Motto: Plus Ultra
Anthem: Himno de Riego
Anthem of Riego
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
• 1936 (interim)
|Diego Martínez Barrio|
• 1931 (first)
• 1937–1939 (last)
|Juan Negrín López|
|Legislature||Congress of Deputies|
|Historical era||Interwar period|
|14 April 1931|
|9 December 1931|
|17 July 1936|
|1 April 1939|
The Spanish Republic (Spanish: República Española), commonly known as the Second Spanish Republic (Spanish: Segunda República Española), was the form of government that existed in Spain from 1931 to 1939. The Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, after the deposition of Alfonso XIII, and it lost the Spanish Civil War on 1 April 1939 to the rebel faction that would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco.
After the proclamation of the Republic, a provisional government was established that lasted until December 1931, when the 1931 Constitution was approved and a Constitutional Republic was formally established. At this point once the constituent assembly had fulfilled its mandate of approving a new constitution, it should have arranged for regular parliamentary elections and adjourned. However, fearing the increasingly popular opposition, the Radical and Socialist majority postponed the regular elections, therefore prolonging their way in power for two more years. This way the republican government of Manuel Azaña initiated numerous reforms to what in their view would "modernize" the country. In 1932 the Jesuits who were in charge of the best schools throughout the country were banned and had all their property confiscated. The army was reduced. Landowners were expropriated. Home rule was granted to Catalonia, with a local parliament and a president of its own.
Soon Manuel Azaña came into conflict with both the right and far left. He called a vote of confidence, but two-thirds of the Cortes abstained, and Alcalá-Zamora ordered Azaña's resignation on 8 September 1933. New elections were held, the 1933 elections was won by the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA). In face of CEDA's electoral victory, president Alcalá-Zamora declined to invite its leader, Gil Robles, to form a government fearing CEDA's monarchist sympathies. Instead he invited the Radical Republican Party's Alejandro Lerroux to do so. Despite receiving the most votes, CEDA was denied cabinet positions for nearly a year.After a year of intense pressure, CEDA was finally successful in forcing the acceptance of three ministries. As a reaction, the Socialists triggered an insurrection that they had been preparing for nine months. A general strike was called by the UGT and the PSOE in the name of the Alianza Obrera. The rebellion developed into a bloody revolutionary uprising, trying to overthrow the legitimate democratic regime. Fairly well armed revolutionaries managed to take the whole province of Asturias, committing numerous murders of policemen, clerigman and civilians and destroying religious buildings including churches, convents and part of the university at Oviedo. In the occupied areas the rebels officially declared the proletarian revolution and abolished regular money. The rebellion was crushed by the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Republican Army, the latter using mainly Moorish colonial troops from Spanish Morocco.
In 1935 the government led by the Radical Republican Party went through a series of crisis and the president Niceto Alcalá-Zamora that had always been hostile to the government decided to call for new elections, refusing once more to invite CEDA, the party with more seats in the parliament, to form a government . The Popular Front won the 1936 general election with a narrow victory, in a process that some[ who? ] scholars consider to have been rigged. The revolutionary left wing masses took the streets, released prisoners. In the thirty-six hours following the election, sixteen people were killed (mostly by police officers attempting to maintain order or intervene in violent clashes) and thirty-nine were seriously injured, while fifty churches and seventy conservative political centres were attacked or set ablaze. Manuel Azaña Díaz was called upon to form a government before the electoral process had come to an end and he would shortly replace Zamora as president taking advantage of a constitutional loophole. Convinced that the left was no longer willing to follow the rule of law and that its vision of Spain was under threat, the right abandoned the parliamentary option and began to conspire as to how to best overthrow the republic, rather than taking control of it.
