Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain

Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain

Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain

Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain

Excerpt

Until recently, Spanish historiography has been dominated by political history. Yet there have been surprisingly few analytical studies of the failure of parliamentary government in Spain. The same is true of Spanish praetorianism, even though military intervention in the political process has been the most obvious fact of Spanish political life for nearly two centuries. This book attempts to explain the relationship between these two phenomena during the critical seven years between the emergence of the military defense juntas in 1917 and the pronunciamiento of General Miguel Primo de Rivera in 1923.

In general, studies of Spanish civil-military relations -- whether by historians, sociologists, or political scientists -- have been unidimensional and static, rather than multidimensional and dynamic in focus. One approach has emphasized the disposition of the army to intervene, analyzing the institutional characteristics that induced officers (perhaps inevitably) to feel isolated from and often superior to the society around them. In this view, the case of Spanish praetorianism is not unique, but merely an exaggerated form of the corporate military mentality that developed along with the professionalization of European armies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Everywhere that traditional society underwent modernization, officers responded to the growing complexity and conflicts of political life by claiming to be the sole representatives of the national will, with not only a right, but a duty to intervene when that will was in danger of perversion or neglect by the state. This interpretation has been reinforced by Spanish officers themselves, who have never exalted what they consider to be "servile" obedience in the manner of, say, the French army of the nineteenth century. In Spain, military coups have usually been the work of soldiers professing to represent the true interests of the nation. Pronunciamiento literature of the nineteenth century is rich in examples; military rhetoric in the twentieth century . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.