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Title page for ETD etd-03292009-194219

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bottura, Juri
URN etd-03292009-194219
Title Spiritual Regeneration and Ultra-Nationalism: The Political Thought of Pedro Albizu Campos and Plínio Salgado in 1930s Puerto Rico and Brazil
Degree Master of Arts
Department Latin American Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Marshall C. Eakin Committee Chair
Carlos A. Jauregui Committee Member
W. Frank Robinson Committee Member
  • nationalism
  • fascism
  • palingenesis
  • political religion
  • right
  • Pedro Albizu Campos
  • Plinio Salgado
Date of Defense 2009-05-08
Availability unrestricted
This research explores the political thought of two Latin American intellectuals and party leaders of the 1930s, Pedro Albizu Campos from Puerto Rico and Plínio Salgado from Brazil. During a decade of economic depression and political turmoil, they elaborated nationalist and revolutionary ideologies, and headed two influential political movements, the Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico and the Ação Integralista Brasileira, respectively. The interpretation of these experiences benefited from some recent developments in the European field of fascist studies, and in particular from Roger Griffin’s ideal type of “generic fascism” as a “palingenetic populist ultra-nationalism” and Emilio Gentile’s notion of “political religion”. Albizu and Salgado showed a common core of worldviews and values centered on the belief that they were witnessing the peak of a long-term process of moral and material decadence as a consequence of capitalism and liberalism. On this basis, they each proposed a project of spiritual rebirth (“palingenesis”) to be carried out through the rejection of the foreign, bourgeois model of development, and through the exaltation of what they considered genuine national traits, in particular, race and religion. The Catholic tradition also provided a repertoire of terms, symbols, and principles that they employed to shape their parties as sectarian and hierarchical organizations, subjected to an authoritarian leadership. The comparison of these two converging political discourses strengthens the call for a transnational study of the 1930s Latin American extreme right.
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