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The return of the social subject in Spanish Historiography


Carlos Barros

University of Santiago de Compostela


  The aim of this paper is to briefly overview historiography on social conflicts, revolts and revolutions starting off with the heyday that took place in the 70s until the current recovery of the genre from two points of view:

      1) An inter-historical viewpoint[1] : by trying to link the evolution of the object of study in the  various academic fields of different historical knowledge ( especially Medieval, Modern  and Contemporary History). In Contemporary History, no doubt, reflection is more frequent, but it  always appears  in a paralel , interwoven fashion, in so far as it is a consequence of common conditionants both internal (disciplinal) and external ( mental, political and social).

       2) A Spanish Historiographical viewpoint[2] . Spanish Historiography boasts of a rich tradition on this field ( something similiar is true of South America) that dates back to the early 20th century[3]  making it equal to other foreign historiographies, whose positive influence  in some cases ( Past and Present and Annales schools) we acknowledge, well aware of its innovative contributions to the historiography on social conflicts. These contributions, far from being exhausted, take us back several decades. It is also our belief that nowadays reflecting and discussing on the situation of Spanish historiography is not only possible but necessary as well. This should be conducted directly, without the habitual mediation of authors and schools from abroad, beyond the necessary mention that becomes imperative in this time of historiographical globalization which demands, more than ever, paying attention to our own historical profile[4] as the only way of being present in the current processes of recomposition of the international community of historians.

    The expression history of the social movements, borrowed from sociology , became widespread in the eighties among contemporary historians who, by trascending the history of the working class movement,  widened the interest of  researchers into other social, interclass, religious, and political  movements. Nonetheless, this label is barely transferible to historical periods as a whole. What is it we come across throughout history ? Minor and major conflicts and revolts rather than social movements with a certain degree of organization, ideology and continuity. It is for this reason that we mantain, in order not to limit to the most inmediate historical time, the old - and in the least ambiguous - common term of social conflicts, revolts and revolutions[5],  so as to refer in a interhistorially coherent fashion to this aspect of the socio-historical subject. Social history has long ago restored the ways of social protests denounced as primitive, apolitical  or  spontaneous , which, in turn, have given rise to the most valuable efforts in  historiographic innovation, both French and British, in the field of social history[6] . The current tendency in sociology has otherwise returned to define social movements as a function of the collective actions and of the conflicts generated, linking them to the concept of social change[7].


The heyday of the seventies


    The parity of Spanish historigraphy with the most advanced currents abroad, which dates back to the fifties (Vicens Vives), is consolidated in the seventies and eighties with the thrust of the new generation- the irruption of the 1968 generation into the faculties results in a break- the  first break  with traditional history understood as political, institutional and biographical. One of the most productive branches of this new socio-economic history is the history of social conflicts.  It is undoubtly the most radical politically as well as from a historiographical point of view in proposing what later came to be called  history from below . The struggle for historiographic renewal and the struggle in favour of a democratic reform within the university and against Franco s dictatorship went together in those times. A great deal of young historians - and not so young, let s think, for instance, of Tuñón -, who in the seventies did research on the history of the workers movement, the conflicts and revolts in the history of Spain, had a bias towards left, marxist and communist parties, which then dominated the political scene at universities. The more or less active participation - the academic career and  political affiliation did not go well together- in the  thriving student movement both before and after 1968 as well as a sympathy towards the upcoming workers movement[8] contributed to the appearance of the historical social movements as the subjects of dissertations and doctoral thesis, which in turn benefited from the growing influence of the historigraphical  trends [9] prevailing then at the academy: Annales and Marxism.

    The rediscovery[10] of the conflicts, the revolts and the revolutions[11], therefore, is part of the historiographic revolution of the 20th century both in Spain and internationally. Jaume Vicens Vives s prologue to his Historia de los remensas en el siglo XV is dated in 1944 ( a subject he  had already devoted his attention to during the republic). In 1954 he publishes El gran sindicato remensa ( 1488-1508). His desire to widen the scope of contemporary history takes Vicens Vives[12] and his collaborators from medieval revolts to the workers movement . In 1959 Casimir Marti s Origenes del anarquismo en Barcelona is published. In 1960, he[13] works in colaboration with Vicens and Nadal on Los Movimientos obreros en tiempo de depresión económica ( Las Huelgas 1929-1936). But it will be, as we know, in the seventies when the new ways of approaching history, in general, and social history, in particular, will flourish and become widespread.

   A cooperative work representative of the momentum of the new line of research is Clases y conflictos sociales en la historia ( 1977) . It is the result of a joint effort at a week-length conference  on historical methology in Oviedo during the 1974-5 academic year with the contribution of  J.M. Blázquez ( ancient istory), J.Valdeón (medieval history), G. Anes ( modern history) and M. Tuñón ( contemporary)[14] . Julio Mangas (ancient history), in the prologue, opens with  a categorical claim , no doubt shared by most authors:  historical materialism is in my opinion the only methology that has at its disposal a coherent and accurate theoretical framework [15] . The book ends with an appendix, made by students, on  Modos de producción capitatistas  [ capitalist ways of production], indebited to Karl Marx s  Formaciones económicas Pre-capitalistas[16],  (published by  Ciencia Nueva in 1967 and by Ayuso in 1975). Its prologue was written by Hobsbawm, who draws on  Althusser and Balibar s structuralist Marxism, a necessary reference for  young eager Spanish Marxists. It is from Althussser- rather than from Marx himself-  that the whole conceptual framework Mangas refers to originates. The structuralist leanings of the work can be perceived in its very title, which brings to the forefront the conflicts of the objective existence of the (conflicting) classes. In the discussion following the presentations, Valdeón is asked one of those questions that, in those days, puzzled us:  Throughout your presentation and so far in the discussion, I have noticed that the topics related to the evolution of History seem to come down to objective movements, regardless of consciousness or structures. What is then the role of man ? You cannot limit the history of mankind to mathematic formulas! [17]  The categorical  answer, common by then[18], would be to blurt out that  Marxism is different from humanism . Julio Valdeón, however, like most historians whose background does not readily admit the role of a  structuralist that denies a subject-within-history  approach, pointed out:  I don t see that contradiction . Nonetheless, he eventually reverts, true to his time (hence his representativity) to structural determinism by quoting the objetivist Marx:   the conscience of mankind is determined by its social being . . . man makes history but amidst conditions he has not chosen [19]. Surprisingly enough, or perhaps not so much, we do not hear of the Marx who wrote for the Communist League in 1848:   the history of mankind is the history of the class struggle , nor of the young Marx who wrote Manuscritos : economía y filosofía ( Madrid, 1968)[20], nor the Marx turned into a historian of his time in Las luchas de clases en Francia ( Madrid, 1967) y El 18 Brumario de Luis Bonaparte ( Barcelona 1968). Beyond the subjectivist will and even its praxis, sometimes global, of  the new historians of social conflicts, the political and intelectual atmosphere imposed a structural economic approach[21] which eventually led to a neglect of a line of research which could ultimately (and not only could but should) contribute to overcoming (dialectically ) the dichotomy object / subject in history and the social sciences. But let s go ahead with our brief review.

   In medieval history the characteristic paradigm is Julio Valdeón s Los conflictos sociales en el reino de Castilla en los siglos XIV y XV ( 1975), which begins by claiming that a knowledge of the social conflicts is  fundamental if the historical process is to be correctly apprehended. He also adds the conflicts that should attract our attention  are basically those reflecting the  fundamental contradictions in society , that is to say, the antagonistic-structural contradictions,  the conflict between lords and  peasants [22] and concludes by putting Castilla y León on a level with the rest of Late Middle Ages Europe as far as this intensification of social tensions is concerned. This is an extremely innovative claim if we take into account that the prevalent paradigm in those days was to deny the feudal nature of medieval Castillian society. Valdeón stresses that it is necessary to go beyond a mere typology to link conflicts with their context by introducing social struggles, especially those against lords, into the historical interpretations of Late Castillian Middle Age. This was already present in both Viñas Mey s bourgeoisie /nobility and Luis Suárez s[23] nobility /monarchy dynamics. These proprosals were, in turn, influenced by social history and are not flatly rejected by Julio Valdeon. Valdeón s innovation, whose work encouraged and is representative of a remarkable series of papers on the struggle of the subject individual in Middle Age Spain [24], trascended medieval studies and history itself[25]. This is not to say that the influence of the intelectual mileau , both Marxist and non-Marxist was not taken into account. Julio Valdeón welcomes the markedly unidirectional classic threefold framework: economic crisis / social inestability  / civil war,or to put it in other words, economy / society / politics, which he argues, was advocated by Vicens Vives in the case of 15th century Catalonia as the  line to pursue  to establish a model study of the social tensions. Vicens Vives, nonetheless, was aware of some flaws in his proposal (the neglect of  such important aspect as ideologies and collective mentalities  together with its  determinism  in the economy). As a consequence , in order to fully understand social revolts[26], he refers us to  baseline structures  thus self-limiting his historiographic approaches, more prone to seeking causes[27] than  historical effects on social structures[28]. The latter are clearly undervalued[29], except - and this distinguishes Valdeón from other Spanish Marxist historians- in the almost unexplored field of mentalities:  obviously no substantial changes took place in the structure of society, at most rebels obtained some partial gains. But the fundamental consequence of  people s riots at the end of the Middle Ages registered in collective mentalities [30] . For all these reasons the desired contextualization of the social actor remains suspended, without being proven, rather the contrary,  the driving role  of the class struggle Marx defended in some his writings and in his political praxis.  The slow reaction of Western Marxist historiography against the structuralism  prevailing- which in Spain was more remarkable since translations into Spanish[31] were not readily available- came about when the history of the social conflicts was already on the wane [32]. In 1981 E.P.Thompson s  Miseria de la teoría is published in Spanish. It is a direct criticism of Althusser s  new Marxist idealism . His criticism also extends to sociologists Hindnesss and Hirst, who were responsible for some statements that infuriated Thompson:  history is bound to empirism by  the nature of its purpose (...) Marxism, as a praxis both  theorerical and political, does not at all benefit from either its association with written history or with historical research. The study of history is devoid not only of  scientific value but also of practical value [33]. It could be said that by adopting structuralism, like in the case of other social and human sciences, we  left the fox to care for the hens .

