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Memoria e Ricerca

Castile and León, from liberal myth to scene of the Spanish counter revolution, 1808-1936

di Rafael Serrano Garcia
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 33 (2010), p. 135

This article examines the evolution of a Spanish region, Castilla y León, from 1808 to 1936, and tries to throw light on an apparent contradiction. That is, while Castilla was considered the birthplace of the modern civil liberties from the Liberal perspective, a majority of its inhabitants offered a crucial support to the rebellion against the Second Republic in July 1936. The article focuses on several issues. The first being the scarce vitality of the region, both human and economic, its weak urban scene, the slight penetration of Liberalism in its society -mainly amongst its peasantry, and how, on the other hand, there was a strong development of peasant unions, which had flourished during the first third of the 20th century, and that favoured the incorporation of those peasants into the public sphere. These unions, strongly influenced by the Church and the Catholic upper classes, would prepare the grounds for the electorate to become right-winged in the 1930s and justify in advance the military coup. Key words: Liberalism, Comuneros, Wheat Economy, Catholic Syndicates, Spain’s Second Republic, Political Violence