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On February 12, 1905 in Madrid, Federica Montseny Mane was born into one of the most influential families in the history of the Spanish Anarchists. As the daughhter of Federico Urales (a.k.a. Juan Montseny) and Teresa Mane (a.k.a. Soledad Gustavo), she practically inherited the anarchist tradition that was prominent in her family. She began taking part in the anarchist movement at childhood, during which she assisted with anarchist propaganda. In time, Montseny's anarchist views began to resemble those of Stirner, before her, as she stressed the importance of the individual. Her strong opposition to the State led her to the proposal of a free alliance of collectives, or communes, due to her strong opposition to the State.

Montseny is said to have been involved with the FAI-Federacion Anarquista Iberica- (and is even reported to have assisted in the group's creation in 1927) although these assertions are uncertain, due to the highly clandestine nature of the organization's membership. The FAI was founded in order to maintain the integrity of the CNT to their anarchist goals that had become questionable due to their use of representative government within the organization and the fear that this structure was pushing their beliefs towards the moderate end. The organization was centered around the idea of the "affinity group": a small anarchist collective of approximately a dozen members that collaborated with other affinity groups to form a greater collective organization. They emphasized the autonomy of the individual, and vehemently maintained the organization's secrecy.

Montseny served as one of the FAI's prominent activists and in November of 1936, she became the first woman in Spanish history to serve as the Minister of Health. One of her most controversial accomplishments in this position was the legalization of abortion, as it created a schism within the anarchist movement. In 1939, Montseny left Spain for France, and maintained a successful writing career of approximately fifteen political books and fifty nonpolitical. She also served as writer and editor of the French publication, Espoir. She remained in France until her death on January 14th, 1994, leaving behind a strong tradition of Spanish anarchism and individualism.

Biography from the Lucy Parsons Project

Biography in Catalan

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