Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2020 Cameron Johnson. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert Weinberg


The authoritarian nationalist government of Francisco Franco aggressively pushed the idea that Spain was a unified nation and culture. However, Spanish culture has always been varied, and possesses a great deal of influence from peoples considered to be deeply and fundamentally different – in particular, North African, Arab, and Muslim cultures. This influence has a long history, though Spanish nationalists in particular were inclined to present it as a brief foreign incursion that was ended by the Reconquista, which restored Spain back to its natural state.

Similarly, the nationalist government itself possessed a significant variety of political thought, with a large degree of tension between fascists and Carlist traditionalists. Through two educational texts written by representatives of these major groups (Ernesto Giménez Caballero representing the fascist current, José María Pemán y Pemartín the Carlist,) one can see differences in the historical narrative of the Reconquista that reflect these different viewpoints. Giménez Caballero centers Spain in his narrative, with little consideration for the nation as having a place in a broader historical context, while Pemán ties his historical narrative into a larger idea of the Christian West in constant conflict with the East.

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