University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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.

Page 26

nized the need to educate the flood of new members attracted to the Nationalist
cause, in- 
cluding young people. In addition, Franco viewed the regime of Primo de Rivera
as a model, 
but one whose mistakes needed to be avoided.76 The political unification
of the Nationalist 
forces that occurred in 1937 also included the formation of a new youth organization.
Much like the decision to fuse all of the conservative political organizations
into the Falange 
Espafiola Tradicionalista de la JONS (FET), the formation of a single youth
was designed to minimize conflict within the Nationalist forces and create
an organizational 
foundation for the new regime. It also seems that the disorientation and
chaos that followed 
the start of the war had allowed for a great deal of local autonomy and the
military admin- 
istration wished to eliminate that freedom. Sancho Daivila characterized
the situation during 
the first few months of the war as an "abundance of improvisations"
when many "impi- 
ous" individuals flocked to join the Nationalists.77 Clearly the regime
viewed young people 
with both optimism and apprehension. The lessons of previous youth groups
had clearly 
demonstrated the political and social power of young people. After all, the
agitations of the 
young Maurists had sped the downfall of the Restoration system while the
actions of stu- 
dent protestors contributed to the resignation of Primo de Rivera. However,
the leaders of 
the military rising also understood that when given too much autonomy, the
youth groups 
could become unpredictable and uncontrollable. Therefore, the new youth group
needed to 
be highly organized and completely under the discipline of its adult leaders.
The new group, 
called Organizacion Juvenil, was officially launched on May 28, 1938. It
was designed "to 
shape [youth] ideologically, physically and technically" and to provide
future members of 
the FET.78 The movement's two primary goals were the development of Catholic
values and 
paramilitary training. Through each they emphasized values such as discipline,
tion, and cooperation. As a result, the political power of young people diminished-at
until student protests of 1956 initiated a new generation of youth mobilization.
1. See, Anne E. Gorsuch, Youth in Revolutionary Russia: Enthusiasts, Bohemians,
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000); Tracy H. Koon, Believe, Obey,
Fight: Political 
Socialization of Youth in Fascist Italy, 1922-1943 (Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press, 
1985), and Michael Kater, Hitler Youth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 2005). 
2. This is not to say that youth organizations on the political left did
not also play a crucial role, 
however, the focus of this chapter is on the role played by the political
right. See, Sandra Souto 
Kustrin, "Taking the Street: Workers' Youth Organizations and the Political
Conflict in the Spanish 
Second Republic," European History Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2004): 131-56
and Sandra Souto Kustrin, 
"Entre el Parlemento y la calle: pollticas gubernamentales y organizaciones
juveniles en la Segunda 
Repfiblica," Ayer 59, no. 3 (2005): 97-122. For the development of youth
groups in Barcelona see, 
Joan B. Culla y Clara, "Ni tan j6venes, ni tan barbaros. La Juventudes
en el republicanismo lerrouxis- 
ta barcelon&s," Ayer 59, no. 3 (2005): 51-67, and Enric Ucelay-Da
Cal, "Los 'malos de la pelicula': la 
Joventuts d'Fsquerra Republicana-Estat Catalfi y Ia problem~itica de un 'fascismo
catalhn,'" Ayer 59, 
no. 3 (2005): 147-72. 
3. The quotation is from Stanley Payne, Fascism in Spain, 1923-1977 (Madison:
University of Wisconsin 

Go up to Top of Page