Freethinkers, Anarchists and Francisco Ferrer: The Making of a Transnational Solidarity Campaign

Laqua, Daniel (2014) Freethinkers, Anarchists and Francisco Ferrer: The Making of a Transnational Solidarity Campaign. European Review of History, 21 (4). pp. 467-484. ISSN 1350-7486

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This article examines the transnational solidarity campaign for Francisco Ferrer, the Catalan anarchist and educator who was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in Barcelona’s 'Tragic Week' of 1909. The international scale of the protests against Ferrer's execution was much remarked upon by his contemporaries. While historians have examined both the nature of demonstrations in support of Ferrer and the way in which he was commemorated, they have mostly focused on specific national contexts. This article takes a different approach: it investigates the transnational dimensions of the campaign. It places the protests within the framework of the 'culture wars' surrounding church–state relations. These cleavages were inherently transnational, and the structures developed by the international freethought movement, for example, played a significant role in sustaining the Ferrer campaign. The article also draws attention to other factors that shaped the protests and transcended national categories: from widespread images of Spanish 'despotism' to the way in which a foreign case could be adopted for domestic political mobilisation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Francisco Ferrer, culture wars, anarchism, transnational activism, freethinkers, anticlericalism, education
Subjects: V100 History by period
V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: Dr Daniel Laqua
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 07:56
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:24

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