    Also in 1975, Ricardo García Cárcel published Las Germanías de Valencia. This book is based on a doctoral thesis supervised by Joan Reglá[34]- which plays a role in the historiographical  vanguard[35] similar to that of  Julio Valdeón s[36] in the field of modernist historians, and is therefore subject to the same constraints derived from the paradigms shared by Marxism and the social sciences of the aftermath to the Second World War  that reached Spain in the seventies. García Cárcel work is an updating -not yet superseded[37]- of the research into the germanías revolt. Its antecedents were the traditional historiographical approaches, from liberal romanticism to positivism . He used the typical structural-functional paradigm of the sixties : structural and temporary preconditions ( subordinate to the former) and poor historical effect ( in his conclusion the author speaks of the  paucity  of the agermanada revolt[38]), and between both extremes, so unevenly tackled, the cronological development of events and the sociologic and geographical structure of germanias.

   For the upcoming contemporary history, the paradigmatic reference is, no doubt, Manuel Tuñón de Lara, who apart from his work - not merely empirical but also attentive to methodological and historiographical reflection[39], like Valdeón s- carried out year after year throughout the seventies a key organizative effort to understand the flourishing in Spain of the social history of the 19th and 20th: Los Coloquios de Pau[40]. His most significative book, as regards  this critical review on the historiography of social conflict, is El movimiento obreo en la historia de España ( 1972) that follows the well-known threefold framework- which somethimes becomes fourfold by including ideology - that is to say, economy ( structure and temporary), society (workers conditions) and politics of the events ( strikes and conflicts), of the organizations and of several events explicitely political ( elections and wars). He pays special attention to the context, in line with a common paradigm, focused more on coincidences than on effects, which is somehow contradictory with the title of the book, which then became - and is even today- a major and innovative reference , a solid baseline for what would later be the history of the working class movement in Spain[41] .

    Tuñón has also been an example in both his biography - something not frecuent among scholars- and  his professional career for his compromise as a historian - something in decline in the eighties[42] - (   national life cannot be conceived aside from the working class[43] , he claimed in 1972, undoubtly with the present and the future in mind).

   In his methodological works, Tuñón de Lara explicitely acknowledges his debt to Labrousse, Braudel and historical materialism.  Determinant factors, latent structures, overt situations - with their sparking functionalism , quantitative methods  and -  to a certain extent in contraction with this - the principle of centrality of the class war[44]:  The study of conflicts and their originanting factors, at all levels, is nowadays the backbone of historical studies[45] . Without being explicitely acknowledged, as it is the case of the Manifiesto Comunista, that this controversial historical constant is the  motor of history (or it may be , but then we are not before a compulsory law), it is impossible to see the incidence of  social actors in history if they do not grow bigger or  are detached  from the structures. This is an epistemologic problem that has often reduced socio-historical studies to mere positivist descriptions. How could social change be explained if social conflicts do not affect social structures ? Well, there are two explanations and both neglect common people, the social individual, in favour of either the technological- economic change (the structural proposal) or the political change (traditional proposal). A synthesis able to find the subject/object historical interface is yet to be worked out.

   The pioneer works so far analysed, however, and many others that preceded or followed them have amounted to a breakthrough (something often forgotten) in the evolution of Spanish historiography in four senses: a) they introduced the history of the working class movement and the social revolts into universities, issues that were not academically prestigious; b) they  contributed to spreading - or  recovering - outside the academy social themes such as the social struggles , in favour of a dignified life and freedom[46] ( history in the service of the recovery of the collective memory); c ) they created the conditions to supersede the old-fashioned liberal-romantic approaches that made these events into enduring myths ; and d) they provided new socio-economic explanations, perhaps incomplete but scientifically sounder than scholarly or old-fashioned conspirative interpretations on the  manipulation of the masses  by leaders, organizations or parties with  hidden agendas .[47] These socio-econonic explanations will have in their novelty their greatest contribution, while their greatest flaw will be their deterministic approach to the social historiography of the seventies.

    Common people, workers, peasants did not exist for history until a group of young - or not so young- historians - especially Marxist and annalistes- soon acommodated into the academic world- decided to devote their attention to them.  This is indeed a great achivement if we bear in mind that, meanwhile, sociology, political sciences and psychology considered social revolts as  deviant behaviour , the work of social crimminals[48], and their protagonists were seen as masses moved by irrational motivations[49]. History, therefore, anticipated to sociology and the rest of the social sciences in  recovering the social individual before May 1968, and there lies the problem. The other social sciences stifled the premature subjectivity of the new history, which proved unable to export its counter-current experience to these sciences for a number of reasons, the most important one we have been burdened with ever since the first paradigmatic revolution, positivism: a certain theoretical incapacity.

   To summarize, the very flaws of historiography, together with the influence of the economy, the structural funcionalism and  scienticism imposed an objectivist and economicist interpretation of history from the end of World War II[50] that rendered futile our early historiographical efforts in favour of a history with a subject, in other words, in favour of a more global approach[51].

   The minor role attributed to the subject of history in the objectivist paradigm prevailing almost leads to its banishment from the historiographical scene.  Hobsbawm himself, in his well-known  paper,  De la historia social a la historia de la sociedad  (1971) where he shows his regret for a total history he fails to see developing in the foreseeable future[52], maintains the notion of a  strong link between social history and the history of social protest which  is still the perfect laboratory for the historian. Nonetheless, he also notices the   pre-eminence of the economic over the political  due to the influence of Marxism and the  German historical school ; the overwhelming superiority of economy over the other social sciences; the tacit agreement by historians on starting the study of the social and economic structure  outwards and upwards  pointing out that  it is far from my intention to discourage those interested in these issues [revolutions] . Not in vain have I devoted a great deal of my professional time to them.    However. . .  , he eventually sugguests that revolutions be approached in longer temporal periods in an attempt to  capture the structrure [53].  This would be fair enough were it not that by acknowledging the objectivist impact without confronting it directly ( as Thompson will do later),  what it is being favoured, regardless of the author s intention[54], is the neglect of the collective action, academicism and the hostility toward this theory[55].

     What is the problem ?Basically that structural socialism was developed to effectively  integrate the social conflict within the structure and to prevent, in the short term, the posibility of a radical social change[56]. Its hegemony in postwar social sciences favoured the spread of the mature Marx who wrote the prologue to Crítica de la economía política ( 1859) where he presented the social revolution as the result of the (objective) contradictions between productive forces and the relations of production instead of  young Marx s Manifiesto Comunista ( 1848) where the history of mankind was seen as the result of a class war. As a consequence, Marxism was not only adulterated, handicapé. Historians found themselves, as well, almost without realizing, due to  the tacit agreements characteristic of the academy ( that Kuhn explained so well and that is mirrored in Hosbsbawn s paper), without such important topics of research as conflicts, revolts and revolutions. But for history, ignoring the subject amounts to suicide as a  discipline. It is for reason that the traditional subject ( individual, political, narrative) forced its way back in an attempt to fill the gap left by the social actor.


The 1982 turn


    In 1982 two young historians, José Alvarez Junco and Manuel Pérez Ledesma, published a paper  Historia del movimiento obrero. )Una segunda ruptura? [57], which for its daring, ambitious approach[58] and its representativity [59]and consequences deserves a privileged position in Spanish historiographical reflection[60].

    The authors claim that they do not abandon  the centrality of working-class struggles . They  add that it is possible to mantain the study of the working class movement but with new orientations as it is not possible to ignore their decisive importance in the last one hundred and fifty years of European history. Workers did not carry out the revolution they dreamt of, but they forced a number of changes that have profoundly marked societies . Curiously enough, these changes have been played down by the classic history of the working class movement, thus,  fouling their own nest [61]. That centrality, however, was not such since the history of the working class movement was deprived of its  priviledged epistemological status  and was replaced by  the history of the social movements [62].

   The criticisms the history of the working class movement in the seventies has received are threefold: a) a commited, semiclandestine[63], teleological, working-class-oriented, overpious[64], and self-indulgent history, pure  social realism ; b) a simplifying history, economically-determined, based on preconceived patterns that rule out previous hypothesis and domanied by popular socialism [1]; c ) a traditional history , focused on the study of ideology, institutions unions and workers  parties- and the individuals - the workers s leaders. The excess of their criticism and their unilaterality[1] is as obvious as necessary:  you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs .

   The proposals of these two authors are, therefore, to depoliticize Spanish social history, making it more academic, free from ideological preconceptions, providing new themes ( such as studying workers and their life and work conditions, other social and political movements, the employer s organizations, non-labour parties, the relationship of the different classes with the State) and new methods (by learning from sociology and the other social sciences as well as from British and French historiography[65] - the history of mentalities[66])- in other words,  to get away from the sometimes stifling framework historography of the social movement has so far been inmersed [67].

     As an innovative project, what has been said so far still holds true: there remain many new ways of approaching the Spanish history of the social movements to be worked out, especially now with the revival of social conflicts in historiography. But it is also necesary to supersede the 1982 hypercritical, iconoclastic approach.

    Firstly, it is necessary to further support  the recovery of the history of social conflicts and revolts, ostracized by the innovative excesses of the eighties. This was against the will of  their promoters but, as historians, we know that historical results, like the historiographical  ones, are, to a great extent, involuntary. Apart from our  rational choice , other factors, both internal and external, come into play.

