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.
Conservative Youth Groups in Spain, 1914-1939 The origins of modern Spanish conservative youth groups can be located with the foundation of the Juventud Maurista (JM) in 1914. The youth played an important role in the formation of the political movement named for prominent statesmar? Antonio Maura. Since early in the twentieth century Maura had been one of the most influential politicians of the Restoration system, leading the Conservative Party and also twice serving as president of the government. By 1913, however, Maura's position within the government and his leadership of the Conservative Party had begun to slip and he was ultimately displaced by Eduardo Dato, who also became head of the government in October of that year.4 A group of the deposed leader's followers, at first without the explicit support of Maura himself, soon launched a distinct political movement dedicated to "interpreting [Maura's] thought, his doctrine and his example."5 The new movement, christened maurismo, began with a series of meetings held in Bilbao during November 1913. Jose Gutierrez-Rave claimed that these events attracted thousands of people and that the majority were youths. Indeed, the move- ment proved initially quite successful at winning over segments of the Conservative Party's youth organization, including the whole of the Bilbao group, and the defectors quickly established themselves as Juventud Maurista. By the time the mauristas met in Madrid to form a central committee, the youth section of the party had claimed its own place on the organization's leadership council. From almost its origins JM proved enormously success- ful at mobilizing young people and enrolling them in the movement, thanks in large part to the efforts of its leader Antonio Goicoechea.6 Although not the most charismatic leader, Goicoechea proved an effective organizer and quickly grew the Madrid group into the larg- est and most influential JM section. He also presided over the formation of a Federacijin Nacional de Juventudes Mauristas in April 1915. Goicoechea later headed the Alfonsine monarchist group during the Republic; a group that consistently attacked the parliamentary system and incessantly agitated for its downfall.8 Jose Calvo Sotelo was also an important member of JM and, like Goicoechea, played a key role in the development of Alfonsine monarchism during the 1930s.9 Owing to the circumstances of its initial formation and subsequent organization, mau- rismo remained rather vague in its ideological formulation, constituting "more a mood, a style or an attitude rrather] than an explicit alternative philosophy.' " It was even unclear if maurismo constituted a separate party or simply a dissident segment within the tradition- al Conservative Party. As a result, the national movement remained undeveloped, leaving room for a great deal of regional autonomy. Among the groups who best took advantage of this ideological diffuseness and the lack of strong centralized control was JM, which quickly became the most active element of the entire movement." If the overall message of the movement remained undeveloped, the youth quickly articulated a singular sense of mission to defend religion, the crown, and above all, the ideals and legacy of Antonio Maura. JM employed modern propaganda techniques to promote its agenda and at times the message sent was couched, not simply as an attack on the political parties, but rather as an assault on 17
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