“The Escuela Moderna (Modern School) is not by Ferrer Guardia...”
Francisco Ferrer Guardia and the Modern School books
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“There was someone who, inspired into pettiness of regional patriotism, suggested me that education should be given in Catalan, reducing the humanity and the world to the few thousand inhabitants found in the corner formed by the Pyrenees and the river Ebro”.
Francisco Ferrer Guardia and La Escuela Moderna
PASCUAL VELÁZQUEZ VICENTE
The Escuela Moderna is not the most important contribution of Francisco Ferrer Guardia, as it was barely running for just five years. His most relevant task was the publishing house named Editorial Publicaciones de La Escuela Moderna, which outlasted its founder and continued to develop beyond his testamentay will, making its way during the first third of the 20th century. The Editorial Publicaciones Escuela Moderna in Barcelona released 127 books.
The Ferrer trial in the Case for Attempted Regicide (1906) ended with the acquittal of Francisco Ferrer Guardia. However, the Escuela Moderna was closed and the governing authority prevented it from being opened ever again. The content of several books of the Escuela Moderna was subject of parlamentary debate at the Spanish Congress of Deputies. As a result, the Escuela Moderna books were destroyed by court order.
A new Ferrer trial, on this occasion, for attacks on public order took place due to the publication of another Escuela Moderna book: Pensamientos revolucionarios (1906).
After the Tragic Week in Barcelona (1909), a new Ferrer trial is opened, as part of the Case for Military Revolt Crime. But then another trial was opened as a consequence of the creation of the new case called Case against Francisco Ferrer Guardia Heard and Rule by the War Crime Jurisdiction in Barcelona, 1909.
Pascual Velázquez Vicente has studied the Editorial Publicaciones de la Escuela Moderna in depth, gathered 80 of those Modern School books in his private library, visited civilian and military archival institutions, examined the proceedings, revealed the fabrication of false evidence, revealed which soldiers were decorated and which ones were penalized. Finally, he has also identified the names and surnames of the people who were in charge of Ferrer Trial. His work has been the subject of two PhD theses: La Escuela Moderna: Una editorial y sus libros de texto (1901-1920) –Faculty of Education, University of Murcia, 2009; y Estudio Histórico-Jurídico de la Causa contra Francisco Ferrer Guardia, instruida y fallada por la Jurisdicción de Guerra (1909), Faculty of Law, UNED (Spanish Distance University), 2012.