   Secondly, to do historiographical justice - personal recognition has already been granted in the famous paper[68] - to Tuñón de Lara after the unavoidable  death of the father  performed by our critics. It does not seem suitable, however, to portray Tuñón de Lara as dogmatic, teleological and traditional, except  as far as the historical and ideological constraints and limitations of the time are concerned.  Especially when his essential role in the  first break[69]  is not always conveniently remaked upon. That we choose as subject matter strikes or conflicts, the ideology of unions and political parties, or their leader s does not in itself amounts to qualifying  it as old or new history. It is the innovation in the approaches - apart from the quality of the results- that counts[70]. Moreover, did not Tuñón himself write in 1973 that   the episodic approach of labour history ( that is, a content relatively new and accurate, but with old methology) which, to a greater or lesser extent, we all have succumbed to, seems to be about to be definively superseded[71] . It has not been so but it would be unfair to blame exclusively Tuñón - or  for that matter the authors above mentioned for  the ultimate effects of the renovation- who saw clearly the need to be open to new methods and themes to tackle the history of the working class movement as his critics themselves acknowledge - with quotations- so as to strengthen its foundations[72], especially in the case of the history of social mentalities[73]. It is true, however, that if we set aside the history of the working class movement[74], the situation would be very different. Tuñon de Lara s works - and the authors  of the paper themselves - would not be as useful.

    The third point I would like to make is to criticise the advocates of the  second break  for focusing on content and methodological renovation  leaving, however, the underlying paradigm untouched. Because the main flaw of the social history of seventies is in the economicism-structuralist -objectist paradigm that informed , contradicted and hindered it, the authors put into question economic reduccionism, but say nothing of the structural and objectivist constraint[75], which agrees with the final conclusion of our criticism ( of their criticism). Either by design or chance the boy was drained away with the water in spite of the centrality formally proclaimed of the social struggle, of a wider scope in subject matter, and the appearance of the first hints of what Ignacio Ramonet some years later,called  unique thought  pushed into the background the academic research on workers movements, revolts and revolutions[76] in the eighties. This objective tendency of the socio-political context, that is, of the neo-conservative wave led by MargaretThatcher and Ronald Reagan has been a decisive factor in the relegation of the social subject in both reality and historical research. The critical function of the historian by insisting on those issues that, having a scientific relevance,  could be negatively affected by the political and ideological situation was missing .

   The need for a content and methodological renewal seen on the article of Revista de Occidente was shared, in the early eighties, by a great number of social historians[77]. In the issue 2/3 (1982) of the journal Debats, the conclusions of a round table on  Social Movements  are published at the time of the first  meeting of social historians in Valencia in 1981 with the collaboration of the following historians: J.J. Castillo, J: Termes, P. Gabriel, J. Álvarez Junco, S. Castillo, S. Juliá, C. Forcadell, M. Pérez Ledesma, J.A. Piqueras , A. Bosch, J. Paniagua,M. Cerdá y S. Forner. The conclusions are similar to those in the preceding meeting. Some innovative lines were added, such as oral history and the history of women - even today poorly developed - and Álvarez Junco and Pérez Ledesma s paper s call for a break is significatively qualified in the sense mentioned above. Carlos  Forcadell finds it more accurate to speak of a  second reception  of the European historiography of the working class movement, taking into account that - in comparison with Europe - the history of the Spanish working class movement is scarce: even if we limit ourselves to the institutional field, to the study of the parties, and of their leading groups . Santos Juliá adds: as an example that here institutional history has not been conducted , let s remember that we do not have a history of the comunist party as italians do [ and we still do not have it ]. I have the impression that we are using up a history not yet made[78].

   In this conference some other interested proposals were submitted: the publishing of a journal[79], the elaboration of our own models of research[80], the need for a sociology of the researcher  that analyses the social class he/she comes from, his/her ideology and what would be more complex,  who this history has served to[81] , argues Álvarez Junco, who, later, sincerely and profetically  admits that   we, intellectual  middle-class urban people , aspire to power and are competing with others who already have it[82] .

   In Valencia, Santiago Castillo complains that  most attendants have to work on something that has nothing to do with historical research, having only their spare time to devote to them. Besides, they spend the little money they have on files, paper sheets and photocopies. . . . [83].  Well, having been able to conduct innovative research in these conditions should be an example for the new generations, who no doubt have it more difficult[84]. Despite this, most contributors at Debats were  still assistant lecturers[85]. I say  still  because, in that time a great deal of the political and economic historians, in the most traditional areas of historical knowledge, and of the same generation, had attained the status of government employee[86] , some of them were even professors. If the truth be told, being Marxism or contemporary historian was not an asset at Spanish univestities in the seventies[87]. The change on this respect that took place in the eighties thanks to the historiographical renewal,  the political transition and the coming to power of  PSOE together with the consolidation of democracy, in and outside university, was so dramatic that we have rectify saying that we are in a more balanced position[88], thus helping the new generation.

   The political situation is , indeed, essential to understand the historiographic and academic turn of 1982 . It is not a coincidence that the first great victory of the socialist party by absolute majority, only three years after its abandonment of Marxism[89], takes place in 1982. It is not so much a direct influence, as the historiographical change we are analyzing occurs before the electoral change towards the left as the fact that both events , of radically different characteristics, share the same intelectual and mental context. History  is daughter to her time, and suffers , like all human and social sciences   weather changes  especially in such a delicate  field as the history of the working class movement and social conflicts, which, was originally,  a way of  fighting Francoism[90].

     In 1982, therefore, the change in social, political and cultural hegemony consolidates. It goes from the PCE to the PSOE[91], from the social struggles of the seventies to the electoral confrontation in the eighties. The thwarting of the revolutionary tendencies ( through pacts by  antifrancoist oposition /francoist reforms) originated at universities in the sixties and the seventies and the virtual banishment of a number of political parties ( PTE, ORT, MCE, LCR....) of great influence among university students. These parties were characterised by a schematical and dogmatic classical Marxism , which paradoxically was as structuralist as well-intentioned[92].  The end of the political transition brings about the gradual banishment from the political arena of one of the social movements - the working-class movement becomes institucionalized and the student movement fades- reappearing only briefly to legitimately denounce the labour, economic and educative policy of the socialist governments. All these frustrations, what came to be known as the  disenchantment ,  the need for some people to  start everything all over again  in their careers, the ideological  transformation of almost everyone, put an end in the eighties to the political commitment of the intellectual ( the  swan song  was, undoubtedly, the referendum on whether to join NATO in 1986) that contributed to draining of ideology the academic lines more sympathetic to Marxism by proposing the  second breaks[93] . Paradoxically, the political and ideological moderation did not put an end to the anachronic  frentepopulismo  in the political and university context following transition. On the contrary, it was continually fueled by faction struggles for academical and electoral power that tended to become polarized (  reds  and  blues  and of late  nationalists and  non-nationalist ).

        Amidst the recovery of the interest in the history of the social conflicts in the nineties, the 1982 historigraphic turn was reintroduced in several occasions[94].  It was reassessed by their defendants - as well as by younger colleagues- by redefining[95] or  forgeting [96] some arguments, advancing and refurnishing the innotative spirit and /or reacting against it; trying, in short, to find their place in this last decade and a half characterized from a historiographical viewpoint for a deep crisis of the common postwar paradigm - where our discussion on the history of the working class movement should be placed- ; for the increasing fragmentation of object and approaches; for the chaotic development of our discipline; for the return to the traditional genres; for the appearance of new potential paradigms...

    The apprisal of the innovative movement of the eighties is negative for most authors that have  resumed the issue between 1990 and 1995. Ángeles Barrio speaks of scarce output; Carlos Gil,quoting the former, among others, points out  that the conclusions reached do not stand up to the expectations[97] ; Pere Gabriel admits   that we have not attained much , and criticises the overreaction against the history of the social history and the   reduccionist cliché  used when assessing the social history between 1959-1982; Carlos Forcadell, who had already pointed out his criticisms in Valencia, insists again;   the impression that the results of the 1982 methodological proposals are well behind our intented aim is widespread [98]; José Antonio Piqueras asks himself about how social history is conducted is Spain and attacks in his answer   the entrenchment of empirism and the absence of a theory in the historical work [99]. José Álvarez Junco, at the I International Meeting History Under Debate is more direct and selfcritical. He admits the (relative) failure of the innovate movement[100] and hits a raw nerve :  routine or the lack of an alternative model with a similar capacity to provide a global explanation is the reason why the historiographical treatment of the social movements in Spain remains faithful to this approach [ the received paradigm]. [101]

     One of the authors of the paper in Revista de Occidente is right in his criticism- self criticism. The old paradigms - and the new history- that reached Spain in the sixties and the seventies is nowdays ( time and tide wait for no man), an old paradim- are still valid. Historians fail to agree on a replacement, though. As I see it, however, we are missing the point. If social historians have not so far  fully accepted the substitution of working-class history for history of the social movements. If we have failed to work out an alternative global paradigm , it is , in our view and to be brief, because several  mistakes  have been made: a) the abandonment of a history of the working class movement was, voluntarily or not, favoured[102]. This is unavoidable if we are after a history of the social movements worth its name, which, being denied in everyday work, the first innovative thrust by Tuñón the Lara and the Coloquios de Pau, tends to revert into traditional approaches; b)  the structuralism, objective and scienticist distortion of the common paradigm of 20th century historians , thus neutralizing their efforts to free from economicism, innovate contents and methods so as to mantain the interent in social factors; c )  dissociating the discussion on working-class movement and the  social movements from historiographical discussion as a whole.However attention is paid to dicussions pertaining sociology- transcending contemporary historians as  a great number of problems can only be solved if we move outside the narrow margin in which social historians of the 19th and 20th century work: d) forgeting global history, a mistake common to most western historiography of the late decades and, to a certain extent, justified by the complete failure of  total  history, especially of the structuralist and determinist interpretation of this fundamental historiographical construct; e) having been critical with the political context that has given raise to  the first break  ( a history rethought by the 1968 generation   in a hasty,semi-clandestine fashion and , to a great extent, politically-minded [103]) but not with the political ideological conditionants and the mentality that contributed to the 1982 turn[104] and its later influence on the social history of the eighties and without which it is not possible to understand its relative failure[105]. Well, above I wrote  mistakes  between inverted commas because around 1982 - a year of great hopes of renewal after the 23-F attempted coup d etat ( 1981) and the occupation of Valencia by Miláns del Bosch- , it was not easy to foresee the flourishing of a historiographical postmodernity[106] or the return to traditional history, the breaching of the Berlin Wall or the negative evolution in domestic politics[107]; and especially because, it is in this way, by learning from our past, that we can work out more sensible proposals for the (foreseeable) future.


