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English | ISBN: 1845193733 | 2010 | 364 pages | PDF | 48 MB
Spain's first democracy was announced to popular jubilation in April 1931, a new dawn ushered in without a single shot being fired. Yet just over five years later, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and an authoritarian dictatorship under General Francisco Franco that lasted almost 40 years. Catholicism, War and the Foundation of Francoism analyzes Spain's dramatic political shift, reassessing the role of the right as it mobilized against the Second Republic, swinging from ostensibly "moderate" Catholic conservatism to fascist violence. By providing the first detailed study of the uniformed, paramilitary Juventud de Accion Popular (JAP), author Sid Lowe challenges the historiographical orthodoxy on Spanish fascism and the assumptions about the role of the hegemonic right-wing party during the Republican years, Jose Maria Gil Robles's coalition the Confederacion Espanola de Derechas Autonomas (CEDA). Drawing on a wide range of previously uncovered primary material, Lowe demonstrates that much of the parliamentary right, including its leadership, abandoned the legal road to power when it could no longer use democracy as a Trojan Horse with which to conquer the state. The book throws vital new light on the conspiracy to destroy the Republic, the Nationalist war effort, the creation of the new state, and the true social and political origins of the Franco regime.