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Origins of the Spanish Civil War

After the defeat of Spanish forces near Annual, Morocco in July of 1921, many generals began plotting to overthrow the King, regarding the monarchy as anachronism. (Chapters 1, 7, & 8).

King Alfonso XIII gave up power in 1931 after a series of revolts by rightist and leftist factions led to nationwide elections, in which anti-monarchy forces were victorious. This resulted in the leftist Republican government, which was influenced by socialist and communist factions. Although the high-ranking Army officers had disliked the monarchy, they absolutely hated the Republicans and their socialist ideals. Thus, the rightist Falange, or Nationalist, movement began to form around various right-wing politicians and generals. This movement intended to eventually replace the Republican government with a monarchist, or at least right wing, autocracy.

The Republican government itself was composed of many factions, ranging from moderates to communists. The ideals and structure upon which the government and administration were based were largely borrowed from the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Lenin government which followed. This was a drastic change from the society and culture which preceded the 1931 elections. Spain never experienced the democratic revolutionary movements of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Instead, the violence and social disruptions of the 19th and early 20th Centuries resulted from the devastating Na


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