Episode 21 with Dave Henderson
Since at least the 19th century, Badajoz Province was the classic example of Spain’s most grievous ills: a harsh landscape where poverty, unemployment and landlessness were endemic. Dave Henderson traces the failed efforts of successive governments to tackle these problems and then explains how the Franco regime sought to take a different approach centered on irrigation, social regulation and land grants to politically reliable farmers. Did the Francoist plan transform the landscape and society of Spain’s poorest region? Henderson argues that it did, but in a manner far different from what government planners had envisioned.
Dave Henderson is a lecturer at Miramar College in San Diego. He received his PhD in modern European history from the University of California, San Diego with a dissertation on the social ambitions of irrigation projects in Badajoz: El Mar de Extremadura: Irrigation, Colonization and Francoism in Southwestern Spain, 1898-1978. Here, he argued that the Francoist regime attempted to pacify a left-wing countryside by designing a targeted social program that would support a minority of the rural population deemed politically desirable. His research focuses on the relationship between the ambitions of the Franco regime and the nature of Spain’s transformations in the mid-twentieth century.
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