• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

‘In origins and outcome, the Spanish Civil War was a Spanish and not a European affair.’ Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


'In origins and outcome, the Spanish Civil War was a Spanish and not a European affair.' Discuss. Even 60 years after the Spanish Civil War no conformity can be found in the historiography about the events in the run-up of the Second World War. Dissension exists in particular not only with regards to the foreign influence on the preparations, process and outcome, but also towards the time, interests and the scale of foreign interventions. Domestically, Spain had to face two political extremes. On the one side, there was anarchism, a movement close to Marxist ideals and the other side Franco's fascism. In Europe, policies not only made the fascist controlled states Germany and Italy, and the communist organized Russia, but also France and Great Britain were involved in the conflict. The fact is that foreign interventions had effects on the process and outcome of the civil war. In the course of that essay I would like to present not only the reasons for the war and the consequences of the foreign influence, but also the reasons and purposes of the individual state, that were involved. Besides this, it seems to be of vitally importance to disprove the claim, that the Spanish Civil War was a Spanish and not a European affair. In order to point out, why the conflict among the Spanish population was a domestic consequence, I therefore want to define the former Spanish circumstances and the history of origins. At the time of Queen Isabella's abdication, Giuseppie Fanelli founded an anarchistic movement in 1868 that preferred Bakunin's ideology rather than Marx's. Anarchism meant the opposition to hierarchical authority. That movement rejected not only the private ownership, but also the state and the church. ...read more.


After the elimination of Guernica by the German 'Legion Condor' and several appropriations in the north, the republican zone was divided in two parts. After the fall of Madrid and Barcelona, Negrin, the leader of the republican cabinet, and president Anzana resigned. On 1 April 1939, Franco announced the end of the civil war and the Nationalist's victory. However, the outcome of the war was massively promoted by interventions of foreign states, in the first place by the military support of Germany and Italy, secondly by the appeasement-policy of France and Great Britain and thirdly by the anti-anarchistic attitude of Russia. In order to create a better understanding of the international involvement in the civil war, I would like to portray the political situation of this era. At the time of the Spanish crisis, the world faced two expanding ideologies - fascism and communism. After the First World War Germany had to get along with reparations, the treaty of Versailles and several economic problems, which mainly enabled Hitler and the fascists to come to power. With regards to Spain, Hitler was not interested in territorial expansion, but in economic, military and strategic, and alliance matters, although he put the ideological factor to the forefront. He emphasised in his 'Vier-Jahresplan' the importance to avoid the spread of communism, but mentioned at the same time, that he does not care about the future political system in Spain, but the only important thing is that it is not close to Paris, London or Moscow.7 Hitler decided to support the Nationalists and meet Franco's inquiry for transport planes on 25 July 1936, along the advice of Hermann Goering, the German minister for war and the officer of the 'Vier-Jahresplan'. ...read more.


That resulted in the forming of international brigades that fought on the side of the Republic. Brigades like the Thaelmann, Garibaldi, Lincoln and Marseillaise Brigades were recruited of German, Italian, Irish, French, Russian, American and Baltic fighters14. 'In a decade of worldwide depression and spreading fascism, the revolution in Spain signaled a message of renewed hope to the scattered forces of working-class emancipation throughout the globe'15. Many people saw in the Republic the last hope to repel the fascists. 'Approximately 35,000 anti-fascists from fifty-two countries [...] joined the student, unemployed, union, and cultural movements that were influenced by the Communist Party'16. In conclusion, I want to emphasise that the origin of the Spanish Civil War was defeinitely an internal affair. The civil war was the consequence of the deep polarisation in the population between the capitalists and the working class. However, the process was massively influenced by previous mentioned European powers. Without the massive fascist support of Germany and Italy, Franco would not have been able to win the war and establish his fascist regime. Hitler enabled him to start his coup properly in providing transport planes to circumvent the sea blockade. At latest with the outbreak of the 2nd World War, the British and French appeasement policy proved as unprecedented failure17. ( doesn't really fit into with previous sentence) In refusing the intervention of the Spanish Civil War, they lost a chance to limit Hitler's power and discourage the fascist movement. Contrary to this, the French confiscated Russian material deliveries for the Republic. The communist counter-measures to undermine the anarchistic revolution emerged as a kind of disillusionment and division in the republican area, what weakened the anti-fascist movement. All this together led to following conclusion: 'The effects of the neutrality of the United States, Britain, and France combined with the fascist support of Germany and Italy proved disastrous to the Spanish Republic'18. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. To what extent did the foreign intervention influence the outcome of the Spanish Civil ...

    Mussolini provided the Nationalists with 50,000 ground troops, 950 tanks, 763 aircraft and 91 warships, while Hitler provided 16,000 military advisers, the most modern aircraft and the Condor Legion services which was Hitler's best fighting force. The aim of both countries was to prevent the spread of Communism by making

  2. How far were White weaknesses responsible for Red success in Russian Civil War?

    Thus, Lenin realised that in order to gear the whole economy of Red Russia towards the needs of the army, the workers needed to be fed and kept in the cities to produce munitions. War Communism consisted of a more Marxist approach as all industry was nationalized and workers' committees

  1. Why did civil war break out in Spain in 1936?

    system8, which up until the second republic was formed on the 14th April 1931, remained in favour of local bosses, also given the name, 'caciques'9 who helped get their chosen candidates into power. Therefore the liberals wanted to transform the system to make it politically equal by taking the army

  2. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    Both sides wanted to reduce the risk of a nuclear war. * Despite their traditional hostility, neither could easily forget how close they had come to a nuclear war over Cuba. * In 1968 the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed.

  1. Analyse the factors, which prompted the growth of Fascism in Italy by 1922.

    They of course did not know who was going to win so they decided they would join the side that offered them the best deal. Meetings with the Austrians over the terre irredente proved fruitless and then the Allies offered a better deal and so the "Treaty of London" was signed and Italy joined the war.

  2. How far did Foreign Aid Contribute to Franco's success in the Spanish Civil War?

    The importance of this act of intervention in holding the initiative shouldn't be underestimated." The Italians sent 50,000 troops, 900 tanks and 700 aircraft, while the Germans sent their "condor legion" and 16,000 advisors. Moreover between them they provided $570 million total aid.

  1. To What extent was German Foreign Policy responsible for the outbreak of general European ...

    As a precaution to this he eventually ordered general mobilisation. Russia would have preferred to remain out of war but it felt it had to make a stand; Krivoshein (Russia agricultural minister) stated that while war should be avoided if possible, Russia should now take a firmer stand.

  2. American economic foreign policy and the origins of the cold war

    Worried leaders itemized domestic deficiencies in many critical industrial minerals; President Truman in 1949 linked economic and military necessities when he emphasized the need for raw materials: "Without foreign trade [...] it would be difficult, if not impossible, for us to develop atomic energy."17 Washington officials also recognized that U.S.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work