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Print Culture and the Formation of the Anarchist Movement in Spain, 1890-1915

Yeoman, James Michael (2016) Print Culture and the Formation of the Anarchist Movement in Spain, 1890-1915. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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James M Yeoman - Print Culture and the Formation of the Anarchist Movement in Spain 1890-1915.pdf
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This thesis examines the formation of the anarchist movement in Spain, from the collapse of the movement in the early 1890s to the consolidation of the Confederación Nacional de Trabajo (CNT) in 1915. The grassroots anarchist print culture established over these years was central to the movement’s survival and expansion. Periodicals were the site in which anarchist ideology and practice came together, where abstract ideas were given meaning in relation to contexts and developments over time. The anarchist press, and the groups which produced it, also gave the movement an informal structure which it otherwise lacked. Together, the ideas and networks established by print formed the cultural foundations of the movement, prior to its mass expansion during the First World War. The first section of this thesis examines the movement’s relationship with violence in 1890-1898. In these years, popular violence, terrorism and state repression had a profound impact on the ways in which anarchist practice was conceived. The anarchist press provided a forum for debates between anarchist factions over the legitimacy of violence, while at the same time it attempted to stabilise the movement in the face of the broad, heavy-handed repression of the Spanish state. It failed in this last regard, and by 1896 the movement and its press had collapsed. The second section focuses on the recovery of the movement from 1899 to 1906. In this period, the movement made its first consolidated effort to establish education as a revolutionary strategy, which became seen as the prime means to cement anarchist culture and practice in local contexts. Print was central to these developments, carrying the anarchist educational message into new areas and assisting in the establishment of centres and schools. The third, and final, section discusses the attempts to unite the movement around the organisational theory of syndicalism, from the first articulations of these ideas in Barcelona in 1907-1910 to the consolidation of the CNT in 1915. The spread of – and in some cases, resistance to – syndicalist ideas outside Cataluña relied on the networks of anarchist publishing which had been established over the turn of the century. Yet, by helping to create an alternative, more formal, structure within the movement, the anarchist press sowed the seeds of a decline in its own heterogeneity and significance. This was symbolised by the establishment of the syndicalist daily Solidaridad Obrera in Barcelona in 1916, and the subsequent contraction of anarchist publishing elsewhere in Spain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Anarchism, Spain, Print Culture, Terrorism, Education, Syndicalism
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr James Michael Yeoman
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 09:40
Last Modified: 03 May 2016 09:40
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12021

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