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Uncommonly Savage

Civil War and Remembrance in Spain and the United States

Paul D. Escott

Publication Year: 2014

Spain and the United States both experienced extremely bloody and divisive civil wars that left social and emotional wounds, many of which still endure today. In Uncommonly Savage, award-winning historian Paul Escott considers the impact of internecine violence on memory and ideology, on politics, and on the process of reconciliation. He also examines debates over reparation or moral recognition, the rise of truth and reconciliation commissions, and the legal, psychological, and religious aspects of modern international law regarding amnesty.

This pioneering work—there are no other similar works on Spain and the United States—is based upon primary sources, including magazines, newspapers, public addresses, and policies of political leaders.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright Page

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I gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance of Wake Forest University for a Reynolds Research Leave and thank the Department of History and the Graduate School Publication Fund for supporting a portion of the costs of publication. In addition, thanks go to the very helpful staff of...

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pp. 1-6

All wars leave a legacy of bitterness and hatred, but internecine conflicts create the deepest scars. There is something different about such intrafamilial conflicts. People who once were part of one national family divide, define each other as the hateful enemy, and aim for the jugular. On both...

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1. Background

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pp. 7-43

Despite widespread beliefs that both Spain and the United States are exceptional, both have shared in the modern struggles of national integration. Their paths to becoming modern democratic nations embracing diverse populations have not been easy.1 Local or regional loyalties have interfered...

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2. Ideology and Memory: The Continuing Battles

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pp. 44-106

The bloody conflicts in Spain and the United States would not be forgotten. As costly internecine conflicts they demanded postwar justification and explanation. The death toll produced psychic pain. The scale of destruction challenged national pride. What had gone wrong to produce such...

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3. The Past and Political Evolution

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pp. 107-162

After their civil wars, both Spain and the United States faced a challenge of political reintegration. War cannot eliminate differing ideas and viewpoints, and partisans of the defeated side do not disappear. Though subjugated, they become a sizable political constituency in the postwar period...

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4. Reconciliation: An End to Civil War?

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pp. 163-193

When emotions have subsided, it is easy to see warfare as a great human and societal failure. This especially is true of internecine conflicts such as those that occurred in Spain and the United States. The destruction in both civil wars was appalling, as hundreds of thousands of the young men...

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5. Economic Change and the Transformation of Cultural Landscapes

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pp. 194-216

On December 22, 2010, members of the social elite in Charleston, South Carolina, gathered for a festive party and dance. This was Charleston’s commemorative secession ball, marking the 150th anniversary of the day that South Carolina left the Union. Affluent men and women dressed up...


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pp. 217-246


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pp. 247-258


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pp. 259-267

About the Author

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pp. 268

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048932
E-ISBN-10: 0813048931
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813049410

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2014