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Spain in the Liberal Age: From Constitution to Civil War, 1808-1939 Paperback – February 21, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0631219132 ISBN-10: 0631219137 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: A History of Spain
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (February 21, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631219137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631219132
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Esdaile has written a masterly work of synthesis, full of judicious assessment, outspoken at times and authoritative in tone." Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

In lucid & accessible prose, this book provides a gripping account of 131 years of politics, warfare & social conflict in Spain from 1808 - 1939.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a thorough and well written survey of recent Spanish history. Concentrating on political history, Esdaile provides a thorough narrative and also a strong analytical framework. Starting with the French conquest of Spain during the Napoleonic Wars and finishing with the end of Spanish Civil War in 1939, the general theme is the difficulties and consequences of implementing a classical liberal state in Spain. The Napoleonic Wars were a catastrophe for Spain with physical devastation from the war against the French, the destruction of the absolutist-reforming state developing under the Spanish Bourbons, and loss of the Empire. The post-war period was chaotic with unsuccessful efforts to recover the Empire, and chronic conflict about how to reconstruct the state. Esdaile presents this as a struggle within the Spanish elites about which elements of liberalism to implement and this period sees the emergence of the Spanish military as an independent and destablizing force in Spanish politics.

Shortly after mid-century, a stable political settlement emerges with features of liberalism - a constitutional monarchy, protection of property, some emphasis on economic development, and nominally electoral politics - that was essentially a Spain dominated by a conservative oligarchy resting on patronage politics, and support of the Church and military. While stable for decades, this structure could deal only with the increasing problems of Spanish society - the development of self-conscious working class movements, the rural proletariat, and regional movements - by repression.
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