The disenchantment with Azaña's ruling was voiced by Miguel de Unamuno, a republican and one of Spain's most respected intellectuals, who in June 1936 told a reporter who published his statement in El Adelanto that President Manuel Azaña should commit suicide as a patriotic act”.On 12 July 1936 a group of Guardia de Asalto and other leftist militiamen led by Civil Guard Fernando Condés, after getting the approval of the minister of interior to illegally arrest a list of members or the parliament, went to right-wing opposition leader José Calvo Sotelo's house in the early hours of 13 July and shot him dead in a police truck. This cold-blooded murder had an electrifying effect which provided a catalyst to transform what was a "limping conspiracy", led by General Emilio Mola, into a powerful revolt. Three days later (17 July), the coup d'état began more or less as it had been planned, with an army uprising in Spanish Morocco, which then spread to several regions of the country. The military rebels intended to seize power immediately, but the uprising met with serious resistance, and great swathes of Spain, including most of the main cities, remained loyal to the Republic of Spain. As a result, an estimated total of half a million people would lose their lives in the war that followed.
During the Spanish Civil War, there were three governments. The first was led by left-wing republican José Giral (from July to September 1936); however, a revolution inspired mostly on libertarian socialist, anarchist and communist principles broke within the Republic, which weakened the rule of the Republic. The second government was led by socialist Francisco Largo Caballero of the trade union General Union of Workers (UGT). The UGT, along with the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), were the main forces behind the aforementioned social revolution. The third government was led by socialist Juan Negrín, who led the Republic until the military coup of Segismundo Casado, which ended republican resistance and ultimately led to the victory of the nationalists, who established a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco, known as Francoist Spain.
The Republican government survived in exile, and retained an embassy in Mexico City until 1976. After the restoration of democracy in Spain, the government formally dissolved the following year.
On 28 January 1930, the military dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera (who had been in power since September 1923) was overthrown.This led various republican factions from a wide variety of backgrounds (including old conservatives, socialists and Catalan nationalists) to join forces. The Pact of San Sebastián was the key to the transition from monarchy to republic. Republicans of all tendencies were committed to the Pact of San Sebastian in overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a republic. The restoration of the royal Bourbons was rejected by large sectors of the populace who vehemently opposed the King. The pact, signed by representatives of the main Republican forces, allowed a joint anti-monarchy political campaign. The 12 April 1931 municipal elections led to a landslide victory for republicans. Two days later, the Second Republic was proclaimed, and King Alfonso XIII went into exile. The king's departure led to a provisional government of the young republic under Niceto Alcalá-Zamora. Catholic churches and establishments in cities like Madrid and Sevilla were set ablaze on 11 May.
In June 1931 a Constituent Cortes was elected to draft a new constitution, which came into force in December.
The new constitution established freedom of speech and freedom of association, extended suffrage to women in 1933, allowed divorce, and stripped the Spanish nobility of any special legal status. It also effectively disestablished the Roman Catholic Church, but the disestablishment was somewhat reversed by the Cortes that same year. Its controversial articles 26 and 27 imposed stringent controls on Church property and barred religious orders from the ranks of educators.Scholars have described the constitution as hostile to religion, with one scholar characterising it as one of the most hostile of the 20th century. José Ortega y Gasset stated, "the article in which the Constitution legislates the actions of the Church seems highly improper to me." Pope Pius XI condemned the Spanish government's deprivation of the civil liberties of Catholics in the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis .
The legislative branch was changed to a single chamber called the Congress of Deputies. The constitution established legal procedures for the nationalisation of public services and land, banks, and railways. The constitution provided generally accorded civil liberties and representation.
The Republican Constitution also changed the country's national symbols. The Himno de Riego was established as the national anthem, and the Tricolor, with three horizontal red-yellow-purple fields, became the new flag of Spain. Under the new Constitution, all of Spain's regions had the right to autonomy. Catalonia (1932), the Basque Country (1936) and Galicia (although the Galician Statute of Autonomy couldn't come into effect due to the war) exercised this right, with Aragon, Andalusia and Valencia, engaged in negotiations with the government before the outbreak of the Civil War. The Constitution guaranteed a wide range of civil liberties, but it opposed key beliefs of the conservative right, which was very rooted in rural areas, and desires of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, which was stripped of schools and public subsidies.
