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What Were The Causes Of The Spanish Civil War

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Introduction

What Were the Causes of The Spanish Civil War? Years of anger, frustration and despair amongst the Spanish people meant that General Franco seized control of the Spanish government in the summer of 1936, the event that kicked off the Spanish Civil War. For centuries, Spain had prospered. It was one of the most powerful empires in the world, with the whole of South America at its feet. For years gold had been rolling into Spain on ships. Spain was so hence so rich that it had never even needed to develop any home industries. So why did it collapse into civil war in 1936? One cause of the Spanish Civil War was economic. For centuries, Spain had depended on its empire's resources to keep its economy thriving. However, when Spain lost the last of its empire - Cuba in 1898 -, it had no back-up plan and the Spanish economy soon started showing its weaknesses. Socially, the effects of a poor economy started showing and when Primo de Rivera he was seen as "an almost messianic figure" because, despite the fact that he was a dictator, he was very open to all views and demands. When Primo de Rivera came to power through his coup in 1923, he started pursuing a policy involving public work schemes. These included building roads, bridges, irrigation systems, railways and other transport infrastructures. ...read more.

Middle

These disturbances really showed which way Spain was headed. Many people also believe that the foundation of fascist party, "The Falange" had a great influence on the outbreak of the Civil War. However, Patricia Knight describes it as "insignificant in numbers and influence" in 1936. The final straw was the murder of leading right-wing politician, Sotelo, the "Franz Ferdinand" of the Spanish Civil War. The split between left and right became too much for Spain to bear and the right began accusing the left of wanting a communist leadership whilst the left continued with their uprisings, strikes and vandalism. These political problems were exacerbated by the influence of the Church in Spain. Up until Rivera's reign, the Church had been using its influence to tell people which way to vote as well as having a monopoly in the education system. Primo de Rivera only worsened things when he allowed degrees from all Catholic universities official recognition. Many opposed to this and wanted a more secular regime. So when Aza�a came to power, he legalised divorce, banned religious education in schools and expelled all Jesuits from Spain. The CEDA, led by the Church, hated this and when Gil Robles came to power through election in 1933, he got rid of all the reforms that had been introduced by Aza�a and gave the Church even more power than before, once again causing much anger amongst the Spanish people and the left. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other similar incidents, often organised by the Popular Front, were ruthlessly crushed by the army. Notably, Franco was responsible for controlling an uprising in Asturias. This was a strike by coal miners in 1934. From this, Franco carried on building up his position within the army until - in July 1936 - he took complete control of it and used it to take over Spanish Morocco and then mainland Spain overthrowing the government. The Spanish Civil War had begun. In conclusion, it is understandable to see why what had once been a great and powerful nation fell to pieces. However, why was Spain affected like this? Why did Germany, a country that found itself in a similar position to Spain's with the impact of the depression and a weak government, never fall into a civil war? One of the questions to ask is why there was not an arising before, considering the accumulation of Spain's problems during the 2nd Republic. Andrew Forrest asks why, during 1931 to 1935, "did the army not stage a large scale revolt?" He answers that one of the reasons was the fact that the Spanish population never really showed what they wanted. They never really showed any strong support for any particular party during the 2nd Republic and as a result, there was no popular support. I disagree with this. From the support that Primo de Rivera gained when he first came to power, it is obvious that the Spanish people did indeed some radical change. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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