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The Ebro in Aragonesismo and Aragonese nationalism

Since the 1970s Aragon has been at the centre of heated controversies over central government proposals to transfer water from the Ebro to Spain’s Mediterranean coastal regions and the scene of numerous mass demonstrations in opposition to these. Throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries the Ebro has been used and perceived by Aragonese regionalism, nationalism and aragonesismo in a variety of ways. This gives rise to the possibility that opposition to the transfer of water from the Ebro goes beyond purely economic and environmental considerations and evokes deeper nationalistic aspects which see it as an essential element of Aragonese identity, patrimonial wealth and natural national heritage. The Ebro had a prominent place in the thinking of the early twentieth century nationalist group as a life-giver and father figure of Aragonese identity and a symbol of territory, homeland, regional development and patrimonial wealth. Later defence of the Ebro against proposed water transfers has been used by Aragonese territorial parties to raise key aragonesista and nationalist issues, increase national awareness and assist in nation-building. The thesis shows how it has become inextricably interwoven with aspects such as identity, myths, symbols, heritage, collective memory and future economic prosperity and how threats to it, in the form of proposed water transfers, are used to stir up feelings of a ‘nationalistic’ nature, create a sense of grievance and injustice and make it a powerful ‘rallying symbol’, ‘crowd symbol’ and a ‘symbol of unity’. However, the analysis reveals many different derivations, contradictions, differences and paradoxes in how it is viewed in different periods and by different aragonesista and nationalist groups which detract from it reaching its full symbolic potential. To date, there have been no specific studies of the importance of the Ebro in aragonesismo and Aragonese nationalism. This thesis will contribute to knowledge on this aspect as well as to debates on sub-state nationalisms and the role of landscape and natural elements in nationalism and national identity.
Date January 2011
CreatorsReed, Brenda
ContributorsDerham, Michael
PublisherNorthumbria University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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