The 1931 Constitution was formally effective from 1931 until 1939. In the summer of 1936, after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, it became largely irrelevant after the authority of the Republic was superseded in many places by revolutionary socialists and anarchists on one side, and fascists on the other.
With the new constitution approved in December 1931, once the constituent assembly had fulfilled its mandate of approving a new constitution, it should have arranged for regular parliamentary elections and adjourned. However fearing the increasing popular opposition the Radicals and Socialist majority postponed the regular elections, therefore prolonging their way in power for two more years. This way the republican government of Manuel Azaña initiated numerous reforms to what in their view would "modernize" the country.
In 1932 the Jesuits who were in charge of the best schools throughout the country were banned and had all their property confiscated. The army was reduced. Landowners were expropriated. Home rule was granted to Catalonia, with a local parliament and a president of its own.Catholic churches in major cities were again subject to arson in 1932, and a revolutionary strike action was seen in Málaga the same year. A Catholic church in Zaragoza was burnt down in 1933.
In November 1932, Miguel de Unamuno, one of the most respected Spanish intellectuals, rector of the University of Salamanca, and himself a Republican, publicly raised his voice to protest. In a speech delivered on November 27, 1932, at the Madrid Ateneo, he protested: "Even the Inquisition was limited by certain legal guarantees. But now we have something worse: a police force which is grounded only on a general sense of panic and on the invention of non-existent dangers to cover up this over-stepping of the law."
In 1933, all remaining religious congregations were obliged to pay taxes and banned from industry, trade and educational activities. This ban was forced with strict police severity and widespread mob violence.
The majority vote in the 1933 elections was won by the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA). In face of CEDA's electoral victory, president Alcalá-Zamora declined to invite its leader, Gil Robles, to form a government. Instead he invited the Radical Republican Party's Alejandro Lerroux to do so. Despite receiving the most votes, CEDA was denied cabinet positions for nearly a year.After a year of intense pressure, CEDA, the largest party in the congress, was finally successful in forcing the acceptance of three ministries. However the entrance of CEDA in the government, although being normal in a parliamentary democracy, was not well accepted by the left. The Socialists triggered an insurrection that they had been preparing for nine months. A general strike was called by the UGT and the PSOE in the name of the Alianza Obrera. The issue was that the Left Republicans identified the Republic not with democracy or constitutional law but with a specific set of left-wing policies and politicians. Any deviation, even if democratic, was seen as treasonous.
The inclusion of three CEDA ministers in the government that took office on 1 October 1934 led to a country wide revolt. A "Catalan State" was proclaimed by Catalan nationalist leader Lluis Companys, but it lasted just ten hours. Despite an attempt at a general stoppage in Madrid, other strikes did not endure. This left Asturian strikers to fight alone.Miners in Asturias occupied the capital, Oviedo, killing officials and clergymen. Fifty eight religious buildings including churches, convents and part of the university at Oviedo were burned and destroyed. The miners proceeded to occupy several other towns, most notably the large industrial centre of La Felguera, and set up town assemblies, or "revolutionary committees", to govern the towns that they controlled. Thirty thousand workers were mobilized for battle within ten days. In the occupied areas the rebels officially declared the proletarian revolution and abolished regular money. The revolutionary soviets set up by the miners attempted to impose order on the areas under their control, and the moderate socialist leadership of Ramón González Peña and Belarmino Tomás took measures to restrain violence. However, a number of captured priests, businessmen and civil guards were summarily executed by the revolutionaries in Mieres and Sama. This rebellion lasted for two weeks until it was crushed by the army, led by General Eduardo López Ochoa. This operation earned López Ochoa the nickname "Butcher of Asturias". Another rebellion by the autonomous government of Catalonia, led by its president Lluís Companys, was also suppressed and was followed by mass arrests and trials.
