Tag: Nineteenth Century

Flashback Friday: A Carlist Legacy

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

Flashback Friday: The Pretender

On July 3, 1875, Carlos VII (1868-1909), the aspirant King, took the oath of allegiance to the foruak (the ancient Basque rights and privileges) in Gernika (Bizkaia) during the Second Carlist War (1872-1876). Under war powers, Carlos was proclaimed Lord of Bizkaia at the foot of the Tree of Gernika. Carlos had gained broad support in the Basque Country because of the sympathy for Catholicism and the widespread traditionalism and very strong resistance to Liberal rule there. In 1876, the war ended in victory for the Liberal forces after the Carlist troops surrendered and Carlos VII escaped to France. Once the war came to an end, Alfonso XII, the new King of Spain, entirely abolished the foral system, restructuring many aspects of Basque society. This is considered one of the most consequential periods in the contemporary history of the Basque Country.

Carlos VII (1868-1909) took the oath in Gernika

Carlos VII took the oath in Gernika, Bizkaia

CarlosVII (center) surrounded by carlist soldiers

Carlos VII (center) surrounded by Carlist soldiers

To learn more about the socio-political and legal problems that elicited persistent tensions in the Basque Country during the nineteenth century, browse the book by historian Joseba Agirreazkuenaga, The Making of Basque Question: Experiencing Self-Government, 1793-1877.

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