Spanish Conservatives and Liberals and their Relations with Spanish America

Spanish Conservatives and Liberals and their Relations with Spanish America

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Spanish Conservatives and Liberals and their Relations with Spanish America

This book review of Hispanismo, 1898-1936: Spanish Conservatives and
Liberals and their Relations with Spanish America, by Frederick B. Pike, is mainly
about as the title suggests, Hispanismo. Hispanismo or often called
Hispanoamericanism and/or Pan Hispanismo is a trend of Latin American cultures
that is quite simply in the most basic terms the "shared . . . unassailable faith in the
existence of a transatlantic Hispanic family, community, or raza (race)" Many
Central and Latin American countries for years feared the influence of Spain in
their lives with the United States posing little threat and being often helpful. This
all changed with the downfall of the Spanish Empire, in the 1800s, weakening the
menace to its former colonies and the final crushing loss of the Spanish-American
War in 1898. But after this turning mark year, the United Sates posed more of an
imperialistic threat to its southern neighbors than weakened Spain. With a new
threat to the North, the new world countries regained their ties to the "mother
country". Activists in a new movement saw Spain and Latin countries of the
Southern Hemisphere as sharing common values, beliefs, and characteristics. This
book, describing the subsequent ties to Spain, is important to my study of Latin
America's involvement in the Spanish Civil War and in this review I will analyze
this work to determine its value as a source.

Hispanismo, 1898-1936: Spanish Conservatives and Liberals and their
Relations with Spanish America, part of the International Studies of the Committee
on International Relation Series of Notre Dame, deals with the rise of the
Hispanismo movements in Latin America from 1898 up to 1936, the turning point
in Latin America's/Spain's relations. Pike deals with the perspectives of the
Hispanismo movement and the people's attitude toward Spain on the eve of the
Spanish Civil War. Analyzing the reasoning behind their attitude and their
subsequent return to Spanish values, the author's central theme seems to be that
people of Latin America have always had some need or underlying desire to have
an element of Spanish culture and direction in their lives on many levels. The
author argues this theme well in a clear concise way thereby providing enough
logical evidence to support the thesis that "(there has always been) . . . a conscious
effort of Spaniards and Spanish Americans to establish close spiritual, and
sometimes also economic and political ties, often with the specific purpose of
bulwarking the prevailing social system throughout the Hispanic world." The

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thirteen chapters of this book provide more than adequate evidence to support this
trend and Pike takes his argument one step further by addressing in the last
chapter both the strength and weaknesses of his thesis, thereby leaving no issue
untouched which in the end does more to bolster his thesis into a solid logical one
with all issues addressed.

Frederick B. Pike, professor of history at Notre Dame (now retired) has
published numerous books in a long career in Latin American history. Certainly
not an antiquestrian the author is a serious Latin Americanist and this is clearly
shown by his knowledgeable writing in this book. Tackling a complex and broad
subject such as Hispanismo seems not to be an easy task with many different parties
and factors going into each side's issues, and there are both many sides and many
issues, but the author seems to pull this off extremely well without confusing the
reader unduly. Pike accomplishes this by giving the reader an adequate
background of both Spanish America and Spain before simply jumping headfirst
and blind into his argument. The author seems to have no unneeded biases of
arguing unduly the merits of only one side even though he focuses mainly on
Central and Latin American conservatives, taking no liberties or straying from the
issues by getting on his soapbox. Even though this work is confined to a time span
of forty years, this book and the issues it addresses seems, as mentioned before, a
complicated subject. As sources, Pike used primarily published material of books,
periodicals, and newspapers. I found Frederick B. Pike to be humble in his
argument throughout his entire work. Certainly one of the best in his field, and
even with receiving the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and a "generous
grant" from Notre Dame University, to write this book, Pikes writing does not
reflect an air of condensation or superiority whatsoever. As throughout the entire
text, the author states in the preface that he considered that not enough primary
sources, mainly newspapers were not used. However, I found this not to take
anything away from his writing with an adequate number of primary source to
both support his argument and addresses its weaknesses.

The main focus of this work was to address the complex relationship of
Hispanismo between Spanish America and Spain with looking at how Central and
Latin American countries saw their relationship and/or their "madre piaz" or
mother country. I feel that this book is major contribution toward the field of Latin
American studies. Pike clearly accomplishes his objectives and provides a logical
well-researched argument of a Spanish American/Spanish interdependence which
sheds light on my subject of Latin America's involvement with Spain during its
turbulent civil war. This book addresses important social issues that both Spain
and Latin America faced at the same time. In my focus of study, this work provides
the foundation for the understanding of the subject as a whole. This book is
definitely a good source with its strongest points being that it is well written and
addressed its own weaknesses thereby making it invaluable to the field of Latin
American history and my subject of study.


Hispanismo, 1898-1936: Spanish Conservatives and Liberals and their Relations
with Spanish America
Frederick B. Pike

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