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Spain's Pre War Years, Speaks Of Why The Years Before The Spanish Civil War Of 1936 So Confusing And Unstable, Resulting In The Need For A Totalitarian Leader?

2811 words - 11 pages

Hypothesis: The years before 1936 in Spain were unstable due to the polarization of the left- and right-winged ideologies in Spanish society which caused debilitating confusion.Spain has always been a land of diversity: not just in geography but in ideology. So many different points-of-view were present in 19th and 20th century Spain that it's a wonder Spain did not self-destruct, with all the potential for conflict. Spain almost did collapse through several civil wars, finally coming to a head at what historians call the Civil War, in 1936-1939. Only after this Civil War (and for a period before it) did Spain see lasting peace; but both those times were ruled by totalitarian rulers: General de Rivera in 1923-1930 and General Franco in 1939-1975. The other years saw terrorism, assassinations, violence and innsurrections. This didactic essay will demonstrate the Spaniards' inability to rule themselves, and their need for a totalitarian leader.The Coming of ChangeEver since Napoleon's takeover in 1808 and the War of Independence in 1814, Spain has been divided between liberals and conservatives, revolutionaries and reactionaries, or more generally, the left and the right wings. The 19th Century was one of great upheaval for Spain, and politics during most of that time usually involved struggles between two kinds of people: those who wanted change and those who didn't. Napoleon's rule and the War of Independence was a struggle between the French and Spanish patriots(with a lot of help from the British). The abolition of the Spanish Inquisition was between the powerful Church and the liberal, Jacobinistic government at the time. The Carlist Wars were between Church militants (the Carlists) and liberal monarchists. The many, many army coups, or pronunciamentos, were Army generals against any of the governments in power, wether it be liberal or conservative.1The rise and quick fall of the first Spanish Republic signified the inability for liberals and conservatives to work together, and shortly after the monarchy was ejected from Spain, it was called back to rule again in 1875. Unfortunately, the collapse of Spain continued. Anarchism was flourishing at home, resulting in strikes, riots, and general terrorism.2Obviously change was rampant during this period, but not necessarily change for the better. The many governments of the 19th Century reflects the unwillingness of Spaniards to create a moderate government; usually the current trend in government leaned so heavily to the left or right that it simply became intolerable for the opposition to function adequately, to adapt to the new situation.All of the confusion that would build up tensions in the complicated, yet totally black-and-white mosaic of Spain and her politics in the 19th century would result in the triggering of a number of crises in the early 20th century, crises that would necessitate drastic action.The Rise of AnarchismThe seemingly popular movement in rural areas in the late 19th...

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