A New International History of the Spanish Civil War

The civil war that ensued is often viewed as a precursor to the Second World War for the way it sucked in the wider international community. Best-selling military historian Antony Beevor talked to David Musgrove about the conflict and its wide-reaching consequences On 14 April Spain was declared a republic for the second time — the first being —4. King Alfonso XIII fled and the new government initiated a sweeping reform agenda, designed to redistribute social and economic power. There was considerable resistance to the reforms of the first Socialist government of the Republic, particularly based on its measures to divorce church from state. This resistance led, in November , to a conservative government being returned to power, putting an end to the left-wing reform programme. In October , the left attempted to start a revolutionary general strike. This failed and an armed rebellion that resulted in Asturias was forcefully put down by General Franco and the Spanish army. In July of that year, the army launched a military coup against the Republican government, and thus the civil war began.

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From bombings, Guernica, forced labor camps, and starvation, the Spanish Civil War was a long-burning tragedy that tore Spain in two. Eighty years ago, civil war broke out in Spain: a painful, bloody wound that has yet to heal. A dark period in Spanish history and a prelude to World War II, the conflict unleashed passions around the world for close to three years and led to a decades-long dictatorship.

Today the Spanish Civil War is a dark spot on the the history of Spain, as stories live on and the country continues to deal with its past tragedy:. Some scholars of Spanish history trace the beginnings of the civil war back to the Spanish Second Republic suggesting the military coop was an inevitable maneuver to reestablish political order , others take it back to the Spanish-American war of and the failure of Spanish Imperialism arguing that the military and old order was still in denial about the democratic consequences of modernization.

Some historians trace it back to ….

Ken Loach’s film about the Spanish Civil War, Land and Freedom (which opens next Catholics, fascists and soldiers led by General Franco launched a right-​wing revolt The lure of power, of influence, of fulfilling a social role led many to put their talents at the service of the Spanish Republic. Join our dating site today.

Far from being just an internal event, the Spanish Civil War of also had a great deal of global influence, attracting left-wing volunteers from all over the world to help defend the constitutionally-elected Second Republic government from the coup d’etat of nationalists led by General Francisco Franco, who was supported by Hitler and Mussolini. Franco’s eventually victory established him as Europe’s longest ruling dictator until his death in Briefly summarising the causes of the Spanish Civil War is not easy.

It stemmed from a socio-political stew that could only have been made in Spain. King Alfonso XIII of Spain assumed power in , becoming increasingly autocratic, and in was condemned for ordering the execution of the radical leader, Ferrer Guardia, in Barcelona. He also prevented liberal reforms being introduced before the First World War. Blamed for the Spanish defeat in the Moroccan War Alfonso was in constant conflict with liberal Spanish politicians.

Why intellectuals like Hemingway got involved in the Spanish Civil War

The jury, however, gave the festival’s main prizes to three pictures dealing with the war now raging in the former Yugoslavia. Yet whatever the outcome of the Bosnian conflict, it is unlikely to loom as large as Spain still does in the consciousness of this century. The war broke out 59 years ago this past July, when a combination of monarchists, Catholics, fascists and soldiers led by General Franco launched a right-wing revolt against a recently elected Popular Front government formed from a coalition of parties ranging from the centre to the far left.

The Germans and Italians came to the aid of Franco.

The liberal movement in Spain had achieved little in opposing conservative forces in the 19th century, although they remained a political force and supported the.

Southworth Collection. It could not finish until the country had been transformed either into a Fascist or into a socialist state. Propaganda posters constitute one of the most poignant documents that remain from the Spanish Civil War. As the remarks of numerous eyewitnesses demonstrate, the posters provided an essential part of the visual landscape in which individuals living the tragedy of the war went about their daily business of survival.

The British writer Christopher Caudwell wrote home from Barcelona in December of “On almost every building there are party posters: posters against Fascism, posters about the defense of Madrid, posters appealing for recruits to the militia In Madrid, the capital of the Republic, shop owners were exhorted to fill their store fronts with posters: “Every space must be used to incite the spirit in its fight against the enemy,” stated an article in the newspaper ABC on October 30, In Seville, portraits of two of the leaders of the military rebellion that originated the war, Generals Queipo de Llano and Franco, were posted everywhere shortly after the city was taken.

