On July 31, 1895, the Basque Nationalist Party was officially founded by Sabino Arana Goiri, his brother Luis, and some sympathizers in the city of Bilbao (Bizkaia). This party was a political force against the repercussions of the structural changes that the Basque Country witnessed in the late nineteenth century. The Basque Nationalist Party defended its old territorial rights and laws, as well as Catholic doctrines, traditions, and customs. An anti-Spanish ideology was the main characteristic of the Basque Nationalist Party. It reacted to the liberal and socialist political movements that were much in vogue during those days in Basque industrial centers, like Bilbao. Sabino Arana, as the main theorist, was named president of the newly created party, a position he held until 1903, just before he died. Arana, who was a former Carlist himself, considered “race” the main element of the Basque national identity over the language.


Portrait of Sabino Arana Goiri (1865-1903)


The Basque Nationalist Party’s headquarters in Bilbao (Bizkaia) at the turn of the century

To read more about the origins of Basque nationalism, check out Javier Corcuera’s The Origins, Ideology, and Organization of Basque Nationalism, 1876-1903.

Every Friday we look into our Basque archives for interesting historic events that happened on the same day