EURO 3300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Spanish Civil War, Courtesy Name, The Lead

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Thursday January 26th, 2017
The Spanish Civil War:
The Lead Up to the Civil War:
April 14, 1931: proclamation of the Spanish Republic, first led by liberal moderate Manuel
Azana. Following the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the king of Spain, Alfonso the 8th,
organized municipal elections across the country which were massively won by republican
parties. Facing this strong opposition, the kind fled the country ad the Republic was declared
Azana: Provisional President of the Republic, until forced resignation in October 1931.
Secularization of the education system, army reform (later leading to early army revolt in
1932), and granting of autonomous status to Catalonia and the Basque Provinces
Left Republicans and Socialists rule from October 1931 until defeated in November 1933
February 1936 elections: narrow victory of the Spanish Popular Front (composed of different
groups of the moderate and radical Left)
In the new government, the extreme left gained momentum and prompted a movement of
revolutionary actions (land seizures, strikes, even murders), targeting the army and the
Church. The backlash was the July 1936 uprising by the military
The Spanish Civil War broke out with the rebellion of the army, led by General Francisco
Franco, on July 17, 1936
Two main forces opposed each other, the Republicans and the Nationalists the Nationalists
The surrender of Madrid and Valencia (on March 28 and 29, 1939 respectively) marked the
end of the conflict, and the end of the Spanish Civil War was declared officially on April 1,
The Two Coalitions that Divided Spain During the Civil War:
The Nationalists
The Republicans
The army
The monarchist groups (the Carlists)
The Catholic Church
The land and business owners
The aristocracy
The Falange (right-wing party)
The socialists
The anarchists
The trade unions
The communists
The liberals
The Nationalists’ Main Objectives:
To defeat the Republican system (in power in 1936) and what it represented liberalism,
democracy, possible future communism
Some viewed the war as a form of crusade they found in the name of G-d in order to
defend the Spanish and Catholic traditions and values of the country
The Republicans’ Objectives:
To support the republican government in its goal to transform Spain’s political, social, and
economic structure according to democratic and secular principles
The Basques and Catalans wanted to maintain their special autonomous status granted by
the Republican government elected in February 1936
The Spanish Civil War as an International Conflict:
The Spanish civil war was part of an international conflict which depending on one’s point of
view pitted tyranny and democracy, or fascism and freedom, or communism and civilization
The International Dimension of the War:
The Nationalists’ main supporters:
o Germany
o Italy
Both fascist regimes contributed actively (sending some soldiers and military equipment)
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