Political violence in the Republican zone of Spain during the Spanish Civil War: evolving historiographical perspectives
Journal of Contemporary History
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Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by SAGE Publications. No embargo required on publication
The issue of violence committed behind the lines on Republican and Francoist territory during the Spanish Civil War burns at the heart of the memory wars currently being fought in Spanish society over the meanings of the country’s recent, traumatic past. In the academic sphere, debate amongst historians regarding the causes and meanings of violence carried out against and among the civilian population during the conflict is more strongly present and more heated than ever before. Today, historians who wish to tackle the subject of this violence still find themselves faced with the task of unpicking and challenging the Manichean narratives of the conflict’s meaning established by the Franco Dictatorship and reinforced by it for four decades. The regime’s official history portrayed the Civil War as a simple battle between good and evil, between the patriotic, Catholic saviours of Spain and the barbaric, atheistic, foreign enemies who had attacked them. The emphasis on collective forgetting which underlay the post-1975 transition to democracy, a process grounded in strong institutional continuity between the Franco regime and Spain’s democracy-under construction, has allowed many elements of this interpretive framework to survive into the present day. [...]
This is the author accepted manuscript.
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