Before and after the nation
Basque patriotic heroes, 1834-1939
In the nineteenth century, Basque fuerism, a regionalist ideology, elaborated a narrative about Basque identity that was characterized by a double Basque and Spanish patriotism. When the nationalism created by Sabino Arana (1865-1903) appeared at the end of the century, a new Basque identity began to be constructed that flatly rejected that double patriotism. Both fuerists and Basque nationalists created a pantheon of Great Men drawn from Basque history. From the Middle Ages up to the recent past, these were patriotic heroes (warriors, musicians, saints, politicians, discoverers, etc.) that reflected the ideologies respective conceptions of Basque identity. Among them, fuerism included figures that expressed double patriotism. Conversely, the heroes of Basque nationalism were precisely those that had contributed, according to its interpretation, to the fight against Spanish domination. In this article we analyse the patriotic heroes of fuerism and early Basque nationalism from the decade of 1830-1840, when fuerism emerged, to the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). We will examine which heroes both movements shared and which were cast aside by Basque nationalism, as well as the reasons for these continuities or discontinuities.
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