Popular Front (Spain)
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The Popular Front ( es, Frente Popular) in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
's Second Republic was an
electoral alliance An electoral alliance (also known as a bipartisan electoral agreement, electoral pact electoral agreement, electoral coalition or electoral bloc) is an association of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates ...
and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organizations, instigated by
Manuel Azaña Manuel Azaña Díaz (; 10 January 1880 – 3 November 1940) was a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain, Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1933 and 1936), organizer of the Popular Front in 1935 and the las ...
for the purpose of contesting that year's
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...
. In
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
and today's
Valencian Community The Valencian Community ( ca-valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, es, Comunidad Valenciana), or simply Valencia ( ca-valencia, València, link=no, es, Valencia, link=no), is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Spain. It is t ...
the name of the coalition was Front d'Esquerres (in
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, meaning ''Front of the Left''). The ''Popular Front'' included the
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party ( es, Partido Socialista Obrero Español ; PSOE ) is a social-democratic Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that s ...
(PSOE),
Communist Party of Spain The Communist Party of Spain ( es, Partido Comunista de España; PCE) is a Marxist-Leninist party that, since 1986, has been part of the United Left coalition, which is part of Unidas Podemos) , colours = Green Purple Red , seats1_title = C ...
(PCE), and the republicans: Republican Left (IR), (led by Azaña) and Republican Union (UR), led by Diego Martínez Barrio. This pact was supported by
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
( PG) and
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
nationalists Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
( ERC), the
POUM The Workers' Party of Marxist Unification ( es, Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, POUM; ca, Partit Obrer d'Unificació Marxista) was a Spanish communist political party formed during the Second Republic and mainly active around the Spa ...
, socialist union Workers' General Union (UGT), and the
anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the State (polity), state, which it holds to ...
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
, the
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo ( en, National Confederation of Labour; CNT) is a Spanish confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of comm ...
(CNT). Many anarchists who would later fight alongside ''Popular Front'' forces during the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebelión) or Uprising ( ...

Spanish Civil War
did not support them in the election, urging abstention instead. The
Comintern The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism, headed by the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "str ...
had decided in 1935 that, in response to the growth of
Fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europ ...

Fascism
,
popular front A popular front is "any coalition of working-class and middle-class parties", including liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent ...
s allying
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
with other
anti-Fascist Anti-fascism is a political movement in opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals. Beginning in European countries in the 1920s, it was at its most significant shortly before and during World War II, where the Axis powers were ...

anti-Fascist
parties including Socialist and even
bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguist ...

bourgeois
parties were advisable. In Spain, it was a coalition between leftist republicans and workers' organizations to defend social reforms of the first government (1931–1933) of the Second Spanish Republic, and liberate the prisoners,
political prisoner A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment. The term is used by persons or groups challenging the legitimacy of the detention of a prisoner. Supporters ...
s according with the front propaganda, held since the
Asturian October Revolution The Asturian miners' strike of 1934 was a major strike action Strike action, also called labor strike, labour strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employee Employment is the relationship between two ...
(1934). The Popular Front defeated the (a collection of
right-wing Right-wing politics is generally defined by support of the view that certain social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Instit ...
parties) and won the 1936 election, forming the new
Spanish Government gl, Goberno de España eu, Espainiako Gobernua , image = , caption = Logo of the Government of Spain , headerstyle = background-color: #efefef , label1 = Role , data1 = Executive power The executive (short for exe ...
. Manuel Azaña was elected President of the Republic on May 1936, but the PSOE did not join the government because of the opposition of
Francisco Largo Caballero Francisco Largo Caballero (15 October 1869 – 23 March 1946) was a Spanish politician and trade unionist. He was one of the historic leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and of the Workers' General Union (UGT). In 1936 and 19 ...

Francisco Largo Caballero
. In July 1936,
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of ae ...
/
monarchist Monarchism is the advocacy of the system of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, ...
generals instigated a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
which started the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebelión) or Uprising ( ...

