Myth Of The 20th Century – Episode 55: Spanish Civil War – Fascist Uprising

Welcome to the Myth of the 20th Century. The podcast airs on Fridays.

— Brought to you by —

Hans Lander, Nick Mason, Adam Smith and Hank Oslo


In the wake of the first World War, Spain remained relatively undisturbed, having not seen any major conflict on its soil. But beneath the surface lay centuries of class and regional rivalries, and as waves of communist revolution swept Europe, labor uprisings and instability lay the groundwork for a military coup in 1923. By 1931, with pressure from the Great Depression and the urban bourgeoisie, King Alfonso XIII establishes a republic. As land and liberal cultural reforms interfere dramatically with the way of life in the still very conservative countryside and executions of reactionary forces escalate, the Spanish Civil War erupts in 1936 as General Franco leads a fascist coalition against the Republican government.


1890s-1920s: Spain starts having issues with anarchists and socialists in Catalonia, Asturias, Extremadura, Andalusia, and inside of Madrid.
1910s – Syndicalists, primarily from France, assist in the creation of the CNT (Anarcho-Syndicalist group that centered its hierarchy and organization around particular industries); proliferation of straight anarchism continues in Catalonia and Andalusia. Catholic Union (“Confederación Nacional Católica Agraria (CONCA)”) grows in Castile, Leon, and the Basque Country. Tries to counterbalance Socialist and Anarchist.
1917: Military/Union crisis unfolds with the Juntas de Defensas squaring off against the CNT, UGT, and PSOE, along with Catalan separatists. Unions were crushed and killed.
1918-1920: ‘Three years of Bolshevism’ with uprisings in Catalonia and Andalusia.
1921: Eduardo Dato assassinated after string of union leaders and socialists were put down by internal police forces. Miguel Primo de Rivera appoints himself dictator of Spain after a disastrous mission in Morocco. Rivera attempts several infrastructure projects and reforms, but remains unable to make real change.
Early 1930s: Alianza Republicana is formed with San Sebastian Pact in Basque Country. Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Liberals, Catalonian separatists, Former Monarchist Conservaitves, and military officers all conspire to create small uprisings and shocks within Spain to overthrow King Alfonso.
1931: Mainline Monarchist journal had its offices set ablaze. PSOE/Liberal government begins using the Civil Guard and military against the CNT. Church and State separation underway as Spanish State moves to stop providing subsidies.
1932: General Sanjujuro leads failed uprising against government.
1933: Anarchists start small uprisings in Andalusian villages; immediately put down and summarily executed by the police; CEDA becomes largest party in government and the right-wing subdues the leftist political agenda.
1934: Increasing tensions between Catalonian government and Madrid results in the Catalonians losing what little autonomy they had been so far given.
1936: Popular front created after head of the Comintern, Giorgi Dimitrov, insists that communists and revolutionaries of all types must align themselves with republicans, national separatists, anarchists, and liberals to defeat fascist forces in Spain; Popular Front wins most seats, starts letting out prisoners. Catalonian President goes home; Carlists begin forming Supreme Military Council was set up in Saint Jean de Luz, just over the French frontier, by Prince Javier de Borbón-Parma and Fal Conde.
July 17, 1936: Spanish Civil War begins.
Late 1936-1937: both sides concentrated on building massive armies for a grueling contest
1937: bombing of Guernica in destroyed Fascist public opinion around the world.


– What is Spanish Falangism?, Evola (1937) –
– Spanish Civil War, BBC (1983)
– The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939, Beevor (2006)
– The Victorious Counterrevolution: The Nationalist Effort in the Spanish Civil War, Seidman (2011)
– The Spanish Civil War, Payne (2012)
– Remembering José Antonio Primo de Rivera: April 24, 1903–November 20, 1936, Morgan (2017) –

Subscribe to

The Myth Of The 20th Century

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

Liked it? Take a second to support Social Matter on Patreon!
View All


  1. The DL link on this page retrieves only an .html file. I found only image files at the .rss feed page. I did get a .3gp file at the youtube page and converted it to an .mp3

    looking forward to this episode


    1. Got this fixed. Try it again.


  2. Ditto what drrexleonis posted! Thanks drrexleonis


  3. I know the title of this podcast doesn’t prevent the hosts from going to other centuries for subject matter, so I’m hoping a ‘Myth of the U.S. Civil War’ episode is down the road.


  4. Good episode. Do you guys have any plans for one on Engelbert Dollfuss? There’s a good (if positively biased) biography of him available online:


    1. Thanks, MG. Fan of your work.


  5. Great episode. I would love to hear a program focusing on the similarities between the Spanish Civil War, the French Revolution, Bolshevik revolution, Bela Kun revolution, Spartacus uprising and related political battles.


  6. Great episode. I’m a Spanish regular of the programme from Valladolid and I have to tell you, congratulations for it, it’s pretty good.

    However, I think there are some points that could be nuanced or clarified regarding historical details. For instance, there was no significant secessionist movement in Asturias in the Civil War or in general, it was rather anarchist and socialist in motivation, championed by miners. Other thing to point out that comes to mind is that Mola wasn’t especially Carlist, because that has some specific implications, he was rather a monarchist. And I’m well aware that Spanish is not your first language, but you guys pronounced the name of the president as Anzana when it’s Azaña (Azanya). So yeah, all my gripes were petty like that.


    1. Good to know. Glad you liked it.


  7. Great material, but one gripe: who’s the one guy that keeps interrupting the others while giggling at his own jokes? Please try to contain yourself.


  8. “Spain never really developed”? Come on guys, you’re better than this. You’re spouting what is basically enlightenment era propaganda against Spain, a bunch of lies basically. Very disappointing seeing you take this very basic bitch view of Spanish history.


    1. Seriously, what does it mean that Spain didn’t “develop” even after Roman occupation? Did it not develop monarchies like in the rest of Europe? Was their architecture subpar? Did they have no literature or art? What does it mean to “not be developed” at this point? Because Anglos and North Europeans loosely use the word to mean “industrialized” but clearly, in the time periods you referenced no one was “industrialized”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *