Communism became strongly identified with the cause of the Republic in the Spanish Civil War and subsequently played by far the leading role in the long, unsuccessful struggle of the leftist opposition against Franco. The first fifteen years of the party in Spain had nonetheless been a complete failure, and the movement only began to achieve modest importance in 1934, at the time of the first major challenge to Republican democracy by the left. Contrary to the myth propounded by Francoism, it played only a limited role in the system’s final breakdown in 1936 and the beginning of the Civil War. The ultimate cause of this bitter conflict was the steady growth of the revolutionary process in Spain, a revolutionary process led, however, by Socialists and anarchosyndicalists. The violent collectivist revolution that accompanied the Civil War in the Republican zone alienated the Western democracies in turn and became a major...


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