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The Spanish Second Republic

Eighty years ago this week, in April 1931, the Spanish Segunda República (Second Republic) was proclaimed. Earlier that year, King Alfonso XIII had abdicated as a consequence of massive civil unrest. Upon the king’s retreat and emigration to France, democratic elections were held in February of 1931. Apparently, Palma de Mallorca was the second Spanish city where the Republican flag was hoisted from the ajuntament (town hall), after Barcelona.

Under the Segunda República, the right to divorce was granted, abortion was legalised, the educational system was reformed, an agrarian reform was instigated and the vote was extended to female citizens, for the first time. A new constitution was also drafted and adopted later that year, in December, 1931.

The Second Republic only lasted until 1936. In February, 1936, democratic national elections were held and won by the Frente Popular (Popular Front), a loose coalition of left-leaning and socialist parties. The new government, however, was overthrown by a military putsch under Francisco Franco Bahamonde in July, 1936. A civil war was subsequently declared by the military and atrocities continued with the Guerra Civil raging until 1939. At the end of the Civil War, Spain was ruled under the dictatorship of Generalisimo Franco until 1975.

The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of ultimahora.es.

Muchas gracias.

1 reply »

  1. Please let me add some input for the sake of accuracy. The Republican government wasn’t overthrown by the military putsch that occurred in July 1936. Actually the putsch was a fiasco because it failed to gain control over most major cities and industrialised regions. But unfortunately it was also successful in a good chunk of the territory. Had the putch completely succeeded from the very beginning an authoritarian military government would have followed (nothing new in Spanish history by all accounts) but, at least, a civil war could have been avoided (and most of the atrocities you mention). The Republic went on until 1939, when it was fanally defeated by Franco’s army, shortly before the 2nd World War commenced.

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