Peninsularity and patriotism: Spanish and British approaches to the Peninsular War, 1808–14



The Peninsular War until recently has failed to receive comprehensive and critical attention from Spanish and British historians, their outputs having been partial, narrative and ideological in nature. While Spanish scholars have contested the meaning of the ‘nation’ forged during the 1808–14 war so bitterly that they have been slow to establish a synthesis, British scholars have tended not to venture beyond Anglocentrism. Starting in the nineteen-fifties, however, modern historical methods began to change this situation. Since the nineteen-nineties a ‘new military history’ approach has influenced Peninsular War historiography, allowing, for the first time, for a ‘total’ history of the conflict.