Section 1: Identification and evaluation of sources Thisinvestigation focuses on The Spanish Civil War (July 17, 1936 –Apr 1, 1939) Specifically, the extent to which Franco’s leadershipsecured Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War. The investigation willinclude, how Franco managed to unify the political groups of theNationalists, both politically and ideologically. Keeping in mind the neededhelp he received from his brother in law Serrano Suner in terms of the makingof the political movement FET. Source A is a primary source, a speech givenby Franco.
It was chosen due to its description of the wishes Franco had forSpain in terms of his ideal country, where religion is put high and hierarchiesrule. Source B is a secondary source provided by Paul Preston. It was chosendue to its description of Franco’s rise to power with the nationalists in theyears of The Spanish Civil war. Source A SourceA is a speech addressed to Nationalists, given by Francisco Franco, a Spanish general,who had immense power because of his position as a military dictator. Source Ais a primary source. This speech wasgiven on July 18th 1938.
The speech was given due to the right wingmilitary officers uprising against Franco. (Kenwood, 1993, s. 56-58).This speech was given a year after the Decree of Unification in April 1937,that unified political groups of Nationalists. The purpose of the source is toinform Nationalist citizens of Spain of all the wrong the Reds have done(Republicans), in terms of killing Nationalists. Francisco Franco however alsomakes it clear that in order to fight the Reds, it is vital for them to uniteas a nation. The origin makes the source valuable, because it was a speechgiven at the time of the Spanish Civil War. Keeping in mind the fact thatFranco an established leader many nationalists look up to, was delivering thismessage.
He possesses the ability to appeal to the Nationalists emotions, byreminding them of their responsibility towards their motherland to protect herfrom the enemies. He does this by mentioning “..those in the ranks of the Army and Navy who have made a profession offaith in the service of the Motherland, all those who swore to defend her tothe death against her enemies”. (Kenwood, 1993, s. 56-58). The source is valuable tothe investigation, because it takes into account Franco’s political leadership,in terms of his ability as an authority to invoke the Nationalists. Thiscontributes to the overall research question.
Whatlimits the content is that this speech is purely Franco’s point of view,meaning he could have altered and changed the information given. Such as theamount of Nationalists the Reds assassinated, to appeal more to the audience interms of their emotions. This form of propaganda can be misleading. Source B Source B is a biography on Francowritten by Paul Preston an acclaimed academic and expert in the field, in 1993.(Preston, 1995) It is a secondarysource.
This book focuses on Franco’s rise to power throughout the SpanishCivil War. Also giving information on the nationalists’ support for Franco. Thepurpose of this book is to give an insight into Franco’s life in terms of hisrise to power along with the Nationalists, and bringing into order his wishesof an “Old Spain”. The value of the origin is that the Paul Preston was able towrite the book from an objective perspective Another value of the content isthat it provides a more detailed description of the course from 1933 and untilhis death. A limitation of the content however, is the extent to which PaulPreston actually understands the mind of Franco. He does not, since he iswriting all of the content, based on the secondary sources he has gathered. Section 2: Investigation The Spanish civil war lasted from Jul 17, 1936 – Apr 1, 1939. The war was a military and politicalrevolt from Franco’s side (Nationalists’) against the Republican government,formed in 1936 by Caballero.
The end of the Spanish civil war, marked animportant change in Spain. Franco s ok over as the Generalisimo and the rulerof Spain, due to the death of a couple of leading generals. He ruled Spainuntil his death in 1975. Francisco Franco and his brother in law Ramon SerranoSuner managed to unify the political groups of the Nationalists into apolitical movement called FET, right after the Decree of Unification in 1937April 19th. They managed to avoid internal conflict among theNationalists. This facilitated unity of purpose- a contrast to the Republicanswho were divided. Keeping in mind theresearch question: What is the extent to which Franco’s political leadershipsecured Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil war? This essay will focus onhow Franco managed to unify the political groups of the Nationalists, bothpolitically and ideologically.
Keeping in mind the needed help he received fromhis brother in law Serrano Suner in terms of the making of the politicalmovement FET/Moviemento. TheNationalists were made up of the Catholic Church, Carlists, Falange andAlfonsins. The Nationalists were quite split before Franco decided to sign theDecree of Unification in 1937 April 19th. The purpose of thissigning was to unify the political groups of Nationalists. Franco hadtraditionalist and nationalist viewpoints. He wanted an old Spain, where thechurch and hierarchies ruled. Everyone had their place/status in terms of thesocial order. Therefore, he decided to write the Decree of Unification.
Thiswas his first step towards a traditional and nationalist Spain. TheNationalists were fully against the Caballero forming a government in September1936, when the civil war had started with the socialists, communists andleftist Republicans. Therefore, writing a Decree of Unification, where both theNationalists and Franco had the same ideas for a future Spain, meant they weremore unified and joined. PaulPreston mentions in his book Franco: A biography “The idea of uniting the various political forces had been in the air forsometime in the Nationalist zone” (Preston, 1995). This wouldmerge the divided Nationalists into a unified force, that would defeat theRepublicans and their communist ideas from spreading.