The return of the nineties


    Although in the eighties, interest of history as a whole and social history in particular in conflicts, revolts and social movements diminished notably it does not mean that research works were not published, some of them most interesting, on medieval[108], modern[109] and contemporary[110] history  in the wake of the preceding  boom  and/or because of the decision of some researchers who, regardless of  fashions[111]  still considered -and consider - the study of the most dymanic part of history of great historiographical interest . Papers[112] rather than books are predominant -the typical result of doctoral thesis - and in general, works on local history in keeeping with the growing marginalization of the Spanish sphere[113] and of the history of Spain[114] in academic research.

    The turning point will take place somewhere between the late eighties and the early nineties, and a number of conferences, meetings and workshops will be the force behind - as well as the  symptoms-  of this new flourishing of the history of the social conflicts - and of the working class movement. In these conferences, in which due to their collective nature and immediacy reflect best the different historiograpical situations, there was a tendency to adopt a interhistorical approach as there were  historians from different areas of historical knowledge .

   Volumes VII and VIII of the I Congreso de Historia de Castilla-La Mancha are ( Toledo, 1988) devoted to Conflictos Sociales y Evolución económica en la Edad Moderna, although the contents do not altogether correspond with the title, a problem common to other conferences, given that historians in the eighties were not used to tackling these issues.

   In 1989, within the framework of the summer courses at El Escorial, a workshop is held under the title of Revoluciones y alzamientos en la España de Felipe II ( Valladolid, 1992), where, again,  not all contritubions conform to the title, something which will not happen again in the future meetings - especially in the open papers submited in conferences. Commemorating the bicentenary of the French Revolution, that same year, the Jornadas de Estudios Históricos , which the Department of Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History organizes annually open with  a cycle of conferences on Revueltas y revoluciones en la historia (Salamanca 1990). Nonetheless, the first great conference in which the return of conflicts is apparent is organized by Institución  Fernado el Católico  in Zaragoza, also in 1989, on Señorío y Feudalismo en la Península Ibérica (Zaragoza, 1993).

  In 1990, four meetings on revolts and social unrest take place : a summer course organized by the Universidad Complutense at El Escorial on Resistencias hispánicas al imperio: Comuneros, agermanados y erasmistas; a workshop at the UIMP in Cuenca on Asociacinismo conflicto agario en España (18th, 19th and 20th centuries) and the First Meeting of the Association of Social History, also in Zaragoza on La historia social en España: actualidad y perspectivas (Madrid 1991) with contributions manily by contemporary historians[115].  To this should be added  the papers by Gonzalo Bueno, Julián Casanova, and Julio Arostegui on Revoluciones y reformas: su influencia sobre la historia de la sociedad submited that same year in the section  Grandes Temas  of the 17th International Conference of Historical Sciences that took place in Madrid.

    In 1993, Ignacio Olábarri and Valentín Vázquez de la Prada organized the V Conversaciones Internacionales de Historia, Para comprender el cambio social, enfoques teóricos y perspectivas historiográficas ( Pamplona, 1997) with the explicit purpose, as they write in the prologue,  of  recovering one of the major questions of mid-century historiography - the explanation of social change - in the knowledge that we lack an  -ism  that can answer that question  in order to oppose extreme postmodernism through a recovery of  Athe  sociocientific  methodologies  that have  rendered fruitful throughout this century .

    In 1995,two important conferences and a workshop were held: the 7th Conference on Agrarian History at Baeza, organized by the Seminario de Historia Agraria, on rural unrest in the Middle Ages, Modern and Contemporary history ( published in Noticiario de historia Agraria , 12 &13 1996, 1997); 2nd Conference of the Association of Social History, in Córdoba, on El trabajo a través de la historia ( Madrid, 1996), where most papers were devoted to the history of the working class movement ans social unrest[116]; and the workshop at the UIMP in Valencia on Conflictividad y represión en la sociedad moderna published in the issue 22 (1996) of the journal Estudis. Revista de historia Moderna, the consequence of a research project ( 1992-1995) on La dimensión conflictiva de la sociedad Valencia moderna.

    Lastly, in 1997, I will mention the third Conference of our assoctiation of Social History, on Estado, protesta y movimentos sociales, that has forced us to reflect on the current situation and the perspectives of our field of research which, for many colleagues, belonged with a kind of historiography, that of the sixties and seventies, that would never return , which even if possible would not be desirable . A different matter is that its objects of investigation are still there and are even unavoidable so as to leave behind the current paradigmatic crisis and be able to give our field a thurst into the new millenium.

    As far as journals are concerned, the most remarkable one is, of course, Historia Social from Valencia which has devoted five dossiers to the history of the working class movement, the conflicts and social revolts: no.1, 1988,  Anarquismo y sindicalismo ; no 5, 1989,  Huelgas ; no 15, 1993,   Estado y acción colectiva ; no 17, 1994,  conflictividad obrera y conducta social , no. 20, 22, 1994 and 1995,   Debates de la historia social de España  ( with papers on conflicts, revolutions and  class struggle  by García Cárcel, M. Chust, J. Casanova y P. Gabriel)[117]. Paradoxically, the two social historians, Santos Juliá and Carlos Forcadell, who at the meeting in Valencia in 1981, were more reluctant to the  second break  claiming that we using up a history not yet made , that is, the history of the working class movement, the political parties and their leading groups[118], now undervalue as  classical social history  (without even considering whether we are before traditional or renovated approaches), Historia Social s remarkable dossiers on conflict, revolts and social movements[119]. In my view, it is not the objects - we need them all- that define historical validity but its methods and its results[120]. Renovating histrory through a change or a widening of contents , discovering new objects, is internationally exhausted. It is now the turn to innovate in a more challenging but also more decissive way. Through method, historiography and theory. We will come across old topics presented with new approaches or new topics dealt with tradional approaches.

   Other journals have, recently, paid attention to the social subject and his history . Issues no. 3 and 4, both of 1990, of  Historia Contemporánea ( edited by Tuñón de Lara) that monographically deal with  Movilización obrera entre los siglos, 1890-1990 and Cambios sociales y modernización respectively. Issue no. 4 of Ayer ( 1991) is devoted to La huelga general since it is seen as a topic of  current  interest. The strikes staged in the Russian Federation in August 1991; in Italy, Gaza-Cisjordania, in Asturias in October or in the Republic of South Africa in November are good  contemporary  examples of  it. Issues no. 56 ( 1991) and 69 (1994) of Zona Abierta were devoted to Fluctuaciones económicas y ciclos de conflicto and Movimientos sociales , acción e identidad; the introduction to the issue no. 69, subtitled   some old reasons  opposes those who   get together to certify the death of the social movements  and  adopts that favours a concept of  social movement  devoid of adjectives such as  new  or  old  that should be redefined. Furthermore, issues no. 12 ( 1996) and 13 ( 1997) of Noticiario de Historia Agrícola and issue no.22 ( 1996) of Studis where the conference and workshops acts mentioned have been published.

    As to books, there are some  end-of-century novelties  that confirm the new thrust of the history of conflicts and revolts[121], especially by the new generation[122].  I believe, however, that , if the data and hypothesis at out disposal are right- that there will be greater advances in the future  because the gaps are still many and important. Is it not true that  monographical research applying the new methologies to the study of such impotant revolutions as the remensas, the germanías, the comunidades, or contemporary peasants, workers or people s uprisals is still to be conducted? Such has been my personal experience. I have tried to refocus , in several works[123], linking the different epochs form a history of the mentalities approach, oral history and the history of crimminality, the Irmandiña revolt ( 1967-1469), its antecedents, its outbreak and its impact on the collective mind  ( 1467-1674).

      There were two things that worried me ( but did not dissuade me[124]) when, in the mid-eighties, I opted for researching into a social revolt[125] as the central point of my project letting my innovative concerns  run free without abandoning a classical subject, decisive however for a comprehensive understanding of history. First, to be a alone in no-man s land as I was moving among the fuzzy edges of severals academic areas. Secondly, to be thought of as an  odd fish  in writing a doctoral thesis on a medieval revolt. But I also had one hope: to contribute to the historiographical and historical  revival of the social subject. Good evidence that I am not exaggerating is what Fernández de Pinedo writes in 1992 in the prologue to Joseba de la Torre s thesis-  read in 1989 and supervised by Fontana - on the antifeudal struggle in Navarra:   sometimes it seems as if  writing on struggles and conflicts is not in good taste [126]. Well, here the old saying springs to mind  the last shalt be the first .  It is for this reason that when I was about to write this paper, sorting out my files and doing the last readings, I decided to change its titlef rom a vindicative one (  Conflicts, revolts, and revolutions. For a history with a subject ) to one more neutral (  The return of the social subject  ).

    Why this renewal in Spain of the history of the social conflicts and revolt[127] ? There are several possible historiographical reasons: a ) the good moment of Spanish historiography in the nineties[128] both in output and growth, despite difficulties for young historians to enter the labour market as well as in the innovative spirit[129] and the reflective effort[130]; b) we are in a historiographical moment in which we are trying to assess results in search of alternatives , backwards and forwards where everything is renovated and recovered in such a way that we accumulate conflict, revolts and revolutions- that are historical events and give rise to important ways of conducting history- with biography, political history and narrative, so far the protagonists of the historigrafical revivals; c ) the relative failure of the unfinished 1982 turn  that got to be known as a social history without subject , without conflict[131]; the influence of the new sociology of the collective action, of the racional action, of the social actors that rediscover the subject, much later than history and  throws him back to us through the window a decade after  having wished him out of the door .

    Then, we have the domestic and international contexts of which we cannot prescind in order to understand the recoverey of the old Spanish historiographical tradition of the conflicts, revolts  and revolutions at the threshold of the 21st century.

     From a domestic point of view, the most powerful factor, in my view, is the consolidation of democracy under the socialist governments and, as a consequence, the normalization[132] of the conflict and the strikes, the general strike as well, thus losing the  subversive  implications they formely had with Franco and even during the transition. This contributes to their recovery in the academic world and to the positive reassessment of social facts as subjects of study class unions and local institutions, which in the interim have established foundations, centres of study and research in order to recover their historical memory and legitimize their respective identities.

