An abridged and corrected version, entitled El roble y el pan. Clases populares, cambios económicos y carlismo en Bizkaia, 1850-1872 [Bilbao: Beitia Ediciones], is forthcoming. @@ In order to understand some outstanding causes of the Second Carlist War, this doctoral dissertation analyses some problems faced by the Biscayan labour groups whose members got largely involved in carlism between 1868 and 1872. As none of those issues had previously been discussed with that aim, our territory lacked well-documented explanations of its most important pre-nationalist political movement. Even if the socioeconomic perspective predominates, ideological reasons are also considered. @@ Around 900 carlist people"s occupations were found out, using both repression sources @@ (military records from the Servicio Histórico Militar and the Administrative section of the Archivo Histórico Foral; civil papers from the Archivo Histórico Nacional, Archivo del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores and almost 50 municipal archives; and the judiciary ones from the Corregimiento de Vizcaya) and traditionalist authorities" (Real Academia de la Historia, Archivo de Gernika, municipal archives). Notarial records added preciseness about their position, difficulties and achievements during the ante-war decades. These are the main results: @@ 1. Peasantry. Irregular weather and speculation in grains increased the burden of a heavy, aggresively modernized indebtedness on most farms, whose scarcely innovative production means faced a growing capitalist pressure. By reducing the essential communal rights, the sales of public and Church lands -inaccessible to the majority- limited peasants" profits from the partially renewed cattle raising and forestry. @@ 2. Non-agrarian primary sectors. Almost complete lost of petty mining due to company concentration, mining workers" inhuman labour and living conditions, and growing demands of the canning industry on fishermen favourised carlism among the damaged in both sectors. @@ 3. Craftsmen. Their real status is difficult to define, because of ideological filters when records were drafted. While a small group slid into bourgeoisie, the largest became impoverished, even proletarianized, by combined effects of the crisis and the increasingly strong industrial competitiveness. Their local leaders, not always well-off but well-connected, linked the carlist élites with popular groups. Ironworkers, coppersmiths and gunmakers give the best cases. Some bourgeois reactions against socialist organization -craftsmen"s associations, support of traditionalism- are also considered. @@ 4. Bourgeoisies and clergy. Even if carlist élites were still powerful, thanks to their clientelism and domination strategies, only a small group took part in the new economic activities; moreover, their sociopolitical influence was menaced by liberal attempts to change the representation in territorial institutions. The former found an useful support in few but wellplaced members of the rising professional "middle classes", who were deeply rooted in rural areas at the same time as they easily operated in towns. Liberal religious politics threatened priests to diminish their status by accepting other religions and reducing the number, endowment and staff of the Biscaian parish churches. @@ Under those circumstances, a pragmatic, conservative interpretation of the territorial laws known as Fuero, to which the liberal forces objected, allied all those dissatisfied people in favour of carlism, as its leaders promised them to maintain the customary communitarian structure
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