Spanish Civil War
(1936–1939). The Government dissolved the
Spanish Republican Army The Spanish Republican Army ( es, Ejército de la República Española) was the main branch of the Armed Forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
in the loyal territory and brought weapons to armed groups organized by the unions (UGT and CNT) and workers' parties (PSOE, PCE, POUM) that had initial success in defeating the Francoist forces in
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...
,
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , im ...
,
Bilbao ) , motto = , image_map = , mapsize = 275 px , map_caption = Interactive map outlining Bilbao , pushpin_map = Spain Basque Country#Spain#Europe , pushpin_map_caption ...
and
Valencia Valencia ( va, València) is the capital of the autonomous community In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance wit ...
. In October the same year, the Spanish Republican Army was reorganized. After a protracted
war of attrition The War of Attrition ( ar, حرب الاستنزاف, Ḥarb al-Istinzāf; he, מלחמת ההתשה, Milhemet haHatashah) involved fighting between Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْر ...
Franco would defeat the Republican forces and rule Spain as a
dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
until he died in 1975.


History


Foundation and the manifesto of the Popular Front

The Popular Front was formed in 1936 by a coalition of left-wing republican parties. The Popular Front's founding
manifesto A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a ...
condemned the actions of the conservative-led government, demanding the release of political prisoners detained after November 1933, the re-hiring of state employees who had been suspended, fired, or transferred "without due process or for reasons of political persecution", it proposed establishing a judiciary independent from government control, the investigation and prosecution of acts of unwarranted violence by police, and revision of the Law of Public Order to protect the rights of citizens against arbitrary power. Payne, Stanley. ''Spain's first democracy: the Second Republic, 1931-1936''. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993. p. 266. The manifesto stressed political moderation against radicalism. The manifesto advocated a moderate left-leaning economic policy that rejected the idea of nationalization of land and instead supported the provision of state economic assistance to agriculture, a new progressive tenancy law, and promotion of collective forms of production. It supported
protectionist Protectionism is the economic policy The economic policy of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and medi ...
measures to defend national industry, encouraged state research to assist national industry, promised protection of
small business Small businesses are privately owned corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and pu ...
es, major expansion of
public works Public works are a broad category of infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the serv ...
, and
progressive tax A progressive tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interre ...
reform. The manifesto declared the Popular Front's opposition to class-based society, stating "The Republic conceived of by the Republican parties is not a Republic dominated by social or economic class interests, but a regime of democratic liberty..." but it promised the restoration of certain economic policies of the 1931-33 Spanish government, including increased wages for farmworkers. The manifesto promised the restoration of legislation guaranteeing regional autonomy that was revoked by the conservative-led government.


Members

Members to the coalition were: *
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party ( es, Partido Socialista Obrero Español ; PSOE ) is a social-democratic Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that s ...
Socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...
*
Communist Party of Spain The Communist Party of Spain ( es, Partido Comunista de España; PCE) is a Marxist-Leninist party that, since 1986, has been part of the United Left coalition, which is part of Unidas Podemos) , colours = Green Purple Red , seats1_title = C ...
Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be ...
* Workers' Party of Marxist Unification – Libertarian Marxist * Republican LeftRepublican * Republican UnionRepublican It was also supported by: *
Republican Left of Catalonia The Republican Left of Catalonia ( ca, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC; ) is a pro-Catalan independence, social-democratic Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy wi ...
Catalan nationalist Catalan nationalism is the ideology asserting that the Catalan people, Catalans are a distinct nation. Intellectually, modern Catalan nationalism can be said to have commenced as a political philosophy in the unsuccessful attempts to establish a ...
* Galicianist PartyGalician nationalist * Workers' General Union
Socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
* CNT-FAI
Anarcho-syndicalist Anarcho-syndicalism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the abili ...
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...


