Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century

Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century

Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century

Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century

Synopsis

Spain and the Great Powers in the Twentieth Century examines the international context to, and influences on, Spanish history and politics from 1898 to the present day. Spanish history is necessarily international, with the significance of Spain's neutrality in the First World War and the global influences on the outcome of the Spanish Civil War.Taking the Defeat in the Spanish American war of 1898 as a starting point, the book includes surveys on:* the crisis of neutrality during the First World War* foreign policy under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera* the allies and the Spanish Civil War* Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain* Spain and the Cold War* relations with the United StatesThis book traces the important topic of modern Spanish diplomacy up to the present day.

Excerpt

The origins and causes of the Civil War were internal to Spain: the severe social tensions and the violent political polarization that had arisen in the country within the context of a profound economic crisis. Nevertheless, the effective course and the final outcome of this internal conflict were significantly conditioned by the contemporary European context. the most obvious expression of this conditioning was the intervention (or non-intervention) in the Spanish war of various continental powers which provided (or denied) their help to one or other of the contenders. the internationalization process resulting from this foreign intervention gave the Spanish crisis a decisive importance in the diplomatic scene preceding the Second World War and led to a passionate debate which convulsed European and international public opinion of the time. It was no coincidence that for almost three years Spain became the bloody setting of a miniature and small-scale European civil war, a forewarning of the war that would break out in September 1939.

The rapid internationalization of the Spanish conflict gave rise to a system of support and inhibition whose effects were very unequal and disparate on either side. On the one hand, the insurgent army led by General Francisco Franco was able to rely at the beginning and during the rest of the conflict on the vital military and financial support of two great powers, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, as well as on important logistical support from Portugal led by Oliveira Salazar. On the other, the Republican government saw its efforts to acquire the necessary military assistance from France and Great Britain frustrated and was able to secure only the unavoidable but insufficient support of the Soviet Union.

This configuration of forces gave a decisive military advantage to the Francoist side and lethally damaged the defensive capacity of the Republican government. It also meant a diplomatic realignment of enormous importance for relations among the European powers at a critical juncture. On the one hand it reinforced the growing alliance between the

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