     From an international point of view, we cannot but recognise the spectacularity of  collective action in the history of the last decade of the 20th century. Let us consider four moments: 1) 1989-1991, democratic revolutions in East Europe with a decisive protagonism of the people, beginning with the industrial workers  ( in Poland) that take advantage of all the  classical  means to bring down the so-called  real socialism : rallies, general strikes, armed uprisings ( Romania);  2) 1994 - peasant revolt in Chiapas , at the very same moment that Mexico joins the Treaty of Free Commerce with the USA and Canada that triggers off a wave of sympathy in - and outside - Mexico and resulted in many academics and historians recovering their non-party political commitment[133] ( as it had previously been the case in Eastern Europe); 3) 1995-1997 social movements ( major strikes and rallies) in France of an unknown magnitude since the sixties, first against Chirac and Jupe neoliberal policy and later, more aggresively in favour of inmigrants - and against Le Pen monteé- which forced an influential group of intellectuals led by film-makers, writers and artists[134] into social commitment and had an influence in the surprising victory of the left in June 1st 1997 and of the fact that social Europe is beginning to be discussed about at EU meetings; 4) March 1997 a popular uprising in Albany, that adds to its  classicism , radicality and  spontaniety[135] , like in the case of France and without taking the comparison too far, having achieved their more political aims[136], namely, bring down Belisha and give the power - through votes- to the left oposition led by former comunists. This confirms a slight change in the political filiation of  mass  interventions- either political or electoral- in Eastern Europe.

 The new, unexpected role of social revolts in democracies[137], as it is showing up in a number of such different European countries as France and Albany after the  end of history  and  unique thought  and, in general, the  return of the social issue [138] challenges history and the other social sciences to understand - historically- the world ahead. In order to successfully accomplish this task, it is necessary to recover and reformulate the scientific function and the social sensiblity  of history by newly analysing the past so as to build up a better future; by , first of all, placing the unquestionable return of conflicts, revolts and revolutions at the threshold of the 21th century within its historical context ; to summarize by, accepting the change in the construct of historical time that stems from these accelerated events of the end of the century, when what seemed to be the past turns out to be the future. Such is the case of conflicts and revolts from the point of view of the writing of history. Interest in these issues has been recovered as they have taken on renovated topicality.  The case of Spain is special, though. With the exception of the December 14th 1988 general strike and  several demonstrations by secondary students, we are far from seeing , as it is the case of France, a renotaved socio-political  protagonism of what - in our youth aware of the long tradition of social struggle in Spain- used to be called the  masses . Nonetheless, the historiographical return is more evident in Spain than in France[139]. We may, then, be before yet another instance of the differences in rhythm between the realm of historiography and the social political situation. But if history was ever the daughter of her time, that is the case of the history of the social movements: either  global village  has made national situations unimportant or we are anticipating the future of the country...[140].

   Time and space limitations - this paper is already beyond the usual length alloted - will not allow  a critical and self-critical analysis on recent Spanish research on social struggle, nor to link in more detail this return to the history of social conflicts with the more general historiographical debate. I would like to note, however, its importance. The dynamics of the historiography of movements and revolutions plays a significant role in in the evolution of historiography as a whole. It is a  central  issue, whose ebbs and flows accurately portray historical and historiographical changes. How is, will or should the  third break  in the historiographicy of the movements and social conflicts be ? What is its historiographical relation with the change in paradigms ? What role will the subject play in building up the new paradigm of history ?

[1]See thesis 11 of  La historia que viene , Historia a debate, I, santiago, 1995.

[2]So as  to be coherent with the claims made in AInacabada Transición de la historiografía española@, Bulletin d Historie Contemporaine de l Espagne, n1 24, Bordeaux, 1996.

[3]Anselmo LORENZO, El proletariado Militante, Vol 2, 1901-1923; Manuel NÚÑEZ DE ARENAS, Algunas notas sobre el movimiento obrero español, 1916; Juan José MORATO, Historia de la Asociación del Arte de Imprimir, 1925; Manuel RAVENTOS, Assaig sobre alguns episods històrics dels moviments socials a Barcelona en el segle XIX, 1925; Juan DÍAZ DEL MORAL, Historia de las agitaciones campesinas andaluzas-Córdoba (Antedentes para una reforma agraria), 1929.

[4]The return to the social conflicts , less evident in other countries with more influential historiography and with a proved capacity of self-reflection, demonstrate the autonomy and the identity of Spanish historiography.

[5] Hobsbawn, in 1971, accurately wrote : the many studies on the social conflict, from the revolts to the revolutions,  De la historia social a la historia de la sociedad , Historia Social, n1 10, 1991, p.22.

[6]Carlos GIL ANDRÉS,  Protesta popular y movimientos sociales en la Restauración , Historia Social, n1 23, 1995, p. 123.

[7]Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA,  Cuando lleguen los días de la cólera  ( Movimientos sociales, teoría e historia) , Zona Abierta, n1 69, 1994, pp. 59-69.

[8]Oficially social sciences also posed this question: Where is the working world heading for?, Los conflictos sociales en Europa ( Coloquio de Brujas, 1964), Madrid 1974.

[9] I include the inverted commas as a way of signalling our refusal to the common and excesive indentification between  trend  and  innovation , to the discredit of the latter.

[10] The liberal-romantic historians of the 19th century had already discovered the medieval and modern revolts as well as the forefathers of the history of the working-class movement, since Fernando Garrido and his Historia de las clases trabajadoras ( 1860), the strikes and the  peasant riots  ( see footnote number 3).

[11]Joan Reglà devotes, for instance, most of his Introducción a la historia Socioeconomía-Política-Cultura (Catalan edition 1968) to the revolts and  accelerated processes  in history, following Jaume VICENS VIVES, Ensayo sobre la morfología de la Revolución en la Historia Moderna, Zaragoza, 1947.

[12] His moderation as a middle class reformist (Josep M. MUÑOZ I LLORET), Jaume Vicens Vivens. Una biografía intelectual, Barcelona 1997) underlines the close relationship - which is beyond political stances - between historiographical renewal and social history  proper , and between historiographical revolution and the collective individual.

[13] The author has pointed out that Vicens Vivens was introduced to his work in its finished form.

[14] The interhistorical nature of the innovative proposals put forward twenty years ago has been  buried by the so-called   primacy of contemporary history  , which has brought about consequences both extremely positive and negative ( especially in the field of education).

[15] Clases y conflictos de clases en la historia, Madrid, 1977, p.9.

[16]  It is one of the most circulated sections of the Grundisse, published in Spanish several years before, in 1972, by Comunicacion publishers.

[17]  Clases y conflictos de clases en la historia, p. 89.

[18]  This is an authocriticism as it would have been my answer.

[19]  Clases y conflictos de clses en la historia, p. 89.

[20]  My copy, which I did not buy when due- probably because of lack of interest- is glossed by its former owner,who added between brackets under the name of the publisher and translator ( Francisco Rubio Llorente)  social democrat , which felt as a serious political insult in the late sixties unversity circles.

[21]  A economic modernity that contradicted the pioneering works on the history of the social conflicts in Spain , which paid more attention to social and cultural subjectivity in the working class. Paradoxically, it was closer to Thompson than to the Spanish social history of the seventies. Pere GABRIEL,   A vueltas y revueltas con la historia social obrera en España . Historia Social, n122, 1995, pp.44-48, 52.

[22] Los conflctos sociales en el reino de Castilla en los siglos XIV y XV, Madrid, 1975, p. 5

[23] ídem, p.10-11.

[24] Isabel BECEIRO. La rebelión Irmandiña, Madrid, 1977; Salustiano MORETA, Malhechores-feudales. Violencia, antagonismos y alianzas de clases en Castilla, siglos XIII-XIV, Salamanca, 1978; Esteban SARASA, Sociedad y conflictos sociales en Aragón: siglos XIII-XV (Estructuras de poder y conflictos de clases), Madrid, 1981; see footnote 32

[25] See the paper by Valeriano Bozal in Zona Abierta, n1 7, 1976, p.114-116; shared Marxism made interdisciplinary communication easier in the seventies both within history and among social sciences; a similar interface role was played by the Annales school, which, at the same time, shared a common ground- apparent in the case of Vicens Vices- with Marxist historiography.

[26] 'Tensiones sociales en los siglos XIV y XV , I Jornadas de Metodología aplicada de las ciencias históricas, II, Santiago, 1973, pp. 273-275.

[27] See aslo Michel MOLLAT, Philippe WOLFF, Uñas azules, jacques y cuimpi. Las revoluciones populares en la Europa de los siglos XIV y XV, Madrid , 1976 ( Paris, 1970), pp. 237-241.

[28] The rigid theory of sucession of production modes, which has received widespread attention by social-economic historians, did not allow to see the relationship between social unrest and structual changes, even when the great transitions were tackled. It is for this reason that the heretical paper by Robert Brenner ( Past and Present, 1976) on class role and class struggle in the transition from feudalism to capitalism caused such controversy . El debate Brenner. Estructura de clases agraria y desarrollo económico en la Europa preindustrial, Barcelona, 1988, pp. 44 ff. ( once more we have evidence of the late arrival in Spain of Angloamerican Marxist historical studies which are critical with structuralism and economicism).

[29] Other historians explain social structural changes on the long run on the basis of the slow evolution of economies and civilizations and not on the basis of revolutions, Michel MOLLAT, Phillipe WOLFF, op. Cit. Pp.237-174.

[30] 'Tensiones sociales en los siglos XIV y XV , p. 279.

[31]  Spanish lag and the academic autarchy brought about by Franco s dictatorship, the strength of the Annales School toghether with the closeness to France, as well as a lack of command of the English language contributed, in the sixties, to the neglect of the works that marked the British renewal of the social hstory of revolts, conflicts and classes. See footnote 28.

[32] The second great work on medieval history is published now: Reyna PASTOR, Resistencias y luchas campesinas en la época del crecimiento y consolidación de la formación feudal Castilla León, siglos X-XIII, Madrid, 1980.