With this rebellion against an established political legitimate authority, the Socialists showed identical repudiation of representative institutional system that anarchists had practiced.The Spanish historian Salvador de Madariaga, an Azaña's supporter, and an exiled vocal opponent of Francisco Franco is the author of a sharp critical reflection against the participation of the left in the revolt: “The uprising of 1934 is unforgivable. The argument that Mr Gil Robles tried to destroy the Constitution to establish fascism was, at once, hypocritical and false. With the rebellion of 1934, the Spanish left lost even the shadow of moral authority to condemn the rebellion of 1936”
The suspension of the land reforms that had been attempted by the previous government, and the failure of the Asturias miners' uprising, led to a more radical turn by the parties of the left, especially in the PSOE (Socialist Party), where the moderate Indalecio Prieto lost ground to Francisco Largo Caballero, who advocated a socialist revolution. At the same time, the involvement of the Centrist government party in the Straperlo scandal deeply weakened it, further polarising political differences between right and left. These differences became evident in the 1936 elections.
On 7 January 1936, new elections were called. Despite significant rivalries and disagreements, the socialists, Communists, and the Catalan-and-Madrid-based left-wing Republicans decided to work together under the name Popular Front. The Popular Front won the election on 16 February with 263 MPs against 156 right-wing MPs, grouped within a coalition of the National Front with CEDA, Carlists, and Monarchists. The moderate centre parties virtually disappeared; between the elections, Lerroux's group fell from the 104 representatives it had in 1934 to just 9.
American historian Stanley G. Payne, one of the most prominent foreign Hispanists, thinks that the process was a major electoral fraud, with widespread violation of the laws and the constitution.In line with Payne's point of view, in 2017 two Spanish Scholars, Manuel Álvarez Tardío and Roberto Villa García published the result of a research where they concluded that the 1936 elections were rigged. This view has been criticised by Eduardo Calleja and Francisco Pérez, who question the charges of electoral irregularity and argue that the Popular Front would still have won a slight electoral majority even if all of the charges were true.
In the thirty-six hours following the election, sixteen people were killed (mostly by police officers attempting to maintain order or intervene in violent clashes) and thirty-nine were seriously injured, while fifty churches and seventy conservative political centres were attacked or set ablaze.The right had firmly believed, at all levels, that they would win. Almost immediately after the results were known, a group of monarchists asked Robles to lead a coup but he refused. He did, however, ask prime minister Manuel Portela Valladares to declare a state of war before the revolutionary masses rushed into the streets. Franco also approached Valladares to propose the declaration of martial law and calling out of the army. This was not a coup attempt but more of a "police action" akin to Asturias, as Franco believed the post-election environment could become violent and was trying to quell the perceived leftist threat. Valladares resigned, even before a new government could be formed. However, the Popular Front, which had proved an effective election tool, did not translate into a Popular Front government. Largo Caballero and other elements of the political left were not prepared to work with the republicans, although they did agree to support much of the proposed reforms. Manuel Azaña Díaz was called upon to form a government before the electoral process had come to an end and he would shortly replace Zamora as president taking advantage of a constitutional loophole: the Constitution allowed the Cortes to remove the President from office after two early dissolutions, and while the first (1933) dissolution had been partially justified because of the fulfillment of the Constitutional mission of the first legislature, the second one had been a simple bid to trigger early elections.
The right reacted as if radical communists had taken control, despite the new cabinet's moderate composition; they were shocked by the revolutionary masses taking to the streets and the release of prisoners. Convinced that the left was no longer willing to follow the rule of law and that its vision of Spain was under threat, the right abandoned the parliamentary option and began to conspire as to how to best overthrow the republic, rather than taking control of it.
This helped the development of the fascist-inspired Falange Española, a National party led by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the son of the former dictator, Miguel Primo de Rivera. Although it only received 0.7 percent of the votes in the election, by July 1936 the Falange had 40,000 members.
The country rapidly descended into anarchy. Even the staunch socialist Indalecio Prieto at a party rally in Cuenca, in May 1936, complained: "we have never seen so tragic a panorama or so great a collapse as in Spain at this moment. Abroad Spain is classified as insolvent. This is not the road to socialism or communism but to desperate anarchism without even the advantage of liberty."
In June 1936 Miguel de Unamuno, disenchanted with the unfolding of the events told a reporter who published his statement in El Adelanto that President Manuel Azaña should commit suicide as a patriotic act.
