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Spanish Civil War

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Spanish Civil War
Practicing for WW II
IB Questions… Paper 2 Topic 1
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What were the most frequent causes of 20th century wars?
Specific evidence from at least three wars should be used
(2003)
Examine the impact of foreign intervention on either the
Chinese Civil War or the Spanish Civil War (2005)
Assess the social and economic causes of one 20th Century
war (2005)
Compare & contrast the causes of two 20th Century Civil
Wars (2009)
Analyse the reasons for, and the results of, either the
Spanish Civil War (1936-39) or the Chinese Civil War (194649) (2010)
Spain before 1930
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Large estates owned by the wealthy—latifundia
who dominated society
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Spanish-American War
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King Alphonso XIII (1886-1931)
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General Miguel Primo de Rivera in charge of
government as a dictator 1923-1930; his
government collapsed due to the Great
Depression
General Miguel Primo
de Rivera
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Poor peasants wanted land reform
Workers formed socialist labor unions
Anarchists wanted to overthrow the government…
were the strongest among the poor
Separatist movements in Basque area and Catalonia
Rivera came to power in a coup—king then made him
Prime Minister
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Rivera ruled by martial law, strict censorship,
banned all political parties, but gave women the
right to vote
In 1920s built and improved highways, railroad
and hydroelectric projects
Used public works projects to reduce
unemployment; financed by loans; led to high
inflation
Lost support of the army and forced to step
down in 1930
1931…
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Republicans won local elections
King Alphonso went to France into exile
Spain became a Republic led by socialists &
liberals
Jesuits were dissolved; separation of Church &
State
Poor peasants promised land
On one hand, Church, army, landowners upset
with reforms
On the other hand, anarchists said reforms did
not go far enough
Republican Spain
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Land surveyed in anticipation of land reform
Reforms of military to cut costs and because
military was seen as opposing reforms
Army had huge number of officers… 1 of every 6
men were officers; about 566 generals
Government offered voluntary retirement with full
pay
Army upset because did not want civilian
interference in running the army
1930s Elections
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Anarchists organized violent strikes and riots;
burned Churches
People began not to support the Republican
government
1934… right-wing government came into power;
coal miners went on strike; government sent
army led by Franco to put down the strike, which
the army did very savagely… 1000 killed, 3000
wounded
The violence created sympathy for the Left
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1936 socialists took power in a Popular Front
government
Government included republicans, socialists,
communists and anarchists
They were called Republicans or Loyalists
Church leaders, army & landowners came
together against the Government.
Rivera’s son created Spain’s fascist party…
Falange in 1933
They were also called Nationalists
Francisco Franco
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Born 1892
Father was naval officer
Mother from upper-middle class
conservative Catholic family
At age 14 entered the Infantry Academy
Was successful leader in the army
Was not a Fascist, but used Falange to help
gain power
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When the Republican government adopted an
anti-military policy in 1931, Franco’s career
came to a halt
He was placed on the inactive list but was back
in the army in 1933
The 1936 Popular Front government was unable
to solve social & economic problems
The anarchy convinced Franco to ask the
government to declare a state of emergency
The government refused and sent Franco to the
Canary Islands, to an obscure military post
Civil War 1936-1939
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Franco decided to join a rebellion against the
government
The air force and navy stayed loyal to the
Popular Front government
Franco went to Morocco first and gained control
there
Then he went to mainland Spain, with the help of
Mussolini, and marched to Madrid
Just before attacking Madrid, the military chose
Franco to be Generalissimo & to head the
Nationalist government
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Franco was chosen by the military because
Had exemplary military record & ability
No involvement in the political fighting or
conspiracies of the 1930s
Franco had the ability to gain aid from Hitler and
Mussolini
Was supported by anti-left middle classes
Hitler
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Chance to test tactics and equipment
Tested the first Stukas; German air force in Spain
was called the Condor Legion
German pilots and technicians rotated out every 6
months
20,000 fought as Germans and paid by Germany,
not by Franco
After Franco gained areas of Spain containing iron
and copper ores in 1937, he traded those items for
aid
Continued war kept France & Britain’s attention off
of German rearmament
Guernica (1937) by Pablo Picasso
Mussolini
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Italian air force provided cover for Franco to get
from Morocco to Spain and continued to help
throughout the war
Submarines attacked neutral or Russian ships
bringing aid to the Republican government
80,000 troops and Blackshirts fought as their own
separate units… Corpo Truppe Volontaire
(CTV)… separate from the Spanish
Other volunteers
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Franco insisted there were few foreigners who
came to help other than Germany, Italy & Portugal
He portrayed his side as Spanish nationalists
fighting against “Red Europe & Moscow”; that his
army were Spanish nationalists fighting against
foreigners
Franco blamed Republican resistance on
influences from Communists and Bolsheviks
Groups that did help Franco were small in number
(est. 1000-1500) and played a minor military role
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A major problem for groups attempting to help
Franco was language differences and cultural
differences.
