The Outbreak of the Spanish Civil War

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The Outbreak of the Spanish Civil War

To this day the Spanish Civil War is still remembered as the single

most pivotal moment in the history of Spanish politics. The only way

of understanding how 600,000 Spaniards were killed between 1936 and

1939 is to ask ourselves why the civil war broke out in Spain in

1936. There were a number of reasons which led to the civil war in

Spain. The main and most significant being the increased political

polarization between the left and right wing parties.

This polarization primarily began within Spanish society, which had

been characterized by its strong religious beliefs and conservative

values, as it remained a strict Roman Catholic country for many

centuries. This was evident in the senate[1] where some of the clergy

held seats. As a result of this the church also played an important

role in the Spanish government and had portrayed its influence through

aspects of education[2] and freedom of expression. This was an

important factor that contributed to the start of tensions within the

Spanish society as many Spaniards felt that the church had too much

political authority and wealth.

However, it was only after the Spanish-American War in 1898 that the

divisions became apparent. Evidently, Spain’s loss of its colonies[3]

lowered the morale of the Spanish people and reflected Spain’s

backward and deteriorating nation,[4] especially in respect to the

development of other European countries of that period. It was here

that the Spanish realised their desperate need for ‘regeneration.’

However, a disagreement on the type of change needed divided the

Spanish nation into two factions, ...

... middle of paper ...

...d Carr, ‘The Republic and the

Civil War in Spain’ p.47.

[8] Called the ‘Turno Pacifico.’

[9] See David Mitchell, ‘The Spanish Civil War’ pp.6-7.

[10] Large private estates in Southern Spain worked by landless

peasant labourers. See Martin Blinkhorn, ‘Democracy and Civil War in

Spain.’ P.4.

[11] The founders of Roman Catholicism. Religious clauses stated on

p.46, Hugh Thomas, ‘The Spanish Civil War.’

[12] The Spanish Communist Party

[13] Revolutionary, Anti-Stalinist Communist Party.





[18]See Raymond Carr, ‘The Republic and the Civil War In Spain.’

Editor’s introduction, p.10.

[19] Name given to the period between the November 1933 election and

the end of 1935, meaning the ‘two black years.’

[20] See David Mitchell, ‘The Spanish Civil War,’ p.4.

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