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The “Volonté d’Empire” in the franquist discourse: a Conceptual Ailants


Catholic and nationalist thinkers of the 19th century (including Donoso Cortés, Menéndez Pelayo and Ángel Ganivet) had a significant influence on the formation of the future Caudillo. This was complemented by a number of more political theorists such as José Antonio Primo de Rivera and Ramiro Ledesma Ramos who founded a Spanish fascism teined of Catholic traditionalism and nostalgia of the times of Catholic King. In different terms, both have promoted the idea of a “imperial destiny” and “imperialist mission” for Spain, a concept that is more apocryptic and mystic than really programmatic. In the dictatorship’s political discourse, this vague but often marbled concept, particularly in the harangues addressed to youth organisations and in front of the Cortes, was abandoned in the late 1950s when Spain embarked on a profound capitalist reform led by technocratic ministers. What are the theoretical foundations and sources of this “Empire” concept? Why was the Francoist regime keen to promote this concept, which was gradually perceived as another... before becoming a nowhere.

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