Assess the reasons for the outbreak of civil war in Spain in 1936.

The main reason for the outbreak of civil war in Spain in 1936 was the response of the republican government towards the following problems:

  • Two provinces demanded independence.
  • The Church was hostile towards the republican government and in turn the government tried to reduce the power of church.
  • There seemed to be too much influence of army in politics and might attempt another coup.
  • The Great Depression caused the problems of falling prices, declining in trade of wine and olives, land went out of cultivation and rise in unemployment.

The response made by government:

  • Catalonia, a province which demanded independence was given some self-governance.
  • Church and state were separated and religious education in schools were banned.
  • Compulsory retirement for many army officers.
  • Large estates were nationalised.
  • And some attempts were made to increase the wages of industrial workers.

This attracted the opposition of right wing groups i.e. Church, army, landowners and industrialists. After the right wing government came into power it was ineffective and those who supported right wing switched sides because the new government did not fulfil its promises and introduced military rule. This led to outbreak of civil war.


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