[33] Barry HINDESS, Paul Q. Hirst, Los modos de producción precapitalistas. Barcelona, 1978 (Londres, 1975) pp 313-315; E.P. THOMPSON, Miseria de la teoría , Barcelona, 1981 ( Londres 1978) pp. 10-11.

[34] See footnote 11

[35] The following studies on Castillian communities are worth mentioning: Juan Ignacio GUTIÉRREZ NIETO, Las comunidades como movimiento antiseñorial ( la formación del bando realista en la guerra civil castellana de 1520- 1521), Barcelona, 1973; Joseph PÉREZ, La revolución de las Comunidades de Castilla ( 1520-1521), Madrid 1977; and several other historical analysis of social conflicts in the Old Regime like: Antonio DOMÍNGUEZ ORTIZ, Alteraciones andaluzas, Madrid, 1973; J.M. PALOP RAMOS, Hambre y lucha antifeudal. Las crisis de subsistencias en Valencia ( siglo XVIII), Madrid, 1977; Bartolomé YUN , Crisis de subsistencias y conflictividad social en Códoba a principios del siglo XVI, Córdoba, 1980.

[36] When selecting three reference works that would allow us to study the pragmatic foundations of the history of the working class movement and of social conflictivity , I have paid particular attention to their overt Marxism, which makes them all the more representative.  

[37] The book by Eulalia Durán ( Les germanies als països catalans, Barcelona, 1982) has a similar theoretical and methodological basis to Garcia Cárcel s . It extends, however the study to the principality of Cataluña.  Something similar occurs in the case of Stephen Haliczer s work ( Los comuneros de Castilla. La forja de una revolución, 1475-1521, Valladolid, 1987- Wisconsin, 1981-) that explicitely subscribes to the methodological principles of structural funcionalism (ídem, pp.22-23, 293), by organizing his work in a fashion similar to Althusserian-influenced Marxist historians.

[38] Germanías de Valencia, 1975, p.240.

[39] Introducció a la historia del moviment obrer, Barcelona, 1966; Metodología de la historia social en España, Madrid, 1973.

[40] See Jose Luis de la GRANJA, Alberto REIG TAPIA , Editors., Manuel Tuñón de Lara. El compromiso con la historia. Su vida y su obra, Bilbao, 1993.

[41] Joseph TERMÉS, Anarquismo y sindicalimo en España ( 1864-1881), Barcelona 1972; Miquel IZARD, Industrialización y obrerismo. Las Tres Clases de Vapor,( 1869-1913) Barcelona, 1973; Juan Pablo FUSI, Política obrera en el País Vasco ( 1880-1923), Madrid, 1975; José ÁLVAREZ JUNCO, La ideología política en el anarquismo español, Madrid, 1976; Juan José CASTILLO, El sindicalismo amarillo en España, Madrid, 1977; Carlos FORCADELL, Parlamentarismo y bolchevización. El movimiento obrero español ( 1914-1918), Barcelona, 1978; José María MARAVALL, Dictadura y disentimiento político. Obreros y estudiantes bajo el franquismo, Madrid , 1978; Xavier PANIAGUA, La sociedad Libertaria. Agrarismo e industrialización en el anarquismo español ( 1930-1939), Barcelona, 1982; Aurora BOSCH, Ugetistas y libertarios. Guerra civil y revolución en el País Valenciano, Valencia, 1983; Santos JULIÁ, Madrid, 1931-1934. De la fiesta popular a la lucha de clases, Madrid 1984; Julián CASANOVA, Anarquismo y revolución en la sociedad rural aragonesa, 1936-1938, Madrid 1985; Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA, El Obrero consciente. Dirigentes, partidos y sindicatos en la II Internacional, Madrid, 1987; David Ruíz Insurección defensiva y revolución obrera. El octubre español de 1934, Barcelona, 1988.

[42] Casimir Martí ends his lecture in this conference ( Historia e historiografía del movimiento obrero: mi experiencia) by asking himself whether   the disposal of any concept inspired on any ethical or political utopy, even if taken as a working hypothesis  does not in practice amount to   giving life to a historiography that serves an ordered, or disordered, establishment  .

[43] El movimiento obrero en la historia de España, Madrid, 1972, p. 12.

[44]  It should be noticed that censorship substituted  the term  class struggle  by  social conflict .

[45] Manuel TUÑÓN,   Problemas actuales de la historiografía española , Sistema, n11, 1972, p.44.

[46] Rogelio Pérez Bustamante wrote in the prologue to a book by Javier Ortiz Real,:  As I see it, it amounts to something more than a class struggle between lords and peasants . . . it is about defending what is most important, freedom against a feudal regime . . . through the capability of breaking at any given moment their link of dependance . Cantabria en el siglo XV. Aproximación al estudio de los conflictos sociales, Santander, 1985, p. 16.

[47] When the first historical studies on social conflicts were published in Spain, it was  officially held  that there was an ongoing conspiration- also influencing university- in which the Jewish, the masonry and the communists were involved  as a way of  accounting for  the social movements, which were accused of being  subversive . The risk, therefore, for innovative history was in denying the role of the leaders, the unions and parties in the social struggle.

[48] A telling example on this particular is provided by the sociology and political textbooks used in the seventies, Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA,  Cuando lleguen los días de la cólera ( Movimientos sociales, teoría e historia) , Zona Abierta, n1 69, 1994, p.52 n 1; when the sociologist Alain Touraine, in the late seventies, sets out to work on the social movements, the historiographical foundations of the new social history had already been laid in English and French in the fifties and sixties, ídem pp. 53-54.

[49] Julio SEONE y otros , AMovimientos sociales y violencia política@, Estudios sociales, n110, Santa Fe, 1966, p. 39.

[50] Carlos BARROS, AEl paradigma común de los historiadores del siglo XX@, Estudios Sociales, n1 10, Santa Fe, 1996 p. 39.

[51] Josep Fontana, following British Marxist historians, attempted a different approach- a non-structuralistic one - in Spanish historiography that found no continuity. It aimed to discover the nexus linking economic events with political and ideological ones.Cambio económico y actitudes políticas en la España del siglo XIX, Barcelona, 1973, p.5.

[52] This notion of stretching the concept of social history until it mingles with the notion of total history by identifying society with totality, which also attracted Lucien Fevre, is not helpful for those of us who believe that the historiographical and theoretical problem of global history remanins unsolved.

[53] Historia Social, n1 10, pp. 5-7, 15, 22-23.

[54] I have already mentioned the slow reaction of Western historiography to the attacks by structuralism - and its objective allies- against history, and this as far as the British social history is concerned. In France, however, in the times of Fernand Braudel and the second Annales not only there was not a reaction but the adpatation to objectivist paradigms (geohistory, long duration etc) was taken to its ultimate consequences.

[55] In order to prevent this, among other things, there appears the History Workshop movement in Great Britain in the seventies and the  history from bottom-up , Raphael SAMUEL, edit. Historia popular y la teoría socialista, Barcelona, 1984 ( Londres, 1981).

[56] Tendencias de la investigación en las ciencias sociales, Madrid, 1982, UNESCO, (1970), pp. 362-363.

[57] Revista de occidente, n1 12, 1982, pp.19-41.

[58] The fact that the term  ambituous  - as in the case of  optimist - has taken on negative connotations among not few historians - for instance when assessing a research project - shows a certain generational lack of ideas and stamina , and not just in Spain.

[59] Pere Gabriel sees it as the final summary of a growing number of critical stances, like an end of cycle.  A vueltas y revueltas con la historia social obrera en España , Historia Social, n1 22, 1995, pp.45, 52.

[60] I cannot but express my surprise at the fact that it was not taken advantage of  issue number 10 of Historia Social, which was devoted to  Dos décadas del historia social  to re-edit, among others,  this overview. Santos Juliá may turn out to be right in criticizing this journal - the best nowadays- for publishing nothing but translations on issues pertaining theory and historiography,   La historia social y la historiografía española , Ayer, n110, 1993, p.44.

[61] Revista de Occidente, n112, pp. 38-39.

[62] Ídem, , pp.38, 40.

[63] Others have called this history  overcommited , born from  frentepopulista  antifrancoist militance, , Carlos BARROS,   Inacabada transición de la historiografía española , Bulletin d Historie Contemporanie de l Espagne, n1 24, Bordeaux, 1996 p. 474.

[64] Santos JULIÁ,   Fieles y Mártires. Raíces religiosas de algunas práticas sindicales en la España de los años treinta , Revista de Occidente, n1 23, 1983.

[65] The main British works on social revolts and movements were translated into Spanish in the seventies ans eighties by the following publishers: Siglo XXI and Crítica. So far they have not had a great influence on Spanish social historiography.

[66] On its delayed circulation in Spain, see Carlos BARROS,  Historia de las mentalidades: posibilidades actuales , Problemas actuales de la historia, Salamanca, 1993, pp. 59 ff.

[67] Revista de Occidente, n1 12, p. 40.

[68] 'Tuñón de Lara, maestro y amigo de toda esta generación, incluso de quienes discrepamos a veces de sus pensamientos , ídem, p. 20; see next footnote.

[69] Something, which, nonetheless, is done in Manuel PÉREZ DE LEDESMA s  Manuel Tuñón de Lara y la historiografía del movimiento obrero , Manuel Tuñón de Lara, el compromiso con la historia. Su vida y su obra , Bilbao, 1993, pp. 204 ff.

[70] Eighth thesis in  La historia que viene , Historia a debate, I, 1995, pp. 104-5.

[71] Metodología de la hitoria social de España, Madrid, 1973, p.91.

[72] Revista de Occidente, n1 12, p. 38.

[73] It is still not very frecuent in the contemporary history of the social movements despite Tuñón, Alvarez Junco y Pérez Ledesma.

[74] In a way, that happened, as it has been recognised by Pere GABRIEL, José Luis MARTIN,  Clase obrera, sectores populares y clases medias , Lla sociedad urbana en la España contemporánea , Barcelona 1994, pp 85-102.

[75] This in spite of the fact that in 1981 Miseria de la Teoría had been published and its authors had been able to identify, as we have already seen ( footnote 33) one of its most negative consequences: a lack of appreciation for the historical results of conflicts.

