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Ireland and the Basque Country: Nationalisms in Contact, 1895-1939

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Ireland and the Basque Country: Nationalisms in Contact, 1895-1939

McCreanor, Kyle (2019) Ireland and the Basque Country: Nationalisms in Contact, 1895-1939. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the relationships between Irish and Basque nationalists and nationalisms from 1895 to 1939—a period of rapid, drastic change in both contexts. In the Basque Country, 1895 marked the birth of the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (Basque Nationalist Party), concurrent with the development of the cultural nationalist movement known as the ‘Gaelic revival’ in pre-revolutionary Ireland. In 1939, the Spanish Civil War ended with the destruction of the Spanish Second Republic, plunging Basque nationalism into decades of intense persecution. Conversely, at this same time, Irish nationalist aspirations were realized to an unprecedented degree during the ‘republicanization’ of the Irish Free State under Irish leader Éamon de Valera.

Contrary to romantic visions of natural solidarity between these two nationalist movements, this research offers a more nuanced account of the relationship. Ireland was an important source of inspiration for Basque nationalists throughout this period, particularly those of a more radical separatist tendency. However, there were moments when the mainstream Basque nationalist movement expressed little sympathy for Irish independence. Likewise, Ireland was not always sympathetic to the plight of Basque nationalists, particularly during the Spanish Civil War.

Through an analysis of primary sources on both sides, ranging from Basque nationalist periodicals to Irish diplomatic documents, this thesis pieces together a detailed account of Basque-Irish relations during the period in question. The broader picture shows numerous contradictions and ironies in the relationship(s) in this period, demonstrating the evolving and multi-faceted nature of these nationalisms—the interaction between which cannot be characterized simply.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McCreanor, Kyle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:March 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Foster, Gavin
ID Code:985162
Deposited By: Kyle Thomas McCreanor
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 16:12
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 16:12
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