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Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

     The Spanish Civil War started 17 July 1936 after a declaration of opposition from a group of conservative generals lead by Jose Sanjurjo against the government. The second President of the Second Spanish Republic of that time was Manuel Azana. 

      It all started more than a century before, when the Constitution of 1812 sought to eliminate the monarchy, but failed as Fernando XIV abolished it. Then between 1868 and 1874, liberalism was felt strongly, as Isabella II was overthrown and her successor, Amadeo I, abdicated in 1873. The First Spanish Republic was proclaimed, but not for long, as the Restoration of the Bourbons happened in 1874. Universal Male Suffrage was introduced in 1890, and anarchism grew to a level not seen anywhere, and Carlists opposed all liberal measures. In the first two decades of the 20th century, anti-clericalism grew, as well as the industrial working class, which caused the appearance of unions and parties, such as the Socialist and the Reformist. 

      The military was aware of a risk of fracture in thee state, and frowned upon nationalism. This caused the Tragic Week. After the creation of a communist organization, fear of communism raised. In 1921, the Socialist Party split, and the Communist Party was formed. But in 1923, Miguel Primo de Rivera seized power by a military coup. And after his fall of support and resignation in 1930, King Alfonso XIII abdicated, and the Second Spanish Republic was formed. Niceto Alcala-Zamorra was Prime Minister. 

      There was conflict still, between Republican-Socialist and Religious-Fascists. And with the Spanish Constitution of 1931 being liberal, reformist, democratic and taking away the church’s power, it horrified some people. The army and the church were part of the opposition. When Alcala-Zamora resigned, Manuel Azana took the job, and the Alejandro Lerroux, wanting the position, took the Reformist Party to the opposition. Alacala was now President. In 1932, there was an unsuccessful uprising by Jose Sanjurjo. 

      The government of now President Alcala-Zamora, started selling state favours, monopolies, and removing land reforms, after a right-wing party won the elections, but still the President didn’t let them form the government, and Lerroux took the job. Lerroux wasn’t very clear in his favors. Lerroux resigned when violence started in the streets, and Bolshevism broke apart the Socialist Party.  

     In 1935, Lerroux’s government collapsed, and since Zamora didn’t want the right-wing party to form the government, he called on elections. These were won by the Popular Front, which was made by Azana and Indalecio Prieto. But as communist began taking the socialist’s ranking in organizations, some generals thought that to prevent the dissolution of Spain the government needed to be replaced. 

     By 1936, preparations for the coup were on their way. General Jose Sanjurjo was the key person in the operation. The government, fearing the coup, re-localized the generals, but in vain since it did not act upon warnings from the Director of Security. The coup began the 17 of July in Spanish Morocco, and continued in Spain, not as swift as planned, since the government was able to maintain control of a lot of their territory. Jose Sanjurjo died in 1936 in a plane crash, which made General Francisco Franco the head of the coup. 

      The war raged on until 1939, when the Nationalists (the rebels) won. This was mostly due to the arrangement of foreign support. The Republicans (Government) which were supporting steadily a communist state, gained the support of the Soviet Union and the International Brigades, which consisted of groups of people from different countries, and Mexico. The Nationalists, on the other hand, which wanted a conservative government, gained the support of Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy (since he was Hitler’s toy), and Portugal.  

     That’s how the Franco regime started. :/ 

     If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. If you want me to talk about the Franco regime or the Cold War please say so!

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