[76] Fortunately, it was not complete ( see footnotes 41, 111, 112, 115)

[77] The first criticisms were traditional, in favour of empirism and against the so- called  workers  sentimientalism , Juan Pablo FUSI, A Algunas preocupaciones recientes sobre la historia del movimiento obrero , Revista de Occidente, n1 123, 1973,pp, 358-368 ( also Política Obrera en el País Vasco, 1880-1923, Madrid, 1975); against moralism and the influence of leaders and events, Joseph Fontana, La historia, Barcelona, 1973, pp.33 ff; ; the neglect of the popular and peasant movement was remarked, Jaume TORRAS, Liberalismo y rebeldía campesina, Barcelona, 1976, pp.9-11; Miguel IZARD,  Orígenes del movimiento obrero en Esspaña , Estudios sobre historia de España (Homenaje a Tuñón de Lara) I, Madrid, 1981, pp. 294- 297; it was claimed that it was neccesary to go from the  faction  to the social class  Josep TERMES, prologue to F. BONAMUSA, Andrés Nin y el movimiento comunista en España (1930- 1937), Barcelona 1977; an attempt was made to deprive of ideology the history of the working class movement and to change it for a history of  industrial relations, Ignacio OLÁBARRI, Relaciones Laborales en Vizcaya ( 1890- 1936), Durango, 1978;  Las relaciones de trabajo en la España contemporánea: historiografía y perspectivas de investigación  Anales de historia Contemporánea n15, Murcia, 1986 ; and lastly some revisionist theoretical alternatives to classical Marxism were offered : Santos Juliá,  Marx y la clase obrera de la revolución industrial , En teoría n18/9, 1981-1982, pp. 99-135, Ludolfo PARAMIO,  Por una interpretación revisionista de la historia del movimiento obrero europeo , ídem, pp. 137-183.

[78] Debats n1 2/3 p. 96.

[79] Which six years later will become Historia Social, as it is recalled in the presentation of the first issue ( 1988).

[80] Even harder to understand are the later reticences of Historia Social to publish theoretical or historiographical reflections by Spahish authors ( see footnote 60)

[81] We, historians, do not like our social, ideological and political conditionants to be publicy known, although they are fundanental to interpret our research work, Debats, n1 2/3p. 120; the best international example of the contrary Essaïs d ego-histoire, Paris, 1987; Santos Julía insists on the great interest of a sociology of the historian in   La historia social y la historiografía española , Ayer, n110, 1993, p. 46.

[82] Debats, n1 2/3, p.132.

[83] Ídem, p.100

[84] As a sample of their opinions see  the paper of the Escuela Libre de Historiadores de Sevilla in a conference in Santiago :   La universidad más allá de la institución. La historia más allá de la universidad , Historia a debate, III, 1995, pp. 257-264.

[85] Debats, n1 2/3, pp. 134-135.

[86]A term used in the editorial of the first issue of Historia Social to refer to the innitial situation of their editors.

[87] Political affiliation and the represion by the dictatopship was a hindrance for the academic career - at best, it delayed it - of those student of the sixties and seventies who were more coherent with their political and moral commitment: the most paradigmatic example is again Mauel Tuñón de Lara, who even belonging to the preceding generation, had a late incorporation into a university deparment.

[88] By refocusing research and restoring first the balance at university, but especially at secondary education, and secondly the attention devoted to the different chronological ages to counteract the negative effects of the preminence of contemporary studies. The following book is worth a praise for its effort in this line: Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA, Estabilidad y conflicto social. España, de los íberos al 14-D, Madrid, 1990.

[89] José Antonio PIQUERAS,  El abuso del método, un asalto a la teoría , La historia social en España. Actualidad y perspectivas. Madrid, 1991, p. 99.

[90] Miquel IZARD,  Orígenes del movimiento obrero en España , loc. cit.

[91] It was then that the term  social democrat  recovered some of its prestige ( see footnote 20) to become, in time, a matter of yearning.

[92] Not to a greater extent than in the case of hegemonic PCE party members, despite its   reformist  and   revisionist  policy according to the typical allegations by university  left-wingers  in the seventies.

[93] With their characteristic clarity, Álvarez Junco and Pérez Ledesma end their paper in this way:   to remain true to our youth seems, in this case, at least a good intellectual recomendation , Revista de Occidente , n1 12, p.41.

[94] Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA,  Historia del movimiento obrero. Viejas fuentes,nueva metodología,  Studia Historica, vol. VI-VII, 1990; Guillermo A. PÉREZ SÁNCHEZ. Una manera de hacer historia social o la conformación de un nuevo enfoque ,  La historia social en España.Actualidad y perspectivas. Madrid, 1991;José Antonio PIQUERAS,  El abuso del método, un asalto a la teoría ,La historia social en España. Actualidad y Perspectivas, Madrid , 1991; Julían CASANOVA, La historia social y los historiadores, Barcelona,1991; Angeles BARRIO,  A propósito de la historia social de del movimiento obrero y los sindicatos ,Doce estudios de historiografía contemporánea, Santander, 1991; Carlos FORCADELL,  Sobre desiertos y secanos .Los movimientos sociales en la historiagrfía española ,Historia Contemporánea, n17, 1992; Santos JULIÁ, La historia social y la historiografía española , Ayer n1 10,1993; Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA,   Tuñón de Lara y la historiografía del movimiento obrero , Manuel Tuñón de Lara. El compromiso con la historia. Su vida y su obra, Bilbao, 1993;  Cuando lleguen los días de la cólera ( Movimientos sociales: teoría e historia) , Zona Abierta, n1 69, 1994 ( also in Problemas actuales de la historia, Salamanca, 1993); Pere GABRIEL,José Luís MARTÍN,  Clase obrera, sectores populares y clases medias , La sociedad urbana en la España Contemporánea , Barcelona, 1994; José ÁLVAREZ JUNCO,  Movimientos sociales en España: del modelo tradicional a la modernidad postfranquista , Los nuevos movimientos sociales. De la ideología a la identidad, Madrid, 1994;   Aportaciones recientes de las ciencias sociales al estudio de los movimientos sociales , Historia a debate, III, Santiago 1995; Pere GABRIEL,  A vueltas y revueltas con la historia social obrera en España , Historia Social, n1 22, 1995, pp. 43-53; Carlos Gil ANDRÉS,  Protesta popular y movimientos sociales en la Restauración , Historia Social, n1 23, 1995, p.123.

[95] The history of the social movement is rethought by widening its scope, learning from Medieval and Modern historians.  However, the research into strikes and revolts is left out, in other words , we  rob Peter to pay Paul . First circle: workers and managers organizations . Second circle: union members and their life and working conditions. Third circle: workers  everyday life and mentality as a whole, Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA, Historia del movimiento obrero. Viejas fuentes, nueva metodología  Studia Historica vol.  VI-VII, 1990. Pp. 12-3.

[96] I do not share Santos Julía s opinion (Ayer, n110, pp.39-40) that social historians in the sixties and seventies were not, in their method and theory, Marxist. The most important ones were indeed Marxist and among them are those behind the boosting of the history of the social conflicts in the seventies mentioned in this paper.

[97] Carlos GIL,  op. cit., p. 112.

[98] Carlos FORCADELL, op. cit., p.88. p. 111.

[99]  José Antonio PIQUERAS,  op. cit., p. 88.

[100] We are constantly complaining about the lack of  schools  in Spanish historiography and we downplay original, native figures like Vicens Vivens, Tuñón de Lara and the 1982 group of young  historians ( with remarkable different viewpoints but also with many points and projects in common).

[101] José ÁLVAREZ JUNCO, op.cit., p. 101.

[102] The current flourishment of the history of the social movement contradits the idea prevailing in the early eighties that it was an exhaused issue, an accomplished task as Manuel Pérez Ledesma has recently pointed out,   Manuel Tuñón de Lara y la historiografía del movimiento obrero , p. 211.

[103] Revista de Occidente, n1 2/3, p. 41, there is a criticism, incidentally with a tone  frentepopulista , of  the more than political content  of the  attack  by Olábarri and Vázquez de Prada in favour of   replacing the  woking class movement  for a more neutral one   labour relations  (ídem, p. 41) which, after all is not so far from the proposal of our authors, also in search of neutrality:  should we not consider a second break mainly focused on scientific pursuits ?  (ídem, p. 41).

[104] It is not the the case of Piqueras, see footnote 92.

[105] The best antidote against widespread selfcritical assessments are the favourable results that equally reflect reality : Manuel PÉRZ LEDESMA,  Manuel Tuñon de Lara y la historiografía del movimiento obrero , p. 214; Santos JULÍA,  La historia social y la historiografía española , p. 40; Guillermo A. PÉREZ SÁNCHEZ,  Una manera de hacer historia social o la confrimación de un nuevo enfoque , pp. 429-431.

[106] Of which one the most lucid examples - with its advantages and disadvantages- is Santos JULIÁ s  )La historia en crisis? , Historia a debate, I, Santiago, 1995,pp. 143-145.


[108] José María MONSALVO ANTÓN, Teoría y evolución de un conflicto social. El antisemitismo en la Corona de Castilla en la Baja edad Media, Madris, 1985; Javier ORTIZ REAL, Cantabria en el siglo XV. Aproximación al estudio de los conflictos sociales, Santander, 1985.

[109] Eulàlia DURAN, Les Germanies als països catalans, Barcelona, 1982; Martin ALMAGRO, Las alteraciones de Teruel, 1984; J.VIDAL PLÁ, Guerra del segadors i crisi social. Els exiliatis Filipistes ( 1640-1642), Barcelona, 1984; P.ÁLVAREZ FRUTOS, La revolución comunera en tierras de Segovia, Segovia, 1988.

[110] See footnote 41.

[111] The discussion by historians of the working class movement around 1982 was not reprocicated with similar ones among medieval or modernist scholars, nor did  any joint discussion take place. Nevertheless the evolution of contents was similar, which leads to two conclusions: the importance of external conditionant factors and the urgency of strenghtening the horizontal sociability, the convergence among different historical branches and the collective involvement of the community of historians in their own fate, even if it means going counter the political evolution.

