Edexcel History AS Spain section 1.2 1931 to 1936

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  • History Spain Section 1.2; the years of reform 1931 to 1936.
    • Church
      • The church was seen as the major obstacle to progress and social change.
      • May 1931 crowds burnt down churches in Madrid and other cities.
      • Closed down religious schools and threatened to phase out the state subsidy to the clergy, through Articles 26 and 27.
      • However country could not afford to build and equip more schools.
      • In many towns and villages, religious processions were banned, the ringing of church bells was prohibited.
      • Reforms alienated the clergy from the Republic, was instrumental in the creation of an alliance of right-wing Catholic parties by 1933.
      • These reforms caused problems in the gov, where many conservative MPs resigned including the Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs.
    • Land
      • Caballero, minister for labor, issued lots of decrees from April to July 1931.
      • 8 hour day established, overtime pay for the first time, rights of tenant farmers protected.
      • Law of Municipal Boundaries in May 1931, required landowners to offer jobs to those living in their municipality before importing migrant workers, which was common because they could keep wages low.
      • Balance of power moved towards agricultural workers, lots joined the FNTT and the agricultural socialist union the UGT.
      • Reforms moved the balance of power away from landowners, which helped fuel the right-wing and conservative parties oover the next few years.
      • Agrarian Reform Law in 1932, bad reaction with landowners, never had sufficient funds to buy out landowners.
        • Aimed to resettle small farmers into the land from major landowners 23 hectares and over.
    • Army
      • Azana was Minister of War.
      • Officers allowed to transfer to reserve list on full pay, 8000 officers did this.
      • Tried to reduce the size of the military budget.
      • Did not improve efficiency of the armed forces, or loyalty.
      • Less soldiers could become officers, showed later when they turned to Nationalism in 1936.
    • Regional nationalists
      • Catalonia had been oppressed under Rivera's dictatorship, and a plebiscite in the year 1931 resulted in over 99% of voters wanted a self-government,
      • The Catalan Statute in 1932 gave many powers to a Catalan parliament in Barcelona.
      • Republic therefore gained support from Catalan, but was viewed badly by Spanish nationalists and the army as they saw it as undermining the unity of the country.
      • This did not happen with the Basque Country, which created tensions.
    • Provisional government
      • Was a coalition of four parties from across the political spectrum.
      • Began in April 1931
      • Made up of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), the Republican Actions Party, the Radical Republican Party and the Conservatives.
      • Only agreed on the ending of the Spanish monarchy.
      • In October, the Conservatives under Zamora withdrew support for the gov. in protest of its anti-clerical programme.
      • Born in worst years of the Great Depression.
        • In March 1936, Spanish industry only producing 77% of its 1929 output.
        • Iron production fell by a third between 1930 and 1935.
        • Unemployment went from 400,00 in 1931 to 600,000 in 1933.
        • Government revenue fell-doesn't have the funds to finance reforms.
    • The constitution of the second republic.
      • Called elections for the new constitution in June.
      • Socialists won 115 seats and became the largest party in the cortes.
      • Conservatives took 50 seats.
    • Opposition
      • The CNT was not happy, saw it as a middle-class government and didn't represent the wishes of the many.
        • Inspired a telephone strike in July 1931, resulted in 30 strikers killed by the Civil Guard.
      • Civil Guard also brutally put down striking workers in the town of Arnedo in 1931 killing 11.
      • Casas Viejas in Janurary 1933, inspired by CNT action, attacked local barracks of the Civil Guard. Discreditied Azana's Gov as 20 shot and others burned alive. Major factor in republic's fall in late 1933
      • Most of the working class and peasants had supported to begin with, now became disillusioned.
        • Right saw chance to push propoganda against republic, bring togrether right-wing fores and take power at next elections.

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