On 12 July 1936, Lieutenant José Castillo, an important member of the anti-fascist military organisation Unión Militar Republicana Antifascista (UMRA), was shot by Falangist gunmen.
In response a group of Guardia de Asalto and other leftist militiamen led by Civil Guard Fernando Condés, after getting the approval of the minister of interior to illegally arrest a list of members of parliament, went to right-wing opposition leader José Calvo Sotelo's house in the early hours of 13 July on a revenge mission. Sotelo was arrested and later shot dead in a police truck. His body was dropped at the entrance of one of the city's cemeteries. According to all later investigations, the perpetrator of the murder was a socialist gunman, Luis Cuenca, who was known as the bodyguard of PSOE leader Indalecio Prieto. Calvo Sotelo was one of the most prominent Spanish monarchists who, describing the government's actions as Bolshevist and anarchist, had been exhorting the army to intervene, declaring that Spanish soldiers would save the country from communism if "there are no politicians capable of doing so".
Prominent rightists blamed the government for Calvo Sotelo's assassination. They claimed that the authorities did not properly investigate it and promoted those involved in the murder whilst censoring those who cried out about it and shutting down the headquarters of right-wing parties and arresting right-wing party members, often on "flimsy charges".The event is often considered the catalyst for the further political polarisation that ensued, the Falange and other right-wing individuals, including Juan de la Cierva, had already been conspiring to launch a military coup d'état against the government, to be led by senior army officers.
When the antifascist Castillo and the anti-socialist Calvo Sotelo were buried on the same day in the same Madrid cemetery, fighting between the Police Assault Guard and fascist militias broke out in the surrounding streets, resulting in four more deaths.
The killing of Calvo Sotelo with police involvement aroused suspicions and strong reactions among the government's opponents on the right.Although the nationalist generals were already planning an uprising, the event was a catalyst and a public justification for a coup. Stanley Payne claims that before these events, the idea of rebellion by army officers against the government had weakened; Mola had estimated that only 12% of officers reliably supported the coup and at one point considered fleeing the country for fear he was already compromised, and had to be convinced to remain by his co-conspirators. However, the kidnapping and murder of Sotelo transformed the "limping conspiracy" into a revolt that could trigger a civil war. The involvement of forces of public order and a lack of action against the attackers hurt public opinion of the government. No effective action was taken; Payne points to a possible veto by socialists within the government who shielded the killers who had been drawn from their ranks. The murder of a parliamentary leader by state police was unprecedented, and the belief that the state had ceased to be neutral and effective in its duties encouraged important sectors of the right to join the rebellion. Within hours of learning of the murder and the reaction, Franco, that until then had not been involved in the conspiracies, changed his mind on rebellion and dispatched a message to Mola to display his firm commitment.
Three days later (17 July), the coup d'état began more or less as it had been planned, with an army uprising in Spanish Morocco, which then spread to several regions of the country.
The revolt was remarkably devoid of any particular ideology.The major goal was to put an end to anarchical disorder. Mola's plan for the new regime was envisioned as a "republican dictatorship", modelled after Salazar's Portugal and as a semi-pluralist authoritarian regime rather than a totalitarian fascist dictatorship. The initial government would be an all-military "Directory", which would create a "strong and disciplined state." General Sanjurjo would be the head of this new regime, due to being widely liked and respected within the military, though his position would be a largely symbolic due to his lack of political talent. The 1931 Constitution would be suspended, replaced by a new "constituent parliament" which would be chosen by a new politically purged electorate, who would vote on the issue of republic versus monarchy. Certain liberal elements would remain, such as separation of church and state as well as freedom of religion. Agrarian issues would be solved by regional commissioners on the basis of smallholdings but collective cultivation would be permitted in some circumstances. Legislation prior to February 1936 would be respected. Violence would be required to destroy opposition to the coup, though it seems Mola did not envision the mass atrocities and repression that would ultimately manifest during the civil war. Of particular importance to Mola was ensuring the revolt was at its core an Army affair, one that would not be subject to special interests and that the coup would make the armed forces the basis for the new state. However, the separation of church and state was forgotten once the conflict assumed the dimension of a war of religion, and military authorities increasingly deferred to the Church and to the expression of Catholic sentiment. However, Mola's program was vague and only a rough sketch, and there were disagreements among coupists about their vision for Spain.
