The Spanish Tragedy, 1930-1936: Dictatorship, Republic, Chaos

The Spanish Tragedy, 1930-1936: Dictatorship, Republic, Chaos

The Spanish Tragedy, 1930-1936: Dictatorship, Republic, Chaos

The Spanish Tragedy, 1930-1936: Dictatorship, Republic, Chaos

Excerpt

How can we explain all that is happening in Spain to-day?

Since the text of this book was completed, the two opposing forces in the Civil War have become locked in a still more desperate struggle, which is being pursued to the death in an atmosphere of dense political confusion and with a ruthlessness and ferocity which we had thought never to read of again, save in remote history and sensational fiction. It is useless to pronounce upon these events, as many are doing, by applying to them facile formulae transferred from the language of their own country and by censuring Spaniards for failing to act as they imagine they themselves would act in similar circumstances. Spain is not Britain, nor France, nor America, but herself—unique in many ways that in times of peace may well arouse our envy, but unique also in that the gods, while giving her so many gifts, denied her not only that of a good government, but others which just now she could have turned to excellent advantage. Let us cease taking sides in the conflict and try to understand.

Both geography and history protest against an attempt to judge Spain as though she were some other nation. Not only with a 'moat defensive', but with a strong mountain-wall she has been protected from her neighbours—and she has developed most of the characteristics of peninsularity. Spain is all but the most mountainous country in Europe, and shows incredible extremes of climate, together with variety, as well as abundance, of natural wealth, and violent regional dissimilarities in the temperament of her people. Though sparsely populated, in the main by agriculturists, she has two of her twenty‐ two millions crowded into her two greatest cities. The . . .

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