Looking Back on the Spanish War

We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Why did you choose these perspectives when writing about the Spanish Civil War? Amanda Vaill: I’ve long been attracted to the ways in which culture changed over the course of the 20th century, and the Spanish Civil War seemed to offer an especially dramatic look at that.

It was the first major conflict to be covered on the spot, at the front lines, by journalists and photographers.

The Spanish Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Española) was a civil war in Spain fought from to Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Popular Front government of the Second Date, 17 July – 1 April With the help of the British Secret Intelligence Service agents Cecil Bebb and Major Hugh Pollard​.

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The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War

Published: in New Politics no 1 Summer Between myth and reality there lies a precarious zone of transition that occasionally captures the truth of each. Spain, caught in a world-historic revolution fifty years ago, was exactly such an occasion—a rare moment when the most generous, almost mythic dreams of freedom seemed suddenly to become real for millions of Spanish workers, peasants, and intellectuals. For this brief period of time, this shimmering moment, as it were, the world stood breathlessly still, while the red banners of revolutionary socialism and the red-and-black banners of revolutionary anarchosyndicalism floated over most of Spain’s major cities and thousands of her villages.

Taken together with the massive, spontaneous collectivization of factories, fields, even hotels and restaurants, the oppressed classes of Spain reclaimed history with a force and passion of an unprecedented scope and gave a stunning reality in many areas of the peninsula to the ageless dream of a free society. The Spanish Civil War of was, at its inception, the last of the classical European workers’ and peasants’ revolutions—not, let me make it clear, a short-lived “uprising,” a cadre-controlled “guerrilla war,” or a simple civil conflict between regions for national supremacy.

The Spanish Civil War was a bitter internecine conflict that pitted right-wing nationalist leaders against the incumbent left-wing regime.

Within three days, the rebels captured Morocco, much of northern Spain, and several key cities in the south. The Republicans and the Nationalists, as the rebels were called, then proceeded to secure their respective territories by executing thousands of suspected political opponents. Meanwhile, Franco flew to Morocco and prepared to bring the Army of Africa over to the mainland. In , Spanish King Alfonso XIII authorized elections to decide the government of Spain, and voters overwhelmingly chose to abolish the monarchy in favor of a liberal republic.

Alfonso went into exile, and the Second Republic, initially dominated by middle-class liberals and moderate socialists, was proclaimed. During the first two years of the Republic, organized labor and leftist radicals forced widespread liberal reforms, and the independence-minded region of Catalonia and the Basque provinces achieved virtual autonomy.

The landed aristocracy, the church and a large military clique opposed the Republic, and in November conservative forces regained control of the government in elections. In response, socialists launched a revolution in the mining districts of Asturias, and Catalan nationalists rebelled in Barcelona. General Franco crushed the so-called October Revolution on behalf of the conservative government, and in he was appointed army chief of staff.

In February , new elections brought the Popular Front, a leftist coalition, to power, and Franco, a strict monarchist, was sent to an obscure command in the Canary Islands off Africa.

Spanish events

Make Your Own List. It was a bloody conflict that divided Spain and drew in Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. Later, it inspired great works of art and literature. An eminent historian of the period tells us why it continues to fascinate him.

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A central goal of the rebels was the destruction of left-wing organisations. Attitudes such as this made the war a terrible tragedy: before its end, in April , , had died in battle and from disease. Historians estimate that Francoists executed at least , during and after the war. Victory for the Francoist side brought economic and political isolation for Spain until the s and the denial of basic rights until the late s.

Only in recent years have relatives of the executed started to learn where their loved ones are buried. At the time, too, people recognised the significance of the war. The struggle in Spain came to represent the fight against fascism. Thousands volunteered from around the world to join the International Brigades and to defend the Second Republic, including famous writers such as George Orwell. Picasso produced his famous Guernica painting to highlight the horrific bombing by Franco and his Nazi sponsors of the eponymous town.

Many hoped that by stopping Franco, and fascism in Spain, a second world war could be averted. How then did this terrible war start?

1. The origins of the Spanish Civil War