The first U.S. study of the Spanish Revolution was Trotskyist Felix Morrow's pamphlet Civil War in Spain (September 1936), followed a little over a year later by his full-length Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spain. The workers' patrols which had sprung up in July were disbanded. Militias were formed and these became units of a revolutionary army. Philippine Revolution (1896–98), Filipino independence struggle that exposed the weakness of Spanish colonial rule but failed to evict Spain from the islands. The situation in most Republican-held areas slowly began to revert largely to its prewar conditions. Of course this was nonsense. They believed that the war was an extension of the class struggle, and that the proletariat had defeated the military precisely because of this revolutionary impulse that they had been carrying for years and not because of defending a bourgeois republic. Taking 80% of the 700,000 workers in the province, we have 560,000 people, that is, with their families, a minimum of 1,020,000. Ten groups formed a century which also elected a delegate. harvnb error: no target: CITEREFPeirats1971 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFFerrán_Gallego2008 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFEnzensberger2006 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCastells_Duran1994 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFQuilis_Tauriz1977 (, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFZafrón_Bayo1979 (, Individualist anarchism in the United States, Definition of anarchism and libertarianism, Central Committee of Antifascist Militias of Catalonia, From each according to their ability, to each according to their need, Unified Levantine Council for Agricultural Export, Interprovincial Council of Asturias and León, Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks, From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, "España traicionada Stalin y la Guerra Civil", "Estalinismo y antiestalinismo en España", "Objectivity and Right-Libertarian Scholarship", The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years, 1868–1936, The Anarchist Collectives: Workers' Self-management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936–1939, The Spanish Civil War: Anarchism in Action, Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks (Third Russian Revolution), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spanish_Revolution_of_1936&oldid=993933201, Wikipedia articles with style issues from June 2020, Articles containing Catalan-language text, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. '[91] He also notes that the CNT Justice Minister, García Oliver, initiated the setting up of 'labour camps',[92] and that even the most principled anarchists, the Friends of Durruti, advocated "forced labour". Food was handed over to the supply committees who looked after distribution in the urban areas. Take for example the tramways. Production greatly increased. Total. On the practical level, it resulted in the abolition of private property by collective management and property, based on the principles of direct action and anti-authoritarianism of anarchism. [48] The UGT-organized National Federation of Land Workers (FNTT), which had more than half a million affiliates, was largely in favor of the collectivities.[49]. [23] Within the industrial sphere the revolution was carried out in different ways. On July 24, 1936, the first voluntary militia left Barcelona in the direction of Aragon. On February 27, 1937, the government banned the FAI's newspaper Nosotros, thus initiating the period during which most of the publications critical of the government began to suffer censorship. Within the company as a reserve fund, among the workers as an amount before which the assembly decided its use and for social purposes such as contributions to regional credit unions, the unemployed or investments in education and health. July 25: Decree declaring government employees who sympathize with the coup plotters to be unemployed. The fascists launched a coup on July 17th 1936. They accepted discipline because they understood the need to act in a co-ordinated manner. In mid-February 1937, a congress was held in Caspe, the purpose of which was to create a federation of collectives attended by 500 delegates representing 80,000 Aragonese collectivists. Its aim was the formation of a national federation "for the co-ordination and extension of the collectivist movement and also to ensure an equitable distribution of the produce of the land, not only between the collectives but for the whole country". This charge had previously been made by historian Ronald Fraser in his Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War, who commented that direct force was not necessary in the context of an otherwise coercive war climate.[88]. "They were Republican soldiers who began to come across the French frontier in February 1939, after the fall of Catalonia. Federations of collectives were established, the most successful being in Aragon. Within each industry there was an Industrial Council which had representatives of the two main unions (CNT and UGT) and representatives from the committees. This was no ordinary army. [8] The newly liberated zones worked on entirely libertarian principles; decisions were made through councils of ordinary citizens without any bureaucracy. 