Shortly after the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), the Franco dictatorship forcibly converted nearly half a million hectares of village commons in the region of Galicia into centrally managed forests. Consistent with their long history of using litigation to resist state intervention in the use of their commons, rural Galicians inundated regional courts with lawsuits that opposed mandated reforestation. Prevailing accounts of these events are based on comprehensive definitions of state domination and peasant resistance that minimize local variations in the implementation of reforestation projects and ignore the differing stakes of village residents in the projects. This article casts the politics of reforestation and villagers' defense of the commons in a different light and suggests that ongoing changes in farm production, growing economic disparities among village neighbors, and the evolving nature of the state's reforestation plan promoted complex, fluid, and divided local responses to reforestation that belie the solidarity of interests expressed in written petitions against reforestation.


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pp. 175-205
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