Francowith the help of his brother in law Serrano Suner, merged the differentpolitical groups of Nationalists into a political movement known as Falange Española Tradicionalista y delas Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista. Shortly, FET. Serrano Suner wasthe one to tell Franco to gather all the Falange, to create this movement. Francoexpresses in his speech: “The Nationalist movement has ousted the old political intriguesand is guiding the nation to greatness and prosperity”. (Kenwood, 1993, s. 56-58).Meaning the unity of the Nationalists will makesure Spain prospers.
Franco uses words as greatness and prosperity to describethat this will only be possible if traditionalist, conservative and nationalistviewpoints are accepted and followed. Thisunified movement, had a traditionalist, conservative and nationalist idea ofSpain like Franco. However, Franco might have worked cleverly in terms ofunifying these political groups. The Falange were the revolutionary ones.
Theywere anti-monarchy, their views contradicted Franco’s. They wanted a republic,that was aiming towards fascist ideas, just like Mussolini’s fascist country. (Ramon Serrano Suner , u.
d.)Even though his brother- in-lawSerrano Suner, was a huge help in forming the movement FET. The FET was a hugesuccess, and the support from the Falange despite contradictions in viewpoints,contributed to the success of the FET. In the book Spain’s civil war, the guidelines of the Falange was published in1934, which stated the following. “..
butthat does not mean that any interference from the Church will be tolerated norany activity likely to undermine the dignity of the state or the integrity ofnation” (Browne, 1983, s. 91). Even though theFalange were reluctant supporter of Franco- and his contradicting visions, theystill stayed loyal to him as supporters. This kept the Nationalists unified.
Francoand the Nationalists often made use of the ideological word “crusade”. (Margaret J. a., 2013) This was used aspropaganda to justify their killings of communists, leftists and socialists. Abishop mentions in his letter: “Crusade for religion, for the fatherland, forcivilisation …
a Crusade against communism in order to save religion” (Margaret J. G., 2009) Franco and the Nationalists use religion as anexcuse for their crusade.
Which is bound to sound appealing to supporters, anda rather good excuse. The fact that Franco uses crusade instead justifies thesituation from the Nationalists side, and their approach to getting rid ofcommunists. The crusade was justified as religious and sacred. And Franco’sapproach to all of this using religion as an excuse, did make it seem lessbrutal. As, in the passage above, Franco would be seen as a guardian and a herosaving Spain from its enemy, the communists. Franco uses his traditionalist andconservative way of thinking, which also includes religion. The next passage istaken from Franco’s speech in 1938 “Spaniards must adopt the military and religiousvirtues of discipline and austerity All elements of discord must be removed”. (Kenwood, 1993).
Franco mentions at the end of his speech, theimportance of religion, in terms of discipline and manners. Franco wantedwished for a Spain where the hierarchy was put above, and everyone were awareof their status. Franco makes use of propaganda in his speech, to deliver themessage of religion. As having religion will mean, everyone would stay in theirplace, according to the social order. (Margaret J. a.
, 2013) In conclusion, keeping in mind the research question thatstates: To what extent did Franco’s political leadership secure Nationalistvictory in the Spanish Civil War? Franco was lucky in terms of the support hegot from the Nationalist’s, and the fact that he was able to unify them. Bothhe and the Nationalist’s shared traditionalist, conservative and nationalistviewpoints, and wished for the same for Spain. The Catholic Church and Monarchyalready had a high status in Spain, therefore Franco was both lucky, but alsoclever in terms of who he sided with.
His brother in law Serrano’s help, meantthat he was able to form the movement FET, and perhaps was the biggestcontribution towards Franco securing Nationalist victory, along with the supportfrom the Nationalists. He gained all of the support through, ideology andpolitical leadership. Section 3: Reflection During this I encountered quite afew obstacles, but also methods on how find limitations and values, in order tobe critical of a source, as used by historians. Along with this I also gained alot of knowledge about the importance of finding the right primary or secondarysource.
For an investigation like this, where both the historical events wereimportant, and the historical figure was important, both a primary source andsecondary source was valid. I was able to access the reliabilityof a source, by accessing limitations and values. It taught me how to evaluatea source. Especially a secondary source, where the historian is oftenobjective.
Accessing these limitations and values taught me that a source canbe used even if it includes limitations, however it is important to remaincritical of the given limitations when using them as evidence for discussing anevent or historical figure. When giving a detailed descriptionof an historical event, it made me realize that it can be difficult not to beslightly biased. As historians, such as Paul Preston have been studyinghistorical events, specifically the Spanish Civil war for over 30 years, it canbe difficult to remain completely unbiased. A historian could have a certainideology or political opinion, which might influence one’s analysis of anhistorical event. Therefore, biographies can include be objective.
Unlike otherdisciplines such as natural sciences and mathematics, it is not easy to provideproof in history. That does not mean that all interpretations by a historian ofan event are all equivalent. I therefore learned the importance of accessingthese limitations and values, as not all interpretations can be perfectlycorrect, and considered the truth. Specializing in a certain area like the SpanishCivil war, which includes a significant historical figure: Franco Francisco,made me realize that secondary sources such as biographies are not enough togive an insight into his political leadership. Primary sources such as a speechgiven by Franco himself during the war, is extremely significant for theinvestigation, as it is subjective. Along with this it gives an insight intohis personality and mentality, which was vital for this investigation. Thismakes a speech given by a significant historical figure valuable.