Bunk, Brian D., 1968-; Pack, Sasha D.; Scott, Carl-Gustaf (ed.) / Nation and conflict in modern Spain: essays in honor of Stanley G. Payne
Bunk, Brian D., 1968-
"A shape note of pugnacity" : conservative youth groups in Spain, 1914-1939, pp. 15-29 ff.
CHAPTER 2 "A Shape Note of Pugnacity": Conservative Youth Groups in Spain, 1914-1939 BRIAN D. BUNK Im-.- ne of the most original developments in modern European political history was the mass mobilization of young people in the first decades of the twentieth gffi qp. century. The channeling of young people into political organizations followed decades of social and cultural change that brought attention to youth as an important phase of life. The increased focus highlighted the potential inherent in mobiliz- ing youthful cadres of political believers but also brought with it fears over the malicious effects such action could have on the development of young people. Eventually, nearly all political parties created some type of youth organizations, but perhaps the most success- ful groups at mobilizing young people were those on the revolutionary fringes, including both Marxists and Fascists. The Bolshevik movement in Russia and the formation of Italian Fascism and German National Socialism clearly demonstrated the remarkable power that could be achieved, in part, through the large-scale mobilization of young people.' The cultural and social changes occurring throughout Europe also touched Spain, and coincided with a demographic shift that substantially increased the total population of young people. In addition, the disastrous war with the United States in 1898 and the sub- sequent loss of imperial territories sparked a diverse national debate over how to modernize Spain and restore it to a position of strength and influence. For many, youth constituted an important source of national renewal. Cultural figures, church leaders and politicians rec- ognized that educating and mobilizing young people would help shape the nation's future. As a result, youth came to play an increasingly important role in the cultural and political development of the nation. The process began shortly before the First World War but accel- erated throughout the 1920s and culminated with the massive mobilization of young people during the Second Republic (1931-36). Throughout this period of enormous social and cultural transformation Spain also 15
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