Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Christine Henseler




terrorism, attacks, politics, Madrid, Spain, cultural movements


On Thursday, March 11, 2004 Madrid was rocked by a series of bombings targeting its commuter train system. The terrorist attack proved to be the largest loss of life from a single attack in modern, post-War, European history. In the days following the bombing, up to 2 million people were mobilized in protest across the country. The citizens orchestrated an upset in the national general election, placing a socialist, opposition party into power. This thesis analyzes the March 11 bombings in Madrid, in an attempt to determine the ways in which it has impacted the Spanish state. This is achieved through a discussion of two entirely different spheres of impact: socio-political and cultural. By analyzing the changes that occurred following the attack, this thesis discovers that the Spanish state suffered from collective grief or mourning. It was this atmosphere that instigated the dramatic political change that occurred within three days of the bombing. After focusing on the immediate political effect of the attack, this work shifts to the more long-lasting cultural change. Through the analysis of certain modes of communication, including poems and songs, the creation of a cultural movement is discovered. This movement worked to repair and console the Spanish state, and worked as the aid in the process of recovery. By studying the impact of this bombing, this thesis provides a greater understanding of how Spain, instigated by a state of national morning, was able to recover from this devastating act of terror.