To What Extent Was the Outbreak of the Civil War in Spain 1936 Caused by the Slow Reform in the Years 1931-36?

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The years preceding the Spanish Civil war were filled with much uncertainty about Spain’s future. I agree that attempted reforms were mildly slow moving but were further hindered because the reversal of power from Azaña’s government to the reactionary right prevented them from much progression. I consider other factors including the opposition of the army, Bieno Negro and particularly the Asturias rising to be more important to consider in the lead up to the war. As the Second Republic was born in 1931, reforms were established affecting agriculture, church-state relations and the Spanish army. Agrarian reforms such as the introduction of an 8 hour day and overtime pay for labourers were introduced by Minister of Labour Francisco Largo Caballero. The Law of Municipal Boundaries 1931 and the Agrarian Reform Law 1932 both empowered agricultural workers. However, landowners resisted them and turned to the right-wing conservative parties which helped define the division in the political spectrum. Another effect of the reforms was the deterioration in church-state relations. Articles 26 and 27 of the new Constitution encouraged local councils to ban bell ringing, shut religious schools and threatened to phase out the subsidies to the clergy. Many priests were not wealthy and this resulted in them forming right-wing Catholic parties. The severe alienation of the right from the left negatively impacted the Second Republic as they were brought up against new opposition as a result of its new reforms. New reforms also angered the army. As Minister of War, Manuel Azaña tackled over manning in the army by allowing all officers to transfer to the reserve list on full pay, a generous offer. However, this left junior officers disillusioned as avenues of promotion were closed to them and this caused significant tension. In addition to this, the army had adjusted to thinking
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