Anarchism, the Republic and Civil War in Spain: 1931-1939 by Julián Casanova

By Julián Casanova

The Spanish Civil conflict grew to become the atmosphere for the fight among revolution and counter-revolution in addition to being, for plenty of outsiders, where of armed clash among the forces of democracy and fascism. This e-book is a path-breaking synthesis of political, social and cultural background in regards to the anarchist revolution in the course of the Spanish Civil conflict via Spain's best historian of the Civil struggle.

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Additional resources for Anarchism, the Republic and Civil War in Spain: 1931-1939 (Routledge Canada Blanch Studies on Contemporary Spain)

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Many of the disputes were of a non-political nature and concerned issues such as medical insurance and sick pay, objections to obligatory maternity insurance, better wages and attempts to force employers to comply with the terms of employment. However, the rhetoric and the actions sustaining it evinced apocalyptic visions announcing ‘the total collapse of the capitalist and authoritarian world’. Moderate positions did exist, and there were calls from Asturias at that time for ‘a period of calm, without so many strikes and disputes … so as to present a well-established confederal organisation’.

This was the root of Spain’s atypical nature. In Spain, there existed an anti-political masslabour movement, which was able to defend its project without participation in the parliamentary and political institutions. In the rest of Europe, by the 1930s, a labour movement of this type had already become an object of merely historical interest. The CNT was without political allies and alienated from the government, whose project of reform had important consequences for the movement. Their response was to mobilise their members in the occupation of the streets, a political space from which they would both reproach and combat the state.

Unions attempting to oblige employers to negotiate directly, circumventing terms approved by the arbitration committees’ – this was the message which the Civil Governor of Zaragoza telegraphed to the Ministry of the Interior on 17 September 1931, following the announcement of a strike by the CNT Transport Union. In this particular case, the terms of employment, which were supported by the UGT, were awaiting the outcome of an appeal lodged by the employers, ‘which I believe it would be useful to resolve quickly’.

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