Spain in the Twentieth Century
Spain was a monarchy until 1931, shared with the Primo de Ribera dictatorship from 1923. A republic was proclaimed in 1931, re-elected in a more radical form in February 1936.
The Spanish right opposed the Popular Front’s radical agenda, and finally a group of disgruntled generals launched a coup in July 1936, backed by much of the army, landowners, industrialists and the Roman Catholic Church. Hitler and Mussolini provided assistance for the rising immediately and kept up their support until the end of the war in 1939.
The legally elected Republic received no such backing. Moreover, the insurgents were united under the ruthless leadership of General Franco – unlike their opponents. But Franco refused to enter the Second World War, and survived the conflict to become a friend of the West after 1945. His regime ended with his death in 1975, but pre-existing problems remained – like regionalism. So whither Spain without the guiding hand of the Caudillo?
Residential Fees From: £348. Non Residential: £233
Edward Towne won Oxford University’s Beit Prize in Imperial History in 2001. He has taught history in schools since 1973 and has contributed to two “A” Level History textbooks: The Tudor Years (Hodder Headline 1994, second edition 2004), and Years of Turmoil, a textbook on seventeenth century England, (Hodder Headline, 1998). He leads study tours to France for the Historical Association and is founding chairman of their Dining Group, which meets in Central London five times a year and has been an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association since 2011.
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