This book explores Spain’s path to modernity. The period under enquiry is framed by two similar sets of circumstances: colonial debacles (the loss of the overseas empire in 1898 and the defeat in Annual in Morocco in 1921), and the murder of two prime ministers (Antonio Cánovas in 1897 and Eduardo Dato in 1921). As its title indicates, it seeks to co-relate the existing political comedy embodied by the ruling Restoration Monarchy, 1874-1923 (electoral fraud and elitist politics) with a reality marked by rising class conflict and social violence. A primary aim of this monograph is to challenge the traditional view of Spain’s path to modernity as ‘an aberration’. It would be ludicrous to deny Spain’s peculiarities (every country has them). However, abundant documentary evidence found during my research trips has borne out the thesis that the ‘troubled’ Spanish path to modernity was the regional version of the general crisis that engulfed most of Europe during these years. In this sense, this study contributes to the important wider debate about this watershed period of European history when, the persistence of oligarchic liberal regimes, in the face of increased opposition from newly mobilising sectors of the population, led to political polarization and social violence on an unprecedented scale. In fact, Spain follows the pattern characteristic of most of Europe in the interwar years: the demise of traditional constitutional orders did not come from workers revolutions (Russia was the exception) but from the more violent and effective mobilisation of an authoritarian right.
|Translated title of the contribution||Who Killed Eduardo Dato?: Political Farce, Social Tragedy|
|Place of Publication||Granada|
|Number of pages||378|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jan 2020|
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- Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies - Reader in Modern Spanish History