Spanish Civil War Research Paper

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The Spanish Empire was one of the greatest in the world, but after the Spanish-American War its last possession started to fade away. Now when the Spain had lost Philippines and Cuba her empire ceased to exist, Spain had also fallen behind in the industrialization process. Spanish society kept dividing into landowners and peasants. Extremist elements in society were increasingly popular, violence in politics was traditional and now and escalation to war was imminent. Spanish economy was in decline as its dependence on agriculture aggravated the effects of the Great depression on its production. Steel and iron production was hit hard as unemployment rose and wages were cut. Usually causes of civil wars can be sorted into three main streams,…show more content…
The church had enormous power and was opposed to any socialist reforms. The wealth of the Spanish Catholic Church was resented by many, all middle to leftist movements saw the church as an enemy of change, while all the conservatives saw the church as the very heart of the Spanish civilization. When Manuel Azaña´s liberal government was established in 1931 he brought up a series of anti-clerical measures including the expulsion of Jesuits from Spain, allowance of divorce, the separation of the Church from the State and even stopped religious education in schools. The set of measures against the church brought up by the new government alienated the right wing of Spanish society and led to the foundation of the “Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas” (CEDA) led by Gil Robles that would come to power in 1933. The church plays a big role on the course of Spanish history and its role in the civil war was crucial to stimulate the start of the rightist comeback. Although Azaña had enough support at the start of his government to start a solid government, many historians claim that the discontent of several social classes for his “too middle of the road” reforms lost him the support he needed to stay in…show more content…
After the instability under the king and his unsuccessful attempt to recover control through Prime de Rivera, the setup of the new liberal government seemed necessary. While for most of the rich Spanish society the new government was a threat to their wealth, power and culture, for most of Spain, the working class, the new government promised a bright and prosper future in which privileges in society would be levelled and the social hierarchy ended. Azaña´s government promised lots of reforms but was weak in action. When Azaña´s government finally took power it tried to attack those it deemed as having too many privileges in society. He took off power from the church, reduced the influence of the army, gave Catalonia its own parliament, and applied reforms in the education. Still his supporters from the working class saw Azaña as a weak character, they hoped for more severe reforms, they saw Azaña´s actions as too middle of the road. Now that the right saw the government as a threat, Azaña having lost support from the right also lost support from the left who deemed him for his betrayal. The extreme left organized strikes and riots in order to destabilize Azaña´s government, and when they achieved it the right was ready to take control. Even though many historians believe that the reforms were too weak and that more severe reforms would have kept Azaña in power, I agree with Paul
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