1936-1939: The Spanish civil war and revolution. Indeed Buenaventura Durutti had to plead with some of them not to join so that the land would not be depopulated and the task of collectivisation could be carried through. The employer representation was still in the power of the legal representation of the company, the power to contract, the custody of the box and the signature and the fixing of their remuneration. The activities of the Stalinists were far from what real socialists would have done. Workers joined columns voluntarily. The proposed National Defense Council was regulated, aborting its development. At the same time, administrative structures were formed outside the State, most of which had a local or regional character, exceeding these limits in specific cases; some of the most important were: In a few days the fronts of the Spanish Civil War was articulated, of which one of the main fronts in the context of the revolution was that of Aragon. In August 1937, criticism of the USSR was prohibited by means of a government circular. The revolution in Saint-Domingue deserves to be better known amongst the workers and youth of our epoch. This operation lasted until the end of September, when faced with the imperative of the imminent Battle of Madrid some of the columns gave up their independence, subordinating themselves to the requirements of the Government. "As a Social Democrat I speak here with inner joy and sincere admiration of my experiences in Catalonia. By no means an anarchist book!). In this month, the central government also ordered the dissolution of the Aragón Defense Council, practically the last remaining body of revolutionary power, which was militarily occupied by Republican Army troops on August 10. If there were shortages rationing would be introduced to ensure that everyone got their fair share. This whole system employed about 6,000 people and supported 114 cinemas, 12 theaters and 10 music halls during that period. During the month of March, the "militarization" of the militias was completed, transformed into a regular Army and subject to its disciplinary and hierarchal regimes, against which many anarchist voices rose up. A short history of the Spanish civil war and revolution which broke out in response to the right-wing and fascist coup attempt of General Franco. After 1779, Spain's military forces won significant victories against Great Britain, thereby helping to bring the war towards a conclusive defeat of the British. They were the only people who were clear about the 'necessity' for the counter-revolution and had the determination to carry it through. The May Days left 500 dead and 1,100 wounded. In 1898 Cuba was a geopolitical aberration. [34], This measure consisted of the creation of a Workers' Committee that would be in charge of controlling working conditions, the cash movements of the companies and the control of production in all those companies in which the property remained private,[35] excepting only those that did not gather enough personnel to meet the conditions to belong to the committee. Public order also varied substantially, getting to do without the classic public order forces (Police, Civil Guard, Courts and army) supplanted by the Control Patrols made up of volunteers, the popular militias and the neighborhood assemblies that were intended to resolve problems that arose. From the On October 21, a demonstration by anarchist and socialist militants took place in front of the San Miguel de los Reyes prison in Valencia, threatening to break down the doors if the prisoners were not freed. Possibly the longest and shittest camping experience of the 20th century. Catalonia. A regular army was rebuilt with the militias who refused to come under the command of the War Ministry (and many CNT and POUM militias did refuse) were starved of arms. Under this system, the cost of goods was often a little more than a quarter of the previous cost. The Battle of Manila during the Spanish … Americans promised both France and Spain the restoration of much of the land they had lost to the British in America. This was the first military initiative, developed on July 24, 1936, when the first voluntary militia, the Durruti Column, departed from Barcelona in the direction of Zaragoza. For example, while Gaston Leval admits that the collectives imposed a 'work discipline' that was 'strict', he then restricts this comment to a mere footnote. Garcia Oliver believed it made more sense for fascist lives to be saved than for them to be sentenced to death. The next time somebody says workers are stupid and could not take over the running of society, point to Spain. It should not be forgotten that quite a number of Refugees left during the month of March 1939, from the ports of Valencia, Alicante, Gandia and Cartagena seeking refuge on the North African territories of Tunisia and Algeria. Michael Seidman has suggested there were other contradictions with workers' self-management during the Spanish Revolution. The socialist Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT; General Union of Workers) also participated in the implementation of collectivization. Decisive action by the king might have stopped them, because they had little popular support, but his in… When a rival faction executed Bonifacio in 1897, Aguinaldo assumed total leadership of the revolution against Spain. … In addition, other popular military structures were formed, such as the Iron Column or the Red and Black Column that also departed for Aragon. September 17: Decree of seizure of convicts' estates by the People's Courts. Spain's viceroy in Lima preferred negotiations to fighting and invited San Martín and his force into Lima, San Martín entering the city on July 12 amid celebrations in the streets. Anything that was forced could not be libertarian. [36], The remuneration of work was one of the points of friction between the anarchist and Marxist views during the revolutionary stage. Gastón Leval says that there were 3 million people who participated. Motion-picture