It started in 1931, when King Alfonso XII of Spain opened up elections to determine the future of Spain’s government. Overall, voters chose to rid the Spanish monarchy and replace it with the liberal republic. King Alfonso went into exile and the Second Republic, that was dominated by the middle class, was established. In 1933, conservatives regained control of the government.
Between 1936 and 1939, the Spanish Civil war took place. What was the Spanish Civil War? It was a revolt against the Spanish Republican government lead by General Francisco Franco. Within a short period of time, the Nationalists or rebels were able to seize Morocco, Northern Spain and other cities in the south. However, the Republicans were able to control riots in other cities, including the capital of Madrid. Though the rebels remained persistent and continued protect the territories by eliminating potential suspects and political opponents. While this was going on in the mainland, General Franco was rallying troops from Africa.
The war was due to the vast differences between Nationalists and Republicans. Nationalists were roman catholics, military men, landowners and businessmen, where as Republicans were urban and agricultural workers and the educated middle class. On July 17, 1936 , a well executed uprising began through out Spain. Within a matter of four days, the rebels seized Spanish Morocco, the Canary Islands, and parts of Northern Spain. However, republican forces were able to contain the riots except for those in Seville, Granada and Córdoba. Both sides were always prepared with any possibility of opposition. The total murder rate was high, though there was no specific count. However, the violence that took place definitely showed how passionate both sides felt of the Spanish Civil war. Both the Nationalists and the Republicans seek assistance from other countries. For example, German and Italian groups provided tools and tanks to the Nationalists. Whereas the Soviet Union assisted the Republicans with equipment and supplies Another ally for Spain is the Mexican government. In the beginning, the French was in favor of supporting the republicans. However, this changed when internal opposition made policy changes.
In August of 1936, France, Britain, the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy signed a contract which keeps the countries from getting involved with other countries’ problems or wars. However that contract would eventually be ignored by the Italians, Soviets and Germans. By November, the rebels were able to penetrate the defense of the outskirts of Madrid. However, they were unable to move past the University City territory. Rebels were able to capture most of the Northern Coast of Spain by October 1937. Eventually, they were able to force the Republican armies towards France. On March 5, 1938, the Republican government were exiled to France and a civil war broke out in Madrid between communist and anticommunist groups a few days after. On March 28, the Republican armies surrendered and the rebel forces entered Madrid. By the end of the Spanish civil war, over a million people were killed, not including any casualties. The Spanish civil war had different meanings for other countries. For many, it was a conflict of view of communism and civilization. However, for Germany, the civil war was a test run for new tanks and air warfare.