political power at the USSR’s center and periphery. This work is based on memoirs, interviews, and abundant archival records produced by and about the orphanage.

Mario/Elisa and Marcela: Scandal and Surprise in the 1901 Spanish Press

This paper analyzes the coverage found in the local and national press of the now-famous marriage of Mario/Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Elisa Gracia Ibeas in 1901 Galicia. We show that the coverage that appeared in the weeks following the event reflected the public’s willingness to question the stability and validity of gender as a category that structured social rights and privileges. We contextualize that questioning within the post-1898 Spanish fin de siglo sense of social instability and reassessment of traditional Spanish cultural institutions. We conclude that today’s framing of the event as a story of two exceptional lesbian women elides both Mario/Elisa’s self-identified transgenderism and the 1901 public’s recognition of the profound social significance of the successful passing act that the marriage represented.

Libraries at the Intersection of ‘Las Dos Majestades’ in Colonial Mexico: The Biblioteca Palafoxiana as Emblem of Change and Continuity from Habsburg to Bourbon Rule

This essay evaluates the emergence of public libraries as the source and subject of State power during the Age of Baroque and the Age of Enlightenment in Spain’s most prized overseas colony, New Spain, or colonial Mexico. An exemplar of “las dos majestades,” or the two majesties of Crown and Church, the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, located in the city of Puebla, was founded as a public library by the Spanish bishop, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who donated his personal library of 5000 volumes in order to activate the Tridentine reforms related to seminary education and priestly formation. Palafox equated the reform of the clergy as a public good that served the interests of the Habsburg state. His eighteenth-century successor, Francisco Fabián y Fuero, arrived in Puebla with a different set of reforms and exercised his episcopal authority in the service of a Bourbon absolutism fashioned by Enlightenment principles. He added to the library by donating his own personal book collection and expropriating Jesuit books and printed matter. The Bourbon prelate also promulgated a set of rules and regulations–the Reglamento of 1773–that defined the nature and scope of public access, as well as establishing best practices in terms of library personnel, preservation, and classification. By the time he returned to Spain, Fabián y Fuero had transformed the Biblioteca Palafoxiana into an undeniable source of episcopal prerogative and cultural prestige. Both bishops, however, operated under the strain of royal authority that sought to utilize, and ultimately control, the Church in order to achieve the broader objectives of its colonial enterprise.

“For Her Special Consideration:” Cultural and Diplomatic Demonstrations of Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria’s Position as the Heiress of the Spanish Monarchy (1673-1692)

Charles II of Spain and the Spanish government as the rightful heiress of the Spanish Monarchy, despite the continuous objections and protests presented by Louis XIV of France and the Emperor Leopold I in this regard. The Spanish King could not risk the possibility of provoking an important diplomatic confrontation with the French King or the Holy Roman Emperor by making an obvious and official declaration of Maria Antonia’s position as Charles II’s universal heiress, despite the fact that he defended her position as such when he needed to do so. Then, with all the traditional methods to celebrate an heir out of the picture, how did Charles II show the world that his niece was his legitimate heiress? In this essay, we are going to see how Charles II used different kinds of symbolic, cultural and diplomatic tools to show the world, in a subtle but unmistakable way, the “special consideration” that assisted Archduchess Maria Antonia as the legitimate and universal heiress of the Spanish Monarchy.