theatres and legitimate theatres, newspapers and printing shops, department stores and bars, were likewise sequestered or controlled as were the headquarters of business and professional associations and thousands of dwellings owned by the upper class. Locally produced goods, if abundant, such as bread, wine, and olive oil, were distributed freely, while other articles could be obtained by means of coupons at the communal depot. Not only in their paper, The Friends of the People, but in countless local publications of the CNT, and indeed of the UGT, POUM and Libertarian Youth you can find such opposition. The biggest problems that the communities faced were those derived from the war itself: shortage of raw materials such as fertilizers, seeds, gear and tools or the lack of labor due to the mobilization. They saw an opportunity in the Spanish war against Napoleon’s invasion of 1808. The infantry "were far worse armed than an English public school Officers Training Corps, with worn out Mauser rifles which usually jammed after five shots; approximately one machine gun to fifty men and one pistol or revolver to about thirty men. By aiding the Americans they were also hurting their enemy. First phase of the revolution (July–September 1936): Second phase of the Revolution (September–November 1936): Third phase of the Revolution (November 1936 – January 1937): The end of the revolution (January 1937 – May 1937). [65], The New Unified School Council (UNSC), created in Catalonia on July 27, 1936, was entrusted with the task of restructuring the educational system in Catalonia. In the first place, while anarchism understands the individual as a subject with needs that must be covered, Marxism understands the individual as a producer. [5] The provinces where rural communes became most important were those of Ciudad Real -where 1,002,615 hectares (98.9% of cultivated lands) were collectivized in 1938 – and Jaén – where 685,000 hectares (76.3% of cultivated lands) were collectivized, leaving the rest of the republican provinces far behind. They accused the anarchists of being unwilling to work with others to defeat the fascists. It was the Durruti Column, of around 3,000 people, mostly workers coordinated by Buenaventura Durruti, who first implemented libertarian communism in the municipalities through which they passed. A member of the war ministry referring to the arms which arrived in September commented "I noticed that these were not being given out in equal quantities, but there was a marked preference for the units which made up the [Stalinist] Fifth Regiment". That same day, the Catalan Generalitat, overwhelmed by events, created the "Comisaría d'Espectacles de Catalunya" which did not work in practice, the production of workers organized through the CNT union completely took over production. Even if the peasant proprietor and tenant farmer were not compelled to adhere to the collective system, there were several factors that made life difficult for recalcitrants; for not only were they prevented from employing hired labor and disposing freely as their crops, as has already been seen, but they were often denied all benefits enjoyed by members...Moreover, the tenant farmer, who had believed himself freed from the payment of rent by the execution or flight of the landowner or of his steward, was often compelled to continue such payment to the village committee. The resistance of the popular militias, together with the reinforcements of the International Brigades, allowed Madrid to resist the attack of the rebels. Revolution and War in Spain, 1931-1939 1st Edition by Paul Preston (Editor) › Visit Amazon's Paul Preston Page. This helped Spain gain some relatively easy conquests. [93] However, Garcia Oliver explained his idealistic vision of justice in Valencia on December 31, 1936; common criminals would find redemption in prison through libraries, sport and theatre. The Durruti column showed how to fight fascism. George Orwell observed after the May Days in Barcelona "the Anarchists were well aware that even if they surrendered their arms, the PSUC would retain theirs, and this is in fact what happened after the fighting was over. The coup was only smashed by the activity of the working class. Popular Fronts They kindled in everyone the required sense of responsibility, and knew how, by eloquent appeals, to keep alive the spirit of sacrifice for the general welfare of the people. It was said that these arms were needed at the front. [1], The British author George Orwell, best known for his anti-authoritarian works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, was a soldier in the Lenin Division of the CNT-allied Partido Obrero Unificación Marxista (POUM; Workers' Party of Marxist Unification). If you don't have permissions to post content yet, just request it here. Bump, as the Spanish Civil War started 77 years ago today. The so-called "Mallorca landings" could be considered definitively concluded when on September 20 Francoist troops from Mallorca occupy Formentera. In the Popular Front government, there were parties such as the Republican Left, Republican Union and the Republican Left of Catalunya, supported by the votes and interests of the middle class (civil servants, liberal professionals, small merchants and landowning peasants). Not just the CNT but the UGT (Socialist union) and POUM (Anti-Stalinist Communists) joined in the fighting. If you'd like to upload content to the library which is in line with the aims of the site or will otherwise be of interest to libcom users, please check out our guides to submitting library/history articles and tagging articles. And finally, the scarcity of economic and material resources must be