Winds Of Change

The Socialists were still maintaining their moderate line in 1932, but many of its supporters were beginning to doubt if the new government could actually help without more radical measures. And the anarchists were opposed to the concept of a state at all. Anarchist relations with the Republican government weren't helped when the army machinegunned 20 anarchist CNT workers on strike in Barcelona. In Seville after the CNT declared a general strike 20 anarchists were killed and 100 wounded when the army besieged their meeting place and reduced it with artillery. In 1933 there was a rash of minor anarchist uprisings across the country which were met with brutality from the police. The right wing made outrageously hypocritical attacks and before long the Socialist administration was being condemned from all sides.

The right had by now reorganised themselves into a confederation, the CEDA (Spanish Confederations of the Autonomous Right) with the politician Gil Robles in charge. Gil Robles was called Jefe, leader, the Spanish equivalent of Fuhrer, and the Catholic Youth organisation was in style at least reminiscent of its Nazi equivalent in Germany, where their leader had studied Nazi party methods. Gil Robles, while impressed with Nazi Germany initially, was disaffected by its anti clerical nature.

Due in part to anarchist opposition and in part due to the rights mobilisation (nuns were dragged out of convents to vote), the right won the 1933 election with the CEDA in coalition with the more moderately right wing Radical party. The centre and left were furious with the anarchists and the way they allowed this victory of the right, which increased their split between them. For their part, the anarchists hit back against the right wing government with a wave of minor risings. Gil Robles declared openly that he would restore the authoritarian state, and the left knew that files on its leaders were being amassed and projects for drafting the unemployed into labour camps being discussed.

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