The Second Republic (1931-1936): Work of 2nd Baccalaureate –

The subject of history is one of the core subjects for Baccalaureate students and when they reach the second year, many of the issues that have marked our history are explained. One of them the second republic that ended with a harsh Civil War. That is why we are going to make an explanation about the Second Republic (1931-1936) and with it that you have enough material for your Work of 2º of Baccalaureate.

The Second Republic (1931-1936): 2nd Baccalaureate work

The April 14, 1931two days after some elections municipal councils that gave the majority to an anti-monarchist coalition, Spain inaugurated a Second Republic the first dull having lasted from 1873 to 1876. This will end a few years later in a terrible civil warone of the historical events and also a historical process that most marked our history.

The king left but without abdicating

The year before, General Miguel Primo de Riverarepudiated by the commanders of the military regions, he retired and left the country. Deprived of a leader, Spain was affected at the same time as the rest of the world by the Wall Street crash.

August 17, 1930anti-monarchists of all kinds, trade unionists, Catalan autonomists and socialists signed the Pact of San Sebastian with a view to establishing a republic. This disparate alliance won the municipal elections of April 12, 1931 in 41 of the 50 provincial capitals.

The voting took place in an atmosphere of great violence. In the countryside, popular excesses claim many victims, particularly among the Catholic clergy.

The king Alfonso XIII he panicked at the sight of these fiery, anticlerical masses. He considered himself repudiated by the polls and, two days later, he leaves the country. But that doesn’t mean he abdicated.

The commander of the Civil Guard, General José Sanjurjo (59), “hero of the Rif”, then invited the Republican leaders to proclaim the Republic with Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Torres as president. In this incongruous way ended the Constitution of 1876.

The Republic prevails

With the advent of the Second Republic, the hatred and rivalry only intensified.

To right were the royalists, the Carlists (supporters of another dynastic branch) and the traditionalist Catholics, as well as the nostalgic for the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.

In the left were the republicans, socialists, Stalinist communists as well as anarchists.

The Legislative elections of June 1931 confirmed the success of the Republicans. So a majority of the left is constituted in the National Assembly of the Cortes.

A left-wing academic Manuel Azaña (51), becomes president of the council (or head of government). He reformed the army and prepared for the separation of church and state taking advantage of the benevolence of Pope Pius XI, open to social issues. But he doesn’t stop there and so does unwanted anticlerical measures such as the hasty suppression of Catholic teaching (without having the means of personnel to replace it). She also nationalizes churches and religious buildings.

To characterize his policy, Azaña uses a word reckless capable of unleashing passions: «Spain has ceased to be Catholic» .

His measures are accompanied in several regions, including Catalonia, by bloody outbursts. The priests are killed. Convents and churches were burned. These tragedies, which divide the country, are not isolated. At the same time, in the USSR, Stalin launched the “decade without God”. Also in Mexico, believers and priests are persecuted by the government.

The era of changes

Decidedly on the left, even revolutionary, the Second Republic extended universal suffrage to soldiers and women. Grants statute of autonomy to Catalonia. It is the culmination of the privileges (in the Spanish fueros) granted to both the Catalans and the Basques in the 19th century. Also launched a major land reform on September 15, 1932 in order to expropriate the immense poorly cultivated properties of Andalusia (the latifundia).

But reforms take time to come into force due to lack of means and by opposition from a growing part of the population, including liberal Catholics, battered by the bloody anticlericalism of anarchists and other republicans.

The General Sanjurjo, who had dismissed the king in 1931, takes sides against the socialist government. He tried to raise the garrison of Seville on August 10, 1932 but failed. Sentenced to death, pardoned and taking refuge in Portugal, he was invited in 1936 to take command of the military uprising but he did not arrive in Spain and died in the accident of his plane.

During this time, the parliamentary right is organized within an electoral coalitionCEDA (Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Rights), under the aegis of José Maria Gil Robles.

In 1933, in addition, the son of former dictator Primo de Rivera created a nationalist party according to the Italian fascist model that would bear the name of the Spanish Falange.

Another fascist type movement (anti-capitalist, anti-Marxist, anti-liberal) develops in parallel under the label of JONS (National-Syndicalist Opposition Boards). It was founded in Valladolid in 1931 by Onesimo Redondo.

The left disappoints but prevents the right from returning to power

The Azaña’s government is discredited for its timidity in the application of the reforms and comes to massacre the peasants in Andalusia in rebellion against the landowners. So, He was overthrown after the victory of a centrist coalition led by the CEDA in the legislative elections of November 1933. But the President of the Republic was not resigned to calling the head of the CEDA, Gil Robles, at the head of the government.

Instead, he followed a succession of governments, led by Alejandro Lerroux García (69). This puts an end to the wave of reforms but tarnishes its image due to the atmosphere of corruption that moves in the government, giving more and more voice to the right that is preparing to return to power.

But the following legislative elections, on Sunday, February 16, 1936, returned the left to power with the victory of the Popular Front , a coalition of leftist parties. But this victory is somewhat ambiguous since with 49.5% of the votes cast, the Popular Front won 5/6 of the seats of deputies. all of it it will lead to a cascade of misunderstandings and civil war .