What were the causes of the Spanish Civil War?
* Profound cause: long period of decline since the great days of
the Spanish Empire. Spain had made little progress, lost her
empire, and fallen behind in the industrialization process * Deep
divisions in Spanish society: * Landowners vs. Peasants. * Church
vs. Anti-Clerical movements: the Church had enormous power in Spain
and was opposed to social reform, this led to groups that sought to
reduce the Church's influence. * Conservatives vs. Liberals. There
was a lack of a political middle, and extremists elements were
increasingly popular. * Massive divisions btw countryside and
towns. * The Spanish army had a tradition of interfering in
politics. * Long standing tradition of violence in Spanish
politics, and democracy had never really been established
(therefore parties tried to reverse election results through
violence) * 'Democracy' in Spain had brought about corrupts Gov.
and undermined the concept of democracy. (there was electoral fraud
and continuing landlord control under Spanish 'democracy' ) * There
was a desire for autonomy in several regions of Spain.
Conservatives saw this as a threat to Spain. * Anarchism was a
powerful force in Spain. * ---- The weaknesses of the Gov. of the
Second Rep. (1930-36), its failure to carry out reforms, and to act
against those that were plotting against the Republic. It also
failed to maintain law and order. * Army concern at the possibility
of a communist takeover. * The assassination of the right wing
leader Calvo Sotelo in July 1936.