Franco's move was intended to seize power immediately, but his army uprising met with serious resistance, and great swathes of Spain, including most of the main cities, remained loyal to the Republic of Spain. The leaders of the treason (Franco was not commander-in-chief yet) did not lose heart with the stalemate and apparent failure of the coup. Instead, they initiated a slow and determined war of attrition against the Republican government in Madrid.As a result, an estimated total of half a million people would lose their lives in the war that followed; the number of casualties is actually disputed as some have suggested as many as a million people died. Over the years, historians kept lowering the death figures and modern research concluded that 500,000 deaths were the correct figure.
On 17 July 1936, General Franco led the Spanish Army of Africa from Morocco to attack the mainland, while another force from the north under General Emilio Mola moved south from Navarre. Military units were also mobilised elsewhere to take over government institutions. Before long the professional Army of Africa had much of the south and west under the control of the rebels. Bloody purges followed in each piece of captured "Nationalist" territory in order to consolidate Franco's future regime.Although both sides received foreign military aid, the help that Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany (as part of German involvement in the Spanish Civil War), and neighbouring Portugal gave the rebels was much greater and more effective than the assistance that the Republicans received from the USSR, Mexico, and volunteers of the International Brigades. While the Axis powers wholeheartedly assisted General Franco's military campaign, the governments of France, Britain, and other European powers looked the other way and let the Republican forces die, as the actions of the Non-Intervention Committee would show. Imposed in the name of neutrality, the international isolation of the Spanish Republic ended up favouring the interests of the future Axis Powers.
The Siege of the Alcázar at Toledo early in the war was a turning point, with the rebels winning after a long siege. The Republicans managed to hold out in Madrid, despite a Nationalist assault in November 1936, and frustrated subsequent offensives against the capital at Jarama and Guadalajara in 1937. Soon, though, the rebels began to erode their territory, starving Madrid and making inroads into the east. The north, including the Basque country, fell in late 1937, and the Aragon front collapsed shortly afterward. The bombing of Guernica was probably the most infamous event of the war and inspired Picasso's painting. It was used as a testing ground for the German Luftwaffe's Condor Legion. The Battle of the Ebro in July–November 1938 was the final desperate attempt by the Republicans to turn the tide. When this failed and Barcelona fell to the rebels in early 1939, it was clear the war was over. The remaining Republican fronts collapsed, and Madrid fell in March 1939.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War and thereafter ruled over Spain from 1939 to 1975 as a dictator, assuming the title Caudillo. This period in Spanish history, from the Nationalist victory to Franco's death, is commonly known as Francoist Spain or the Francoist dictatorship.
Manuel Azaña Díaz was a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic, organizer of the Popular Front in 1935 and the last President of the Republic (1936–1939). He was the most prominent leader of the losing Republican cause during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939.
The Popular Front in Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalition and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organizations, instigated by Manuel Azaña for the purpose of contesting that year's election. In Catalonia and today's Valencian Community the name of the coalition was Front d'Esquerres.
The Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, was a fascist political party founded in 1934 as merger of the Falange Española and the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista. The Falange Española de las JONS, which became the main Fascist group during the Second Spanish Republic, ceased to exist as such when, during the Civil War, General Francisco Franco merged it with the Traditionalist Communion in April 1937 to form the similarly named Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS, which became the sole legal party in Spain until its dissolution in 1977.
The Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, more commonly CEDA, was a Spanish political party in the Second Spanish Republic. A Catholic conservative force, it was the political heir to Ángel Herrera Oria's Acción Popular and defined itself in terms of the 'affirmation and defence of the principles of Christian civilization,' translating this theoretical stand into a practical demand for the revision of the republican constitution. The CEDA saw itself as a defensive organisation, formed to protect religion, family, and property. José María Gil-Robles declared his intention to "give Spain a true unity, a new spirit, a totalitarian polity..." and went on to say "Democracy is not an end but a mean to achieve the conquest of the new state. When the time comes, either parliament submits or we will eliminate it." The CEDA held fascist-style rallies, called Gil-Robles "Jefe", the equivalent of Duce, and claimed that the CEDA might lead a "March on Madrid" to forcefully seize power.
Emilio Mola y Vidal, 1st Duke of Mola, Grandee of Spain was one of the three leaders of the Nationalist coup of July 1936, which started the Spanish Civil War.
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo, GE was a Spanish jurist and politician, minister of Finance during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera and a leading figure of the anti-republican right during the Second Republic. His assassination in July 1936 by the bodyguards of Socialist party leader Indalecio Prieto was an immediate prelude to the triggering of the military coup plotted since February 1936, the partial failure of which marked the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Torres was a Spanish lawyer and politician who served, briefly, as the first prime minister of the Second Spanish Republic, and then—from 1931 to 1936—as its president.
Legislative elections were held in Spain on 16 February 1936. At stake were all 473 seats in the unicameral Cortes Generales. The winners of the 1936 elections were the Popular Front, a left-wing coalition of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), Republican Left (Spain) (IR), Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Republican Union (UR), Communist Party of Spain (PCE), Acció Catalana (AC) and other parties. Their coalition commanded a narrow lead over the divided opposition in terms of the popular vote, but a significant lead over the main opposition party, Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA), in terms of seats. The election had been prompted by a collapse of a government led by Alejandro Lerroux, and his Radical Republican Party. Manuel Azaña would replace Manuel Portela Valladares, caretaker, as prime minister.
The Red Terror in Spain is the name given by some historians to various acts of violence committed from 1936 until the end of the Spanish Civil War "by sections of nearly all the leftist groups". News of the rightist military coup in July 1936 unleashed a revolutionary response, and no Republican region escaped revolutionary and anticlerical violence, although it was minimal in the Basque Country. The violence consisted of the killing of tens of thousands of people, attacks on the Spanish nobility, industrialists, and conservative politicians, as well as the desecration and burning of monasteries and churches.
Elections to Spain's legislature, the Cortes Generales, were held on 19 November 1933 for all 473 seats in the unicameral Cortes of the Second Spanish Republic. Since the previous elections of 1931, a new constitution had been ratified, and the franchise extended to more than six million women. The governing Republican-Socialist coalition had fallen apart, with the Radical Republican Party beginning to support a newly united political right.
The 1931 Spanish general election for the Cortes Generales was the first such election held in the Second Republic. It took place in several rounds.
The Spanish Civil War was a civil war in Spain fought from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Popular Front government of the Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with anarchists, of the communist and syndicalist variety, fought against a revolt by the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, monarchists, conservatives and Catholics, led by a military group among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets and was variously viewed as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, and between fascism and communism. It has been frequently called the "dress rehearsal" for World War II. The Nationalists won the war, which ended in early 1939, and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.
The Asturian miners' strike of 1934 was a major strike action undertaken by regional miners against the 1933 Spanish general election, which redistributed political power from the leftists to conservatives in the Second Spanish Republic. The strike lasted two weeks from 4 October to 19 October 1934 in Asturias. The election led to the conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA), securing a parliamentary majority in the Spanish government on 6 October. The strike and subsequent demonstrations eventually developed into a violent revolutionary uprising in an attempt to overthrow the conservative regime. The revolutionaries took over the province of Asturias by force, killing a large portion of the region's inhabitants including police, religious leaders, and uncooperative civilians. Their initial entry into Asturias – armed with dynamite, rifles, and machine guns – culminated in the destruction of numerous religious institutions, such as churches and convents. The rebels officially declared a proletarian revolution and instituted their own local government in occupied territory. The rebellion was crushed by the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Republican Army, the latter using mainly colonial troops from Spanish Morocco.
