Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The question of Spain's stagnation with respect to other European countries has intrigued academics for centuries. In this thesis, I will be focusing on the intellectual stagnation of Spain. Some blame said stagnation on the monarchy, on economic policies, or on a lack of standardized education. Despite all of these are contributing factors, one area that is worth investigating further is intellectual stagnation due to religious fanaticism.This thesis examines 9 texts from the late 1800s until the early 1900s (1870-1930). Many themes are present in this study: censorship, ideological exaggeration, clerical corruption, Church authority, the family, and spiritual consolation. I argue that, although Catholicism gave Spaniards an identity and a social and moral order, it promoted and in fact worsened the intellectual stagnation throughout the 1800s by stifling free thought and encouraging a look backwards, not forwards. At a time when many other European countries were industrializing and discovering their new place in the modern world, Spain preferred, for better or worse, to cling to their traditions and unquestionable beliefs, which left them intellectually and socially underdeveloped as the world advanced into the 20th century.

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Creative Commons License
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