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Account For Spanish Civil War Essay

2192 words - 9 pages

There were several reasons that account for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. From the political climate following world war one to the agrarian problem in the south. Since early modern times, Spain had a weak manufacturing base and its agriculture did not have great productivity. These problems were highlighted in the nineteenth century when there was an industrial revolution in areas such as Catalonia and the Basque Country. These areas were going to have a significant impact on the subsequent outbreak of civil war. Another factor that made Spain weak and angered its public was that in the latter part of this century Spain had lost its colonies in Cuba, the Philippines and other ...view middle of the document...

' This gave the enemies of the governing Conservatives 'a new and powerful weapon.' It highlighted the incompetence of Mauras' leadership and led to the staging of a successful pronunciamiento by the Captain General of Cataluña, Miguel Primo de Rivera in September 1923. He said he would restore the countries fortunes in his speeches and would rule by authoritarian regime. This happened after two years of two coalition governments consisting of Conservative, Liberal and democrats and two liberal coalition governments. The king did not intervene due to the frustrations of the old government and the support he saw for Primo de Rivera. It halted the democratic political process so that a dictatorship would takeover the country for the next six years from 1923.Despite a successful period as dictator, Rivera did not survive the world depression which started in 1929. It would appear that this success only stopped as a result of the depression and showed the publics' satisfaction for a dictatorship. The public did not revolt against the government and the country was becoming more influential in the world market. Only the exterior problem of depression led to the downfall of six thriving years. It is clear to see that no other government lasted this long and so signalled the way for more dictatorships in the future. Unemployment in Spain rose hugely and his dictatorship skills were not helpful in solving the countries financial problems. The army that he had used to his advantage throughout his premier lost confidence and he was forced to resign. The Spanish people who were increasingly fed up with poor government and dictatorship, held elections in April 1931. The republicans won the election with a landslide victory due to the support of all the major cities. King Alfonso abdicated as the Second Republic abolished the monarchy for a pluralist democracy in a modernised Spanish society.Like many previous democratic governments in Spanish history it appears that this republic was met with trepidation. It had huge opposition from the church as they believed a republic would bring Protestants and atheists to Spain. Landowners and industrialists also failed to support the republic as they presumed it would increase the cost of labour and affect their livelihoods. The other significant opposition to this new era in Spain were the military leaders who felt unemployment in the army was inevitable as the republic pushed for regional autonomy and army officials were made to retire early. The leader of this new government was a conservative, Catholic republican called Niceto Alcalá Zamora. He was joined by the liberal Manuel Azaña. They both aimed to reform the country with such measures which included taking control of the army and improving the dreadful conditions of rural and industrial workers.Due to disagreements over the religious clauses in the constitution Azaña replaced Zamora in December 1931 with a new constitution which...

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