The Spanish Civil War

4 April 2015
This research paper is about the significance of the Spanish Civil War to early 20th century world-history.

The paper discusses the Spanish Civil War in detail (including its background) and analyzes how General Franco’s push for fascism in Spain proved to be the precursor of the Second World War. The paper includes a brief discussion of the different ideologies that were at play in the conflict. It also explores the reasons behind the defeat of the Republicans despite their apparently just cause against the Nationalists.
The Spanish Civil War that started in 1936 following the failure of a military rebellion under the leadership of General Francisco Franco (1892-1975) to overthrow the democratically elected Republican government of Spain, lasted for three years. The Civil War still evokes passionate debate among historians and political analysts around the world. The war was a bloody affair that took a heavy toll of human lives, estimated at 500,000. This still does not explain the interest and extreme passions that the Spanish Civil War evoked at the time (and continues to do so more than 60 years after its end) around the world. The reason for the interest in a war that, in normal circumstances, would have been dismissed as an internal conflict for supremacy in a has-been European power, is the timing of the event that occurred at a fluid time in world history when several political ideologies were in a melting pot. These ideologies consisted of the whole range of the political spectrum from the extreme right to the extreme left. The Anarchists, the Socialists, the Fascists, the Syndicalists, the Monarchists, the Roman Catholics, the Communists (including the Stalinists and the Trotskyites) all had their say in the war. No wonder then that the Spanish Civil War, instead of being relegated in history as a footnote to the Second World War that immediately followed it, is considered to be a major event in its own right and is studied, discussed and analyzed at great length even today.
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