The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
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Although the civil war was an important conflict in inter-war Europe, it is frequently overlooked in histories of the period or seen merely as part of the wider struggles of the 1930s. This course examines the war and its causes, seeing it as a Spanish conflict with Spanish origins and with consequences which are still controversial in Spain today.
Between 1936 and 1939 over half a million Spaniards were killed in a civil war between Nationalists and Republicans. The Spanish Civil War produced passionate responses across the European continent and beyond, both at the time and subsequently. During the civil war many people in other countries saw the Nationalists as Fascists and the Republicans as defenders of democracy in a European struggle against Fascism. Other people viewed the Nationalists as defenders of Spain from revolutionary Communism directed from the USSR. After the victory of the Nationalists under General Franco in 1939 this was, not surprisingly the official view in Spain, repeated endlessly in the media, in school classrooms and in official parades and celebrations. Outside Spain, meanwhile, the war continued to be seen after 1939 in relation to the international conflicts of the interwar years and as part of the ideological battle of the 1930s.
However, the Spanish Civil War had Spanish origins, was fought mainly by Spaniards and had long-enduring consequences for the Spanish people. Since the death of Franco in 1975, historians, many of them Spanish, have produced new work, challenging many of the assumptions of their predecessors and throwing new light on the causes and conduct of the war. Seventy years after the defeat of the Spanish Republic, the war continues to be controversial in Spain, its relevance for modern-day Spain still vigorously – and at times bitterly – contested.
This course will focus primarily on the Spanish origins of the war and on the role of the Spanish in determining its outcome. The course will begin by examining Spanish history in the early twentieth century, especially focusing on the social, economic and political conflicts which afflicted Spain in the period of the Second Republic (1931-1936). This will be followed by an analysis of the course of the war and the causes of Franco’s victory, including the political conflicts in the Republican camp and the roles played by the great powers in the conflict.
Unless otherwise stated, teaching and assessment for ICE courses are in English. Students whose first language is not English should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.
Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Summer Programmes brochure download page.
To book on this course please contact us:
Write to usUniversity of Cambridge
Institute of Continuing Education
+44 (0) 1223 760850
25 July 2010
31 July 2010
International Summer Programmes