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.
NATION AND CONFLICT IN MODERN SPAIN a journal called J.A.P. Officially the party disdained political violence, but the aggressive tone of the journal belied such notions. Articles continually spoke of the need to "smash," "crush," and "annihilate" foreign invaders who threatened the integrity of a unified and powerful Spain.62 Other writings attacked the liberal parliamentary system and exhorted readers to defend religion and the social order.63 The JAP appropriated the trappings of Fascism, including the development of a cult of personality surrounding the leader, or jefe, Gil Robles. In a gesture perhaps taken from the activities of the Juventud Maurista, the JAP even produced Gil Robles cigarette papers. Because Gil Robles had attended and had been favorably impressed by the Nuremburg rallies, the JAP organized its own mass meet- ings. These events were characterized by the presence of banners and cadres of uniformed japistas displaying the organization's symbol. The imagery featured the Cross of Victory on a white background (to symbolize purity) surrounded by a red field (to recall the blood of martyrs).64 The leadership of the CEDA also utilized the meetings as an opportunity to announce major new initiatives, especially those that could be potentially controversial. The decision to finally enter the government, an event that triggered the October revolution, was made at a JAP rally in September 1934.65 The JAP used violent rhetoric to construct a political movement dedicated to replacing the Republican system with something more authoritarian, although the exact nature of this new state remained undeveloped. The para- doxical rhetoric emanating from the JAP, in which exhortations to aggressive defense were combined with renunciations of physical violence, could only function in relationship with a political organization supremely confident in its ability to win power. Following the CEDA's defeat at the polls in 1936, many japistas lost faith in the legal means to achieving power and either fled the organization to join more aggressive groups or left politics altogether.66 Although the exodus of membership was not as great as has been assumed, it is clear that the relatively legalist option had by that point run its course. Many japistas flocked to other, more militantly violent groups such as the FE and Carlists, while others began to actively join the nascent military conspiracy.67 While many of the conservatives who first learned the value of mobilizing young peo- ple worked within the CEDA during the Republic, others resisted the Catholic parties 'ac- cidentalist' attitude and remained committed monarchists. Alfonsine monarchists such as Goicoechea and Calvo Sotelo eventually created Renovacion Espafiol (RE). Throughout the Republic, RE was one of the most recalcitrant enemies of the constitutional system.68 The organization's youth movement, called Juventud de Renovacion Espaiola (JRE), was devel- oped to form the political vanguard of the movement and eventually took on some fascist characteristics including uniforms (gray shirts and green berets) and a salute. From the start, JRE remained completely subordinate to the main party because the leadership feared giving the organization too much autonomy. Within months, however, the young members of JRE were engaging in street fights and gun battles, culminating with the murder of an anarchist worker in April 1933. Eventually RE cracked down on the most violent elements of JRE and 2 4
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