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Unitarisme, conscience identitaire et résistance dans l'Aragon franquiste : discours et réalités

Abstract : Franco’s speech was characterized by an insistance on unitary nationalism. Despite the influence of the Catholic right and the phraseology borrowed from falangism, he was above all a pragmatist and contented himself with legitimizing a war and a power. Aragon, like the other regions of Spain, was subjected to this speech, established as propaganda and adopted by the single trade-union organization, the officials of the regime and, of course, by the Caudillo in person during his dramatic visits to Aragon. Although Franco’s unitary speech rejected the separatism and division associated with regional characteristics, he could not deny the diversity of the lands and peoples of Spain. Confronted with these realities, pragmatic Franco did not deny the local specificities which he considered acceptable. When necessary, he was even able to instrumentalize them. It is nevertheless true that Francoist propaganda and undeniable repression undermined a genuine sense of identity. Aragon, indeed, did not have the differential heritage of certain peripheral nationalities. Pre-civil war Aragonese regionalism was moreover essentially elitist and therefore embodied in a minority. It is no wonder that, in a repressive environment, differential speech was virtually non-existent in Aragon until the end of the 60s and was, at best, found only among intellectual and bourgeois elites close to the regime or subservient to it. It was only in the 70s, when Franco's power was waning, that the first popular demonstrations that revealed a notable interest in the regions took place. In a nation which demanded political change, Aragon eventually followed the lead of a movement launched by peripheral nationalities. The struggle against the transfer of water from the Ebro and the building of nuclear plants on the regional territory as well as the feeling, among some Aragonese people, of living in a region humanely and economically despoiled were to be the crucible in which, following the lead of the intellectual elites and the still illegal political parties, regional consciousness was going “to be shaped”. Faced with apparently irreversible changes, some officials of the regime and an opportunistic right tried to compromise, and in many cases encouraged the purely technical regionalization which the regime called for. As for the multiform anti-Franco opposition (dominated by Marxists) while denying any separatist aim, it adopted a very political rhetoric which presented Aragon as the colonized victim, exploited and plundered by capitalists and the authoritarian and centralized power, which could find safety only in a change of regime and by the acquisition of true autonomy.
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Fausto Garasa. Unitarisme, conscience identitaire et résistance dans l'Aragon franquiste : discours et réalités. Textes et Contextes, Université de Bourgogne, Centre Interlangues TIL, 2011, Discours autoritaires et résistances aux XXe et XXIe siècles, ⟨halshs-00682091⟩



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