Conservative Republic

In the months following the election of the right, the government focused on undoing all the reforms made by the previous administration. In Andalucia the civil guard uprooted the crops on the land the peasants had been given. Peasants who collected acorns to eat were arrested as criminals and hunger marchers were fired upon. Only the CEDA's support kept the Radical party in power, and Gil Robles was waiting for the right moment to take over himself.

In 1934 an uprising of the left and centre left, intended as a pre emptive strike against imminent fascist takeover broke out. As soon as the rising started wild stories began to circulate in the right wing press. Nuns were alleged to have been raped, childrens eyes gouged out and priests flesh sold for stewing meat. None of these allegations were true, but these horror stories did serve to justify the conduct of the troops. Prisoners were summarily shot in batches on the orders of Colonel Yague. The Foreign Legion's treatment of wives and daughters of insurgents was horrific. But it was the action of the torture squads which provoked the most revulsion. The number of political prisoners rose to 30,000, but Alcala Zamora, the right wing president, refused to have them all shot out of hand as Gil Robles wanted.

This difficult history meant that the elections in 1936 were charged with powerful emotions. It was clear that this may well be the last stretch of the parliamentary road. The increasingly revolutionary workers would be totally opposed by the immovable right. Both sides had learned of the necessity of coalitions to exploit the electoral system, and the centre ground emptied with this forced polarisation.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.