History Edexcel Unit 1 Spain section 1.1

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  • History Unit 1 Spain 1.1; situation in 1931
    • Economy
      • Undeveloped comp. to rest of Europe
      • Half the pop. lived in poverty
      • Vast estate farming known as latifundia kept wealth for merchants and businessmen.
      • Low wages, no social care, Great Depression hit Spain hard and enemployment rose and industrial production fell.
    • Cultural backwardness
      • Between 1830 and 1939, Spain experienced four civil wars.
      • Deeply divided in terms of politics, class, religion and national identity.
      • Lack of democratic culture, esp. in comp. to Britain and France.
      • 50% illiterate
    • Popular discontent
      • Didn't like the army because of lack of empire after 1898 war with USA, Tragic Week in 1909 in which 175 civilians were killed, defeat at the battle of Annual in 1921 against Rif tribes in Morocco.
      • Anarchist movement the *** was created in 1910, became the most powerful opponent to the socialist trade union the UGT.
      • Basque Country maintained own language and culture.
      • Catalonia, own language and culture, long tradition of resisting authority of Madrid.
    • Conservative strength incl. Church and Army
      • Church wanted to keep Spain as it was.
        • Saw modernization as a threat to Spanish tradition and their own power.
        • Church and the aristocracy still had considerable influence.
        • Church was very out of touch with developments by 1931.
        • Religious orders controlled one third of the country's wealth by 1914.
        • Anti-clericalism ran strong in Spain.
      • Army
        • Disproportionately large for small pop. of 24 million,
        • Quarter of country's annual budget went on funding the armed forces
    • Abdication of Alfonso XIII
      • Strong attachment to military elites and church.
      • Gave support to dictator General Primo de Rivera who overthrew the constitutional monarchy in Sept 1923.
      • Local elections in April 1931 revelaed massive republican and socialist votes ans how unpopular the monarchy was.


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