The Vicissitudes of the Catalan Autonomous Government during the Civil War



From the very outset, one of the explicit objectives of the officers who staged the rising of 18 July 1936 which sparked off the Spanish Civil War was to overthrow self-government in Catalonia, or, as they put it, to eliminate separatism. The landowners in the south and centre of Spain felt threatened by agrarian reform and the peasant movement. The Catholic Church saw its influence diminishing on account of anticlerical policies. The armed forces had lost their previous power to the civil authorities. The Right, which was prepared to overthrow the Second Republic, considered that, after the socialist revolutionary strike of October 1934, an insurrection was justified. The rise of Fascism gave encouragement to the enemies of parliamentary democracy in Spain. The increasing number of assassinations and acts of violence created a pre-civil war atmosphere in Madrid and a few other places. But the social revolution was not to start until after the military rising. The Spanish Civil War would be one of the events leading up to the Second World War in Europe. In Catalonia Fascism — the Falange Espanola — was very weak; Carlism, which was fiercely opposed to the Republic, was a more widespread but residual force; and the Lliga Catalana, the majority right-wing party, was opposed to the military coup.


Central Government Military Coup Social Revolution Agrarian Reform Parliamentary Democracy 
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Copyright information

© Albert Balcells 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomous University of BarcelonaSpain

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