Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

James Siekmeier

Committee Co-Chair

Joshua Arthurs

Committee Member

Tamba M'bayo


This thesis studies the controversial aftermath of the Madrid terrorist attack of March 11, 2004 and how it impacted the history of memory and silence in Spain since the Spanish Civil War. The terrorist attack had surprising and significant short-term political impacts, which have been well documented by historians, political scientists, and journalists. However, surveying the attack aftermath through the lens of the history of duality in Spain has been less studied. The "lens of duality" is the viewpoint that Spain's history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries can be explained as a clash between deeply-divided sectors within society which created a sense of duality. This duality has been exhibited not only in society, but also in politics, and came to the forefront of conversation following the Madrid train bombings. The thesis offers a new perspective from the viewpoint of the history of memory and silence regarding the controversies following the terrorist attack and its effect on society in Spain.;This thesis is divided into four parts: 1) introduction and duality of Spain; 2) controversies following the Madrid terrorist attack; 3) impact on Spanish historical memory, silence, and society, and 4) conclusion and recommendations.;One of the purposes of this thesis is to demonstrate that the Madrid terrorist attack and its aftermath intensified the recovery of Spanish Civil War memories and the breaking of post-Civil War silence in Spain. Another purpose is to present a theory for the surprising response of the Spanish people to the 11-M crisis.