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France And The Spanish Civil War

2685 words - 11 pages

During the Spanish Civil War, France decided on a policy of Non-Intervention in order to promote economic and political stability. Firstly, the Non-Intervention policy kept France from having a financial stake in the war, which they would have should they have supported one side over the other, and was in fact financially beneficial as it allowed France to trade with both sides of the Spanish Civil War without difficulties. In addition, since France itself was very divided on which side to support in the war, following a policy of Non-Intervention kept the peace in France and stopped them from having their own civil war. Politically, Britain was also putting a lot of pressure on France to not interfere in the war, and because France needed Britain as an ally in the face of the threat of Germany, Italy, and Russia, they yielded to their demand. Most importantly, France hoped that following the policy of Non-Intervention would to keep world peace. Europe’s political climate was very fragile and tense at this moment, and much of Europe, France included, was worrying about another World War breaking out, with the Spanish Civil War as the trigger.
The Non-Intervention policy had a key economic benefit that made it very appealing to many other countries, not just France. The policy allowed governments to trade normally with both sides of the Spanish civil war, excluding weapons and other war materials, which were not allowed to be sold. For France, who was very involved in the Spanish economy as it was the second largest market for Spanish exports and some estimates of their private investment in Spain totaled up to $135 million dollars, this policy kept them from losing millions of dollars because of the business they would have lost should they have committed to trading with one side only. Furthermore, during and after the war, France’s economy would not be dependent on which side they decided to support. France would not have to send volunteers, money, and supplies to their chosen side. It would not matter who won the war, as they had not banked on a certain victor and therefore alienated the other possible victor. The winning side of the Spanish Civil War, which turned out to be the Nationalists under Gen. Francisco Franco, who was against the Republicans who France had initially decided to send aid to, still went to France for credits and capital at the end of the war, which they might not have done, should France have supported their enemy as planned. Maintaining the policy of Non-Intervention kept France from having a financial stake during and after the war, and stopped them from losing millions of dollars.
Another reason that pushed France towards the Non-Intervention policy was that France itself was divided about which side to support. Many people wanted to help the Nationalists, but a large amount of people also wanted to help the Republicans. After Leon Blum, the current French Prime Minister, publically declared that the French...

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