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Spanish Civil War: Short Term Causes (Political Polarization)
Transcript of Spanish Civil War: Short Term Causes (Political Polarization)
Spain has several different political parties categorized by the communist/socialist influenced left, the moderate republican centere and the fascist/monarchist right.
The trading control of the left of and the right in government caused April 1931: popular vote for monarchy was gone
At the election, a collation of centre-left parties lead by Manuel Azana (Prime Minister) took over
Problems ensued when the Republic employed new laws
Production fell by 1/3
Land reform program, where the government took over some land
Power of army reduced
Reduced number of officers by 50%
The remaining officers radicalized the army through right-wing nationalistic ideas State and Catholic Church separated
Priests no longer paid by state, but from the Church itself
Jesuits (severe roman Catholics) were forced out of Spain
Religious education in school stopped
Right-wing nationalists saw these laws as threats and as a gateway to communism
The right formed political party CEDA (Conferderacion Espanola de Derechas Autonomas) to protect their rights Spanish Civil War Ananza resigned due to growing tensions
new elections were held the, right won, with CEDA as the biggest party
Church regained control
No government owned land the left parties retaliated, increasing violence.
the general public supported the left
so the right became more authoritarian and brutal
After being promoted to Major General in 1934 Fransico Franco killed thousands of leftist rebels Elections were held and a left wing coalition between socialists, anarchists and communists won.
Ananza returned as prime minister and restored former reforms
Anarchists encouraged peasants to revolt
Violence increased and political polarization was at an all time high
Fransico Franco, rightest conservative soldier, was a natural enemy of this government
February 1936 Franco joined other Spanish Army officers, (Emilio Mola, Juan Yague, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano and José Sanjurjo) in talking about overthrowing the Popular Front government. Mola became leader at the time.
Immediate Causes July 12th 1936: left-wing Lt. José Castillo was assassinated by a gang of Falangists, Spain’s principal fascist (right-wing) group
July 16th 1936: right- wing politician and opposition leader, Jose Clavo Sotelo, was assassinated by guards under the elected left party
These assassinations were to the Spanish Civil War like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was to World War One – "the spark that ignited a long-festering powder keg."
July 17th 1936: the generals launched their revolt against the Popular Front government which had been installed a couple of months earlier. Lead by Franco
The war followed soon after