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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in History



Major Advisor

John Bieter, Ph.D.


John Ysursa, Ph.D.


David Lachiondo, Ph.D.


Larraitz Ariznabarreta, Ph.D.


This research examines the life of José Villanueva de Amezketa, an urban Basque nationalist who immigrated to southern Idaho in the early 1920s. The majority of first generation Basque immigrants in this area came from a concentrated rural location of Bizkaia, which normally generated an apolitical attitude toward Basque national politics. The goal of this research is to show how Villanueva, as an immigrant outlier, maintained his Basque nationalist political identity through his international network. This study in a biographical format used the preserved correspondence received by Villanueva, oral history interviews by his family members, and secondary scholarly publications to examine the cultural and political characteristics of the area’s Basque immigrants. A compare and contrast exercise between Villanueva and the general Basque community was used. It identified a transnational immigrant community that maintained and developed a sliding scale of social and political relationships between the homeland and their host country. The research suggested the presence of Basque nationalist activity in southern Idaho was larger than suggested by previous scholarly research.