Groups who came to help Franco…
White Russians
Romanians
Irish
French and Belgian Catholics
Felt professional respect for German military
skills, but did not want give any credit for
victories
Franco did not really want and did not seek
volunteer help
USSR
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Sent aid to the Republican government; Rep
government paid for aid using gold supplies
Tested tanks and air craft
Stalin did not want to be very involved in the
Civil War, but needed to show support for the
Republican government for ideological reasons
Did not want Franco to win… would free German
troops for possible attack on Russia
Spanish Civil War weakened France’s
government, so that Hitler did not need to have a
lot of troops on his western border
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USSR & Mexico only two countries to sell
weapons to Republican Spain
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International Brigades helped the Republican
government
Abraham Lincoln Brigade… 2,800 American
volunteers; fought 1937-1938
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Eventually 35,000 to 40,000 people from
approx. 55 countries helped the Republic;
approx. 100 aviators from the USSR
Britain
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British workers supported the Republican govt
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Officially, the British government was neutral
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Many in the government privately supported
Franco
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The government was afraid the Civil War would
lead to a European wide war
France
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Like Republican Spain, France also had a
Popular Front government.
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At the very beginning, France provided some
planes to the Republicans, but then determined
to follow a policy of Non-intervention.
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France did not want to lose Britain’s support.
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Catholics in France upset by reports of Spanish
Republican government destroying monasteries
and killing nuns.
Non-Intervention Committee
Sept. 1936
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Set up Sept. 1936, led by Great Britain &
France
25 countries joined
Instituted policy to prevent foreign
intervention in the Spanish Civil War
Goal was to isolate the war to only the Iberian
Pen.
Made the LoN look even more ineffective
because the Committee took leadership role
away from the League
A war of “firsts”…
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Considered by some to be the first stand against
Fascism
First saturation bombing… at Guernica
First time western powers tolerated a dictator in
the cause of fighting communism
First use of “carpet bombing”… created by
Germany
Early Stages of the war
1936 Barcelona
1936 Defense of
Madrid
Republican troops at battle west of Madrid 1937
Tanks are Russian, car is 1937 Ford
Why did Franco & the Nationalists win?
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Resistance of Spanish people was strong… had
hoped to capture Madrid quickly, but took three
years
But, Franco had…
Help from Germany & Italy… controlled the skies
Non-intervention of western democracies—USA,
Britain, France
After capture of Guernica and Bilbao in the
Basque country, gained possession of rich
industrial resources
Results of the Spanish Civil War
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More than 700,000 lost in battle
30,000 executed, assassinated, murdered
15,000 killed in air raids
Franco’s government
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With fall of Madrid in 1939, Franco finally in
charge of Spain
Set up an authoritarian state based on a military
model; conservative caudillo
Officially out of WW II
Troops fought with Germany in Russia
As ruler, defended privileges of the army,
landowners & church. Favored businessmen
As ruler, support based on anti-left middle class
SOURCES
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http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/scw/overview.htm
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/scw/chronology.htm
http://history-world.org/spanish_civil_war.htm
http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/spain-overview.html
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/causes_spanish_civil_war.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/WARspain.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/galleryguide/0,6191,395635,00.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A882902
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Spanish-Civil-War.htm
http://www.historyhome.co.uk/europe/spaincw.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPrivera.htm
Keene, Judith. Fighting for Franco—International Volunteers in Nationalist Spain
During the Spanish Civil War, 1946-1939. Leicester Univ. Press: London, 2001.
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