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

George Orwell in the Spanish Revolution

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Assignment Homage to Catalonia 1) Explain the difference between Orwell's perception of the war and the political reality. When George Orwell had joined the Republican struggle against the Nationalists, his perception of the war was one of the News Chronicle and New Statesman. He had an over-simplified view of the Spanish Civil War, as if it was a purely military conflict opposing two sides: democratic and Fascist forces (this is highlighted by his carelessness for joining a party for which to fight, he just happened to find himself with the POUM). But it went much farther than that. It was not a simple two-sided conflict with each side following one clear "line" or policy. At least on the Republican side, there still were many different groups, and by "different groups" I mean different parties, with each distinct "lines," following distinct policies - besides fighting the fascists (and even this is arguable). The reality of the war was that "as a militiaman one was a solider against Franco," which was always Orwell's understanding, but "one was also a pawn in an enormous struggle that was being fought out between two political theories." And by "two political theories," he is not referring to the over-simplified version of "democracy standing up to fascism" but to different "lines" within the Republican 'fight fascism-line'. This amounts to say that the parties were, more or less, as much interested in implementing their own party-"lines" as in fighting the Nationalist Front. 2) Label the political orientations of the party initials, and explain what their 'line' was. ...read more.

Middle

As the USSR started to supply arms, the government took a swing towards the right. It was conducting anti-revolutionary activities and policies such as expelling the POUM and CNT out of the Catalan government, replacing the more leftist socialist prime-minster Caballero by the more rightist socialist Negr�n and ousting the CNT and UGT of the national government. The events that led to that swing are more thoroughly explained in the next question. 9) What were Russia's terms for lending assistance? How did it affect the 'revolutionary' aspect of the war? In October-November of 1936, the USSR started supplying arms to the Republican forces, especially the Communist Party which caused the latter to become more powerful than the Anarchists. It was from that point on that the government, apparently, took a "swing to the right" by adopting anti-revolutionary policies. Orwell suggests that the terms for assistance were "prevent revolution," and so the government and Communist Party "moved against the revolutionary elements," characterized at first by the expulsion of the POUM from the Catalan government. Later the Anarchists and Caballero's socialists were also targeted (Caballero was replaced as prime-minster as mentioned before). Thus evidently the strict revolutionary aspect of the war suffered as they not only struggled with the fascists but with strong internal forces. The worst was such instances where internal quarreling was put above stomping fascists such as the Communists' will to not distribute arms to the POUM on the Arag�n Front. 10) What moves were taken to remove power from the trade unions? The government employed series of small moves to recover power from the trade unions without making an obviously counter-revolutionary move. ...read more.

Conclusion

This also made it difficult for the POUM to defend itself as it could not express anti-Communist Party articles/propaganda. And on an international level, the POUM did not have newspapers while the Communists did all around the globe. International newspapers like the Daily Worker in Britain could be in contact with the Spanish party and publish whatever evils the Spanish accuse them of this time. Readers of the Daily Worker would encounter no arguments against (as again, the POUM had no internationally affiliated newspapers). And such things were published in Communist newspapers all over the world. 16) What were the main differences between the POUM and the Communists - what was above and below the surface of their quarrel? the surface was the fact that the POUM wished for an immediate revolution while the Communists, under commands of the USSR, did not. Below the surface was attempts to undermine one another, especially the Communists against the POUM as they even settled to assert that the POUM was actually working for Hitler and Franco while publishing that all over the globe. 17) What is a fifth column? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a fifth column is "a clandestine subversive organization working within a country to further an invading enemy's military and political aims." The term actually originates from the Spanish Civil War, more precisely from Nationalist General Emilio Mola who, at the siege of Madrid, said that his four columns outside of the city would be supported by a fifth one that was already inside the city. Therefore the term can be association to treason and infiltration, as if the POUM was a group of fascists that had infiltrated the Left to betray it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Notes on Italian unification - background and main events

    to go to war with Austria - April 1866; Prussia and Italy signed an alliance --> Italy would fight Austria if Austria and Prussia went to war within the next 3 months. The advantage to Prussia is that it will have a greater military force.

  2. Why did the Communists win the Chinese Civil War?

    Mao was being known to the general public as the one who reached out to them through all that the CCP has done. Chiang as the leader of the GDP was not a popular leader, he was stubborn and close-minded.

  1. the causes and consequences of the spanish civil war

    These four potentially powerful groups were unwilling to support the republican government in Madrid. It is well known that there were countries in Europe that would be willing to give support to their predicament as many nations in Europe were scared of communism and Stalin's Russia.

  2. Why did the Second Spanish Republic Fail?

    The effect of this was anger from the landowners and disappointment from the peasants. Thus the government's flawed plan lost its support from both the wealthy and poor classes, an incredible achievement. It also led to further division between the two classes because it created more resentment towards the difference in wealth.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Students banned from belonging to student groups. 4. Peace in universities until 1887 and new rioting (increase in fees). 5. Students continued to organize themselves into unofficial regional societies, by the late 1890s individuals active in illegal political activity used them for unrest.

  2. Causes of the Spanish Civil War

    Popular Front composed of anarchists, liberals, socialists, communists, Trotskyists (POUM), Stalinists, republicans, Basques and Catalonians. A general election was called for in February of 1936. In this election, the Popular Front won and Azana, once again became prime minister. Spain however appeared to be heading for chaos as all systems

  1. Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

    This meant that only the loyal army remained and the government had more payments. Each reform went against the right ideologies, causing tension to rise and the collapse of the left republic, which will rise again for the last time before the crisis to happen.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Electricity and communal running water were only supplied in the 1950s. The camps were places of desperation, degradation and insecurity, and remain so until this very day - Arab hosts did little to integrate them into their places of refuge, as they believed it was Israel's problem because they had created the issue.

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