1936 Election and immediate aftermath

In the Spanish 1936 election, the Popular Front won the election with its leader
Manuel Azaña Manuel Azaña Díaz (; 10 January 1880 – 3 November 1940) was a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain, Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1933 and 1936), organizer of the Popular Front in 1935 and the las ...
elected President of Spain.Payne, Stanley. ''Spain's first democracy: the Second Republic, 1931-1936''. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993. p. 281. The Popular Front received 4,654,116 votes compared to the opponent combined right-wing vote of 4,503,524 votes.Romero Salvadó, Francisco J. ''Twentieth-century Spain: politics and society in Spain, 1898-1998''. Hampshire, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: PALGRAVE, 1999. p. 90. It elected 278 deputies – 99 of which belonged to the Socialists (PSOE), while the right-wing elected 124 deputies – 88 of which belonged to the CEDA. Many of the elected members of the Popular Front were professional persons, several of whom were from wealthy backgrounds. People of various political backgrounds within the Popular Front were appointed to President Azaña's cabinet, such as Amós Salvador, architect and wealthy landowner, and José Alonso Mallol, a former Radical Socialist.Payne, Stanley. ''Spain's first democracy: the Second Republic, 1931-1936''. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993. p. 282. Upon the election of the Popular Front, the Popular Front held a victory march in Madrid with over 250,000 supporters, with its Socialist and Communist party components marching in uniform in the thousands. The Popular Front immediately delivered its promise in its manifesto of rehiring workers fired for political reasons without due process and to reimburse them based on individual cases for wages lost to an extent of not less than thirty-nine days' wages nor more than six months. Azaña responded to the recent surge of acts of violence, arson, and vandalism by radical leftists against right-wing parties and Catholic Church institutions by denouncing these actions. Uncontrolled political violence continued through to March with the greatest disturbance taking place in
Granada Granada ( , ,, DIN: ; grc, Ἐλιβύργη, Elibýrgē; la, Illiberis or . ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent ...
where a violent act by right-wing political forces provoked a
general strike A general strike (or mass strike) is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour (economics), labour force in a city, region, or country participates. General strikes are characterised by the participation of workers ...
and mass riot by left-wing political forces there. In particular, violence involving Communists and Socialists versus Falangists resulted in multiple murders.Payne, Stanley. ''Spain's first democracy: the Second Republic, 1931-1936''. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993. p. 285. By July there had been 269 political killings. Azaña acceded to demands by left-wing movements for punishment of General Eduardo López Ochoa, the army leader of the 1934 Asturian campaign against workers' movements there. The Spanish Republican government also made major changes to the Spanish Army, pro-Republican or neutral commanders were installed in multiple posts while commanders with questionable loyalties were moved to lesser or remote positions: for example, General
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The Spanish Republic ( es, link=no, República Española), commonly ...
was removed as chief of staff of the army and moved to a position in the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
and General Emilio Mola was demoted from a major command in
Spanish Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in ...
to a position as commander of a brigade in Pamplona. The government did not stay in power long, mainly because of the conflict of ideological views by many of the parties. The only factor working for the government was unity for the conquest of fascism. After the Republican defeat in the Spanish Civil War, the popular front was dissolved and
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The Spanish Republic ( es, link=no, República Española), commonly ...
led as a dictatorship until 1975.Douglass, C. (1991). "The fiesta cycle of Spain." in ''
Anthropological Quarterly Anthropological Quarterly is a widely read peer-reviewed journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a sub ...
'', 64(3), pp. 126-141.


See also

* Spanish Civil War chronology 1936 *
Popular Front (France) The Popular Front (french: Front populaire) was an alliance of French left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosop ...


References

{{Authority control 1936 establishments in Spain 1939 disestablishments in Spain Communist Party of Spain Defunct political party alliances in Spain Defunct socialist parties in Spain Political parties disestablished in 1939 Political parties established in 1936 Political parties of the Spanish Civil War Popular fronts POUM Republican Left of Catalonia Republican parties in Spain Second Spanish Republic Spanish Socialist Workers' Party eo:Popola Fronto (gazeto)