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Fighting for the National Memory: The Commemoration of the Spanish “War of Independence” in 1908-1912
History and Memory
Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2007), pp. 68-94
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/his.2007.19.1.68
Page Count: 27
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Commemorations reveal core characteristics of nationalism and nation-building processes. This article studies Spanish nationalism by examining a series of important commemorative events held from 1908 to 1912 to celebrate the first centennial of the Spanish “War of Independence.” Three conclusions are suggested by the analysis: first, that nineteenth-century nationalist myths still held extraordinary sway at the beginning of the twentieth century; second, that most local and regional identities did not run counter to Spanish identity but rather reinforced it; and third, that the national memory constituted a battleground for different political opinions, which used the past to support their own agendas. These conclusions cast doubt on the prevailing arguments concerning the weakness of Spanish nationalism and nation building, while underlining the importance of memory politics in modern nationalist discourses in general.
© Indiana University Press, 2007