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Bunk, Brian D., 1968-; Pack, Sasha D.; Scott, Carl-Gustaf (ed.) / Nation and conflict in modern Spain: essays in honor of Stanley G. Payne
(2008)

Bunk, Brian D., 1968-
"A shape note of pugnacity" : conservative youth groups in Spain, 1914-1939,   pp. 15-29 ff.


Page 15

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 
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