Catholicism, War and the Foundation of Francoism: The Juventud de Accion Popular in Spain, 1931-1937

Catholicism, War and the Foundation of Francoism: The Juventud de Accion Popular in Spain, 1931-1937

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By (author) Sid Lowe

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  • Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
  • Format: Hardback | 332 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 28mm | 586g
  • Publication date: 13 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Brighton
  • ISBN 10: 1845193733
  • ISBN 13: 9781845193737
  • Illustrations note: b/w photos
  • Sales rank: 1,849,679

Product description

Spain's first democracy was announced to popular jubilation in April 1931, a new dawn ushered in without a single shot being fired. Yet just over five years later the country was plunged into a brutal civil war that bequeathed hundreds of thousands of deaths and an authoritarian dictatorship under General Francisco Franco that lasted almost forty years. This book analyses Spain's dramatic political shift, reassessing the role of the right as it mobilised against the Second Republic, swinging from ostensibly "moderate" Catholic conservatism to fascist violence. By providing the first detailed study of the uniformed, paramilitary Juventud de Accion Popular (JAP), Sid Lowe challenges the historiographical orthodoxy on Spanish fascism and assumptions about the role of the hegemonic right-wing party during the Republican years, Jose Maria Gil Robless CEDA. Drawing on a wide range of previously uncovered primary material, he demonstrates that much of the parliamentary right, its leadership included, abandoned the legal road to power when it could no longer use democracy as a Trojan Horse with which to conquer the state. It throws vital new light on the conspiracy to destroy the Republic, the Nationalist war effort, the creation of the new state, and the true social and political origins of the Franco regime. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.

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Author information

Sid Lowe is a Madrid-based journalist who writes regularly for The Guardian and contributes to other broadcast and print media in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. He completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield and has studied at the University of Oviedo. He has lived in Madrid for almost a decade.

Review quote

"Dr Lowe fuses social and political analysis to demonstrate how, at the grass roots of Spanish society, the political culture of the long-lived Franco dictatorship was crucially instigated by the radical, mass Catholic youth movement, JAP. Lowe's originality lies in the fact that his analysis pinpoints the moment and demonstrates the mechanism by which radical Catholics in Spain became fascists. In doing this he has cut the gordian knot that inhibits much of the conventional historiography on the Spanish Catholic right during the 1930s." -- Helen Graham, Dept. of History, Royal Holloway University of London

Table of contents

Glossary & Abbreviations; Introduction: 'Immense shame, physical repugnance': Responding to the Republic (The Spanish Right & the JAP After 1931); 'The youth of the new Spain': The Crusade to Save the Fatherland (The JAP until October 1934); 'An iron fist against the anti-Spain': Bringing in the New State (The JAP from October 1934 to December 1935); 'To win or to die': The General Elections (The JAP from December 1935 to February 1936); 'We'll become Nazis if we have to': The Ominous Spring (The JAP from February to July 1936); 'Selfless auxiliaries, enthusiastic servants': Joining the Rising (The JAP from July to December 1936); 'Militias of sacrifice': The Crusade for God, Spain & the New State (The JAP at war until April 1937); Conclusion: 'A magnificent harvest': The Destruction of Democracy in Spain (The JAP, the Right & Fascism from 1931 to 1937); Notes; Bibliography; Index.