pointed out due to the need to maintain a war economy and the economic drowning to which the collectivist movement was subjected. On the same day the railway station was taken over by the PSUC. ▶ Bookmark articles to your own reading list Collectivization was progressively annulled despite the great popular opposition that it involved. The year 2001 marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Spanish Republic in 1931, an event which was the opening shot in the Spanish Revolution. All these factors combined to exert a pressure almost as powerful as the butt of the rifle, and eventually forced the small owners and tenant farmers in many villages to relinquish their land and other possessions to the collective farms. The collectivization effort was primarily orchestrated by the rank-and-file members of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT; National Confederation of Labor) and the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI; Iberian Anarchist Federation). The basic unit was the group, composed generally of ten, which elected a delegate. They hoped to build up their strength, regroup, train and leave for the other side of the Pyrenees, where genuine pockets of resistance still held out. On the May 13, after the events of the Barcelona May Days, the two Communist ministers, Jesús Hernández Tomás and Vicente Uribe, proposed to the Government that the National Labor Confederation (CNT) and the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) be punished, bringing into practice repression against the latter party. Surplus goods were exchanged with other Anarchist towns and villages, money being used only for transactions with those communities that had not adopted the new system. However, its influence in neighboring regions is evident. Common Enemy - Britain had become the major power in Europe and the rest of the world. As they gained victory after victory they encouraged peasants to take over the land and collectivise. If you have an ebook reader or a Kindle, check out our guide to using ebook readers with libcom.org. In response, Mexican conservatives called for independence as … This experience, in which about eight million people directly or indirectly participated, opened a new way of life to those who sought an alternative to anti-social capitalism on the one hand, and totalitarian state bogus socialism on the other. On July 26 a "Technical Commission" was appointed in charge of preparing a project that defined the new framework of work in cinemas and theaters. It remained the government but had no way of exercising authority. In a few days 70% of industrial and commercial companies in Catalunya – which concentrated, by itself, two-thirds of the industry in Spain- had become the property of the workers. [94], Anarchist authors have sometimes understated the problems that the working class faced during the Spanish Revolution during the early period of the movement. Behind the front they are actually constructing the new Workers' Society. It was claimed that each only looked after itself. Cantabria. New Spain included Louisiana, and all of the On the other hand the anarchist masses threw themselves into a fight against fascism, and its cause, capitalism. The libcom library contains nearly 20,000 articles. This committee was in charge of obtaining materials, carrying out exchanges with other areas, organizing the distribution of production and the public works that were necessary. Cuba in 1898 José M. Hernandez. The newspapers and gazettes are a good evidence of the tensions that there were in the Confederation, for example the Richmond one, or the series of publications "News of the United States" (Philadelphia, 8 th of May 1787) that called to revolts and to war against Spain [48] . If anything, long before Poland, Czechoslovakia or Hungary it showed the bankruptcy of Stalinism and the State Capitalism of Russia. Among the collectivities there was also exchange, either in the form of barter, with their own paper money or with official money. The athenaeums had a very strong tradition where anarchism had strength, however in the war they even expanded into areas with little CNT roots. The committee had to meet once a week to discuss the employer's proposals and to ensure compliance with the official provisions. HISTORY: In 1763 Spain occupied much of the new world. Ten days after the coup there were 18,000 workers organised in the militias of Catalonia (mostly from the CNT). The launch meetings in Spain have been a great success and the book has already been sold out and a second edition is in preparation. The Spanish took a gamble in entering the war, banking on Great Britain's vulnerability caused by the effort of fighting their rebellious colonists in North America while also conducting a global war on many fronts against a coalition of major powers. At the beginning of the American War of Independence, American commissioners were sent to Europe by the Continental Congress to seek support for their cause. At Valencia the U.G.T. principles. I believe the person the author intended was Diego Martínez Barrio. The war lasted for three years and ended with Franco's victory, aided by fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. August 13: Decree of closure of religious institutions. Landed properties were seized; some were collectivized, others were distributed among the peasants, and notarial archives as well as registers of property were burnt in countless towns and villages. [69] It was also important to stop at the statutes of some communities that prohibited child labor. [40] They began by seizing the companies, and through a general plan to rationalize efforts and resources, they closed the