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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

Sanabria, Enrique A.
Nineteenth-century Spanish anticlericalism,   pp. 51-64

Page 52

rial wealth of the Spanish Church and clergy, as well as fundamentally altering
its scope, the 
Restoration regime (1875-1923) orchestrated by Antonio Cainovas del Castillo
clerical power and influence to late eighteenth-century levels and thereby
prompted an anti- 
clerical response. In addition, that late nineteenth-century anticlericalism-perhaps
best em- 
bodied by Jose Nakens, the republican editor of ElMotin (1881-1926)6-was
itself a signifi- 
cantly different form of anticlericalism, borrowing from laic nationalist
projects in places like 
France under the Third Republic. Here I am concerned with the new form of
that emerged in the late nineteenth century because it was an important component
in a 
larger battle for cultural and national identity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century
As in other European countries, Spain witnessed a decisive move toward secularization
and the increased presence of advocates of secularism in the nineteenth century.
is characterized by but not limited to a firm belief in industrialization
and urbanization, tech- 
nological innovation, a differentiation of the secular and the religious,
the development of a 
civil religion or civic loyalties, and an emphasis on separating the individual
from corporate 
identities. The land disentailment programs initiated during the reign of
Charles III in the 
late eighteenth century were a blow to Church privilege, but should be regarded
as "anti- 
feudal" rather than antireligious. Ecclesiastic reforms put forward
by the Cadiz Cortes of 
1812 and subsequent provisional governments were more antiaristocratic and
than anticlerical.7 The liberal state's well-intentioned efforts to reform
the Church and clergy 
required that the Church's privileges be suppressed and much of its property
as those goods were thought to be tied to an outmoded institution possessing
an undue 
embarrassment of riches. 
As a response to secularization, Spain, like other European nations, also
witnessed the 
rise of clericalism, which was characterized by but not limited to fear of
or hostility toward 
secularization and secularism, an increase in forms of religiosity, defense
of the clergy, and 
a refusal to accept that areas of human existence (politics, education, social
and economic 
organization) lay outside of the boundaries of religion. Of course, the Church
fought eighteenth century disentailment of Church property and wealth as
attacks on a Spanish way of life, and the war against Napoleon presented
the Church leader- 
ship with an opportunity to present liberals, especially the afrancesados,
as anti-Spaniards. 
Clericalism-be it in the form of editorializing in the conservative or ultramontane
press or 
the taking to the hills to fight French soldiers or Spanish liberals-gave
rise to anticlericalism 
and anticlerical violence, which are characterized by but not limited to
ideas and actions that 
develop as a response to clericalism, and which seek to curb the influence
of the Church and 
clergy, if not attain the complete separation of the Church and state. Unlike
secularism, an- 
ticlericalism often features emotional attacks against the clergy and is
more punitive toward 
the religious. 
Modern anticlericalism grew out of medieval and early modern traditions (be
anti-Papist or rooted in the skepticism of the Enlightenment's philosophes),
but it was shaped 
5 2 

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