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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

Winston, Colin M., 1955-
Carlist worker groups in Catalonia, 1900-1923,   pp. [1]-14

Page 3

Carlist Worker Groups in Catalonia, 1900-1923 
thority, and the anathematization of all conflict between labor and capital
as corrosive of the 
social order. They were, in fact "yellow" unions whose ideology
was formulated and bills 
paid by a handful of clerics and industrialists, most notably the wealthy
Catholic businessman 
Claudio L6pez Bru, the Marques de Comillas. The ASP's Barcelona unions neither
nor seconded a single strike between 1907 and 1916. Not surprisingly, few
workers were at- 
tracted to such listless entities: at their peak in 1916 the ASP's Barcelona
unions enrolled at 
most 4,000 to 5,000 manual workers, or less than two percent of the Catalan
capital's blue 
collar proletariat. By 1918, following Father Palau's departure from Barcelona,
Catholic unions had all but disappeared. 
There was one small exception to the dismal record of the Catholic unions
by the leaders of Catalan Carlism. In Igualada, a small industrial center
sixty miles from 
Barcelona, an ASP-affiliated Catholic union emerged with a different rhetoric
and record. 
The Igualada unionists exulted in their obrerismo (literally, "workerism");
these self-pro- 
claimed "radical syndicalists" lambasted "oppressive"
owners who "before being Catholics 
are capitalists."6 Unlike the Barcelona unions, they organized boycotts
and seconded sev- 
eral strikes against recalcitrant bosses. The main difference between the
Barcelona and the 
Igualada Catholic unions lay in the make-up of their rank and file. The Barcelona
were recruited largely from the city's Catholic worker centers and included
very few Carlists.7 
In Igualada, the unions were composed primarily of Carlist workers, whose
relations with 
the Barcelona-based ASP were rocky at best. The contrast between the two
illustrates that, 
alongside the yellow unionism advocated by the official leadership of Catalan
Carlism, there 
existed a more dynamic and socially less elitist current of Carlist obrerismo.
The Development of Carlist Obrerismo 
Worker Carlism's capital was always Barcelona, although the current did not
spawn trade 
unions there until 1919, after the ASP's demise. Between 1907 and 1913 the
center of grav- 
ity of Catalan Carlism as a whole shifted from the interior to the capital,
from the country to 
the city. Before 1907 only three Carlist party centers existed in the capital.
In that year alone, 
eight new centers-mostly in peripheral worker districts-were founded, a clear
to the impact of the Solidaritat Catalana elections on the party. From 1910
to 1913 two 
or three centers were created yearly. The process tapered off after 1914,
the total number 
of Carlist centers fluctuating between twenty and twenty-three for the period
Determining the number of Carlist militants in the city is difficult, but
an electoral analysis, 
combined with the party's own estimates, suggests that in 1910 there were
about 10,000 
Carlist activists and sympathizers in Barcelona a city with more than haif
a million inhabit- 
An important minority of these 10,000 were workers or lower-middle-class
shop as- 
sistants (dependientes). La Trinchera, the chief organ of Carlism's obrerista
current observed 

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