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The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898–1923$
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Sebastian Balfour

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205074.001.0001

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(p.230) Epilogue
The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898–1923

Sebastian Balfour

Oxford University Press

The Disaster of 1898 and the loss of the remnants of the Spanish Empire cast a long shadow over the history of 20th-century Spain. For several decades after the event, the Disaster remained the archetype of military grievances and a mythical reference-point for the right in general. The end of the Spanish Empire as an organizing myth can be said to have occurred only when the dictatorship abandoned its bankrupt policy of autarky and Spain completed her long cycle of modernization in an accelerated burst of development in the 1960s and early 1970s. The death of imperial nostalgia was concomitant with the almost universal spread of democratic and secular values that accompanied this modernization. It was then that Spain shed her last colony, the Spanish Sahara, in 1973, embraced democracy in 1976 and joined the European Community in 1986.

Keywords:   Spain, Spanish–American War, imperialism, Spanish Empire, modernization, autarky

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