The background of the Spanish Civil War dates back to the end of the 19th century, when the owners of large estates, called latifundios, held most of the power in a land-based oligarchy. The landowners' power was unsuccessfully challenged by the industrial and merchant sectors. In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. In 1873 Isabella's replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated due to increasing political pressure, and the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed. After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874, Carlists and anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy. Alejandro Lerroux helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was particularly acute. Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909. After the First World War, the working class, the industrial class, and the military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuccessful. Fears of communism grew. A military coup brought Miguel Primo de Rivera to power in 1923, and he ran Spain as a military dictatorship. Support for his regime gradually faded, and he resigned in January 1930. There was little support for the monarchy in the major cities, and King Alfonso XIII abdicated; the Second Spanish Republic was formed, whose power would remain until the culmination of the Spanish Civil War. Monarchists would continue to oppose the Republic.
Catholicism in the Second Spanish Republic was an important area of dispute, and tensions between the Catholic hierarchy and the Republic were apparent from the beginning - the establishment of the Republic began 'the most dramatic phase in the contemporary history of both Spain and the Church.' The dispute over the role of the Catholic Church and the rights of Catholics were one of the major issues which worked against the securing of a broad democratic majority and "left the body politic divided almost from the start." The historian Mary Vincent has argued that the Catholic Church was an active element in the polarising politics of the years preceding the Spanish Civil War. Similarly, Frances Lannon asserts that, "Catholic identity has usually been virtually synonymous with conservative politics in some form or other, ranged from extreme authoritarianism through gentler oligarchic tendencies to democratic reformism." The municipal elections of 1931 that triggered the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Constitution of 1931 "brought to power an anticlerical government." Prime Minister Manuel Azaña asserted that the Catholic Church was responsible in part for what many perceived as Spain's backwardness and advocated the elimination of special privileges for the Church. An admirer of the pre-1914 Third French Republic, he wanted the Second Spanish Republic to emulate it, make secular schooling free and compulsory, and construct a non-religious basis for national culture and citizenship, part of the necessary updating and Europeanising of Spain.
The Nationalist faction or Rebel faction was a major faction in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. It was composed of a variety of right-wing political groups that supported the Spanish coup of July 1936 against the Second Spanish Republic, including the Falange, the CEDA, and two rival monarchist claimants: the Alfonsist Renovación Española and the Carlist Traditionalist Communion. In 1937, all the groups were merged into the FET y de las JONS. One of the members of the 1936 coup, General Francisco Franco, would after the death of the faction's earlier leaders head the Nationalists throughout most of the war and emerge as the dictator of Spain until 1975.
The Spanish coup of July 1936 was a nationalist and military uprising that was designed to overthrow the Spanish Second Republic but precipitated the Spanish Civil War; Nationalists fought against Republicans for control of Spain. The coup itself was organised for 17 July 1936, although it started the following day in Spanish Morocco, and would result in a split of the Spanish military and territorial control, rather than a prompt transfer of power. Although drawn out, the resulting war would ultimately lead to one of its leaders, Francisco Franco, becoming ruler of Spain.
The events of 6 October were a general strike, armed insurgency and declaration of a Catalan State by Catalonia's autonomous government on 6 October 1934, in reaction to the inclusion of conservatives in the republican regime of Spain. They took place as part of a nationwide strike and armed action known as the Revolution of 1934. Catalan President Lluís Companys declared the Catalan State at 8 p.m. Martial law was declared, and military forces attacked the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya and other buildings. Companys surrendered on the morning of 7 October.
The Revolution of 1934, also known as the Revolution of October 1934 or the Revolutionary General Strike of 1934, was a revolutionary strike movement that took place between 5 and 19 October 1934, during the black biennium of the Second Spanish Republic. The revolts were triggered by the entry of the conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA) into the Spanish government. Most of the events occurred in Catalonia and Asturias and were supported by many Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and General Union of Workers (UGT) members, notably Largo Caballero. Historians have argued that the incident sharpened antagonism between the political Right and Left in Spain and was part of the reason for the later Spanish Civil War.
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