History ETDs


John Smith

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The efforts of Mexico's revolutionary leaders to rein in clerical power produced many violent confrontations between secular liberals and partisans for the Roman Catholic Church. Formed in 1937, the Unión Nacional Sinarquista built up a following of conservative Catholics in part by means of a mass culture produced by the movement's elites, such as elaborately staged rituals, canons of national heroes and martyrs, interpretations of national history, and songs. With this propaganda, the Sinarquistas sought to generate popular support for the movement leadership's right-wing political agenda. This thesis explores the mass culture of the Sinarquista movement, as well as that of Sinarquismo's enemies on the Mexican left, to argue that discourses of nationalism and patriotism served to legitimize equally the irreconcilable political goals of both the Church's partisans and its secular opponents. Political confrontations between secular liberals and Catholic conservatives thus continued even after the 1929 suppression of the Cristero Rebellion and were reflected in the acrimonious mass cultural wars of the period, as factions like the Sinarquistas sought to present themselves as Mexico's true patriots and their opponents as nefarious enemies of the nation.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Hall, Linda

Second Committee Member

Truett, Samuel



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