[112] For instance, in Medieval history: J. PÉREZ-EMBID,  Violencias y luchas campesinas en el marco de los dominios cistersiense castellanos y leoneses en la Edad Media , El pasado histórico de Castilla y León I, Burgos, 1984, pp. 161-178; Reyna PASTOR,  Consenso y violencia en el campesinado medieval , En la España medieval. Estudios en memoria del profesor D. Claudio Sánchez Albornoz, II, Madrid, 1986, pp. 731-742; María del Pilar GIL GARCÍA,  Conflictos sociales y oposición étnica: la comunidad mudéjar de Crevillente, 1420', III Simposio Internacional de Mudéjarismo , Teruel, 1986, pp. 305-312; J PORTELA, A. SANZ,  Reacción senyoral i resistencia pagesa al domini de la catedral de Girona (segle XVIII), Recerques, n17, 1986, pp. 141-151; essays on peasants revolts by José María Mínguez, Josep María Salrach, Eva Serra and Tomás de Montaut in the dossier on peasant revolts of L Avenç, n1 93, 1986; Mercé AVENTIN, Josep M. SALRACH,  Le rôle de la monarchie dans les revoltes paysannes de la péninsule ibérique (XIV-XVe siècles) , Révolte et Societé, I, París, 1988. pp. 62-71.

[113] Juan PRO RUIZ,   Sobre el ámbito territorial de los estudios de historia  , Historia a Debate, III, Santiago, 1995, pp. 56-66.

[114] Carlos BARROS, Inacabada transición de la historiografía española , Bulletin d Histoire Contemporaine de l Espagne, n1 24, Bourdeaux, 1996, pp. 481-486.

[115] Ramón del Río, Joseba de la Torre, Pedro Carasa, José María Lacalzada y Miquel Izard.

[116] Ángel Rodríguez, David Ruiz, Juanjo Romero, Fances A. Martín,Carlos Solá, Mercedes Gutiérrez, Carlos Gil, Antonio Barragán, Ángel Smith,Carlos Hermida, Roque Moreno, José Gómez, Carme Molinero , Pere Ysás, and Ramón García.

[117] Papers on social unrest can also be found in no. 2,3,8,13,14, and 16.

[118] Debats, no. 2/3, p. 96.

[119] Carlos FORCADELL,  Sobre desiertos y secanos. Los movimientos sociales en la historiografía española , Historia Contemporánea, no.7 1992, p.113; Santos JULIÁ,  La historia social y la historiografía española , Ayer, n1 10, 1993, p.44.

[120] Eighth thesis of  La historia que viene , Historia a debate  I, 1995.

[121]  Manuel PÉREZ LEDESMA s Estabilidad y conflicto en España , de los íberos al 14-D (Madrid, 1990) deserves special mention. it has a triple novelty for being interhistorical - something unusual as we know among contemporary historians, its Spanish sphere and its synthetic aim. The following works also deserve a mention: Revolts populars contra el poder de l Estat, Barcelona, 1992; Emilio CABRERA, Andrés MOROS, Fuenteovejuna. La violencia antiseñorial en el siglo XV, Barcelona, 1991; Salvador MARTÍNEZ, Rebelión de los burgos, Madrid , 1992; Juan DÍAZ PINTADO, Conflicto social, marginación y mentalidades en La Mancha (s. XVIII), Cuidad Real, 1987; Jerónimo LÓPEZ SALAZAR, Mesta, pastos y conflictos en el campo de Calatrava (s. XVI), Madrid, 1987; Rebelión y resistencia en el mundo hispánico del siglo XVIII, Madrid, 1993; J: OLIVARES, Comunitats rurals i Reial Audiencia 1600-1658. Aportació a una teoría de la conflictivitat social en el feudalisme a l Edat Moderna, Barcelona, 1995; Emilio MAJUELO, Lucha de clases en Navarra: 1931-1936, Pamplona, 1989; Joseba de la TORRE, Lucha antifeudal y conflictos de clases en Navarra: 1808-1820, Bilbao, 1992; Joan SERRALLONGA, La lucha de clases: orígenes del movimiento obrero, Madrid, 1993; Pedro RÚJULA. Rebeldía campesina y primer carlismo. Los orígenes e la Guerra Civil en Aragón, 1833- 1835, Zaragoza; Carlos VELASCO, Axitación campesinas na Galicia do século XIX, Santiago, 1995; Carlos GIL ANDRÉS , Protesta popular y orden Social en la Rioja de fin de siglo, 1890-1905, Logroño, 1995; Guillermo PÉREZ SÁNCHEZ, Ser trabajador: vida y respuesta obrera ( Valladolid 1975-1931), Valladolid, 1996; Ángeles GONZÁLEZ, Utopía y realidad. Anarquismo , anarcosindicalismo y organizacioines obreras, (1900- 1923, Sevilla, 1996; Pilar ROVIRA, movilizació social, cavi politic i resulució. Associacionisme. Segonda República i Guerra Civil, Alzira, 1996: Pedro BARRUSO, El movimiento obreo de Gipuzkoa durante la II República, San Sebastian, 1996; Santiago de PABLO, Trabajo diversión y vida cotidiana. El País vasco en los años treinta, Vitoria, 1996; José Vicente IRIARTE, Movimiento obrero en Navarra (1967-1977), Pamplona, 1996; see also footnotes 41, 126.

[122] Although the generations appear exemplary interwoven in this movement in favour of the historiographical revival, it is apparent the predominance of young historians, who for academic requirements are in more need to do research. Their predominance is not so clear as far as reflection is concerned.

[123] Mentalidad justiciera de los irmandiños, siglo XV. Madrid, 1990 ( Vigo, 1988); Mentalidad y revuelta en la Galicia irmandiña: favorables y contrarios, Santiago de Compostela, 1989; (Viva El-Rei! Ensayos medievais, Vigo, 1996, pp. 1996, pp. 137- 269.

[124] Connections between interhistorical disciplines worked worse ten years ago.  I did not know - nor was I interested , in 1982, in the discussions among historians of the working class movement but I was fully aware that I was swimming against the tide in the choice of both topic (social revolt) and methology ( history of mentalities)

[125] I was so sure about it that I did not propose , against my own personal interest, the subject of conflicts as a topic for discussion in the I Congreso de Historia a Debate in 1993. I made a mistake and I hope that , in 1999, at II Congreso Historia a Debate I will be able to rectify, thus contributing to consolidate to the revival of the social subject of history, in and outside Spain.

[126] Joseba de la Torre, op.cit., p. 9.

[127] Another evident symptom is the fact, already noted, that ten years later historiographical research on the working class movement and the social protest  has been relaunched , see footnote 97.

[128] Foreword to Historia a Debate, I, Santiago, 1995, pp. 9-10.

[129]  Historia de las mentalidades, posiblilidades actuales , Problemas actuales de la historia, Salamanca, 1993, p.65.

[130] 'Inacabada transición de la historiografía Española , Bulletin d Histoire Cantemporaine de l Espagne, no, 24, Bordeaux, 1996, p. 479.

[131] In fact, the first ones to take heart - and to encourage others- with the return of the conflicts and of the social history are those ( albeit not all) behind  the change; it is highly significative that both organizative expressions, whose origin is to be found in the 1982 group, the association Historia Social and the journal Historia Social, are paralel to the phenomenon of historiographical recovery of the social subject.

[132] 'Spaniards sympathetic with social conflicts , is the El País headline ( April 9th, 1990) on the results of an opinion poll about strikes and other issues.

[133] A symbol of the new topicality of revolts is the forthcoming re-editions ( one of them sponsored by the Army) of professor at the UNAM and adviser to EZLN Antonio GARCÍA DE LEÓN s doctoral thesis, Resistencia y Utopía. Memorial de agravios y crónicas de revueltas y profecías acaecidas en la provincia de Chiapas durante los últimos quinientos años de historia, México, 1985.

[134] The secondary role of social scientists, specifically historians, in the social struggles, despite the personal testimony of Pierre Bourdieu, Alain Touraineand Jacques Derrida, demonstrates a fundamental aspect of the crisis of the social sciences in France, the country that invented and reinvented the commited intellectual (Zola,Sartre): their detachment from society.

[135] Alain WOODS  El significado de una revolución , Viento Sur , no. 32, 1997, pp. 41-50; the author, an easy prey of preconceived schemes , does not pay due attention to what triggered it off : the bankrupcy of piramidal banks, especially from a the point of view of collective mentalities of those  - a whole people, I should say - who have felt aggraviated both economically and morally on losing their savings and seeing their imagined possibility of becoming rich frustrated into the bargain.

[136] Something the indigenous peasant Mexican revolt has not yet achieved, although there are serious developments towards a political transition : or does anyone think that Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas  victory on July 6th at the Distrito Federal , after two failures- one of them due to fraud- could have been feasible without the initial event on January 1st 1994 ?

[137] It should not  be forgotten that in the May 1968 French revolution, the paradigm of Western revolutions, the social struggle was not mirrored in the eclectoral result. The inmediate reaction by voters was against students and revoltés workers.

[138] It corresponds to the title of  IV Encuentros de la Fundación Viento Sur  that took place at Dehesa de la Villa de Madrid ( July 11-13th 1997).

[139] Although something can also be perceived among historians and young people: Alessandro Stella, a reseracher at CNRS begins his remarkable resarch on ciompi with a confession:   in the seventies I belonged to a political movement in Italy that followed the 1968 revolution , La révolte des ciompi. Les hommes, lex lieux, le travail. Paris, 1993; another ejample is Jerôme Baschet, of the group of historical antropology of Western Middle Ages at EHESS in Paris, who is currently a visiting professor at San Cristobal de las Casas University, in the state of Chiapas.

[140]  After this paper was written, millions of Spaniards- both from within and outside the Basque Country- took to the streets to denounce ETA terrorism campaign (July 10th-14th 1997), overwhelming  politicians in numerous rallies, which in some cases almost amounted to riots before HB offices . This has shown that also in Spain the subject returns to the street.

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