workshops that did not meet sufficient health and safety conditions, regrouping them to have large and clear premises. The next day, a country-wide general strike was declared. Anarchism in Action - The Militias Not only because of their military unpreparedness but because of their belief that if they became involved at this stage in a war with Hitler, both they and the Nazis would be weakened and thus the position of Russia would be enhanced. The methods of Francisco Ferrer, the world famous anarchist educationalist, were employed. On another spectrum, one of the problems that was tried to solve was the lack of coordination between rationalist centers. I assume there was very little (if any) sympathy for Spanish Jewish, can you please expand an account on that? — had simply ceased to exist. Luckily, there's a range of ways you can filter the library content to suit your needs, from casual browsing to researching a particular topic. [42] The IRA counted between 1,500 and 2,500 communities throughout Spain. This happened throughout Catalonia. As the anarchist militias achieved successes ground was being lost on other fronts. Anarchist communes also produced at a more efficient rate than before being collectivized,[7] with productivity increasing by 20%. The idea of an expedition to Mallorca had been present since July 19, when it was taken by the nationalists, along with Ibiza and Formentera. Usually a meeting was called and all present would agree to pool together whatever land, tools and animals they had. By January 1945, only three thousand of the Spaniards had remained alive. Many small businesses like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were also collectivized and managed by their workers. Gilles Dauvé, for example, uses the Spanish experience to argue that to transcend capitalism, workers must completely abolish both wage labour and capital rather than just self-manage them. During this stage, the Government definitively controlled the anarchist popular militias, dissolving them so that they were compulsorily integrated into the Spanish Republican Army, hierarchically structured under the command of professional officers. [66] However, the CENU also raised suspicions within the Catalan confederal militancy and a Regional Federation of Rationalist Schools was created outside the organization. Close on two thirds of all land in the Republican zone was taken over. ▶ Use the site private messaging system The police were also rebuilt, especially the hated Civil Guards, who had been a bulwark of repression against the CNT. Where the rebellion had been defeated the army was disbanded and workers armed. One indicator of the solidarity is the fact that 1,000 collectivists from the advanced Levant moved to Castille to help out. Obligatory collectivization was justified, in some libertarians' eyes, by a reasoning closer to war communism than to libertarian communism: the need to feed the columns at the front. Animals, tools and work were all held and done collectively. Raise. On November 12, the CNT withdrew from the FPA committees. [6] Many communes held out until the end of the war. In all between five and seven million peasants were involved. During this ten-week war, Spain experienced a cultural revolution as artists, writers, and intellectuals began to reevaluate the policy and to question Spain and its role as an imperial power. It was unnecessary to tell me that it was the largest and most vital of the working-class organisations in Spain. The workers immediately set up barricades and within hours the rising had been defeated. The main protagonists of the Independence were the priests Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and José María Morelos. Forced collectivization ran contrary to libertarian ideals. In Aragon, agrarian collectives were formed that were structured by working groups of between five and ten members. [...] The state was giving itself a monopoly of force. There was no firing on the first night and by the second day the workers were spreading the barricades further into the suburbs. All he wanted was … On July 19 the uprising reached Catalonia, where the workers took up arms, stormed the barracks, erected barricades and eventually defeated the military. Anything of overall importance had to go to the assembly. Moscow sold arms but when they arrived there was a systematic refusal to supply the anarchist-controlled Aragon front. Each group elected a delegate who represented their views at community meetings. This phenomenon has been called "collectivization." part of New Spain now known as Texas all contributed to the victory of the American colonists against the English crown. Arms were seized and given to workers who were dispatched to other areas to prevent risings. The news of the coup was kept secret until 7pm on the 18th while they tried to come to terms with the fascists. A short history of the Spanish civil war and revolution which broke out in response to the right-wing and fascist coup attempt of General Franco. The revolutionary enthusiasm organized and energized all the cinematographic and theatrical activities in Barcelona from August 6 to May 1937. The Ten Years’ War (1868-1878), an attempt by Cuban landowners to gain independence from Spain and free enslaved Cubans, was being fought at the time, and young José … The Spanish Revolution undertook several environmental reforms which were possibly the largest in the world at the time. 54% of the expropriated area of republican Spain was collectivized, according to IRA data. Gilbert wrote the following in his book: "In just over four months, more than thirty thousand people had been murdered at Mauthausen, or had died from starvation and disease.