- Popular Front (Spain)
The Popular Front ( _es. Frente Popular) in
Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalitionand pact signed in January 1936by various left-wing political organisations, instigated by Manuel Azañafor the purpose of contesting that year's election.
The "Popular Front" included the
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party(PSOE), Workers' General Union(UGT), Communist Party of Spain(PCE), the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification(POUM, independent communist) and the republicans: Republican Left (IR), (led by Azaña) and Republican Union Party(UR), led by Diego Martínez Barrio. This pact was supported by Galician (PG) and Catalan nationalists (such as the Esquerra Party), and the anarchist trade union, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo(CNT). Many anarchists who would later fight alongside "Popular Front" forces during the Spanish Civil Wardid not support them in the election, urging abstention instead.
Joseph Stalin-controlled Cominternhad decided in 1935 that, in response to the growth of Fascism, popular fronts allying Communist parties with other anti-Fascist parties including Socialist and even bourgeoisparties were advisable. In Spain, it was a coalition between leftist republicans and workers' organizations to defend social reforms of the first government ( 1931- 1933) of the Second Spanish Republic, and liberate the prisoners, political prisoners according with the front propaganda, held since the Asturian October Revolution( 1934).
The "Popular Front" defeated the National Front (a collection of right-wing parties) and won the 1936 election, forming the new Spanish Government. Manuel Azaña was elected President of the Republic on May 1936, but the PSOE didn't join the government because of the opposition of
Francisco