The Perception of Time and the Meaning of History among Spanish Intellectuals of the Nineteenth Century

in Contributions to the History of Concepts
Ana Isabel González Manso Universidad del País Vasco

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This article investigates how the perception of living in novel times influenced Spanish intellectuals from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century when they wrote or thought about history. The perception of time would influence the way in which history was written, and in turn this would reflect the model of society that Spanish intellectuals aspired to when they turned to the past for the political and social features they wanted for their present and future. At that time, different time perceptions coexisted and combined in a very complex fashion; the present article, however, is focused on the perception of time mainly as an opportunity, with its advances and retreats, doubts and problems. The article will show how those intellectuals thought about history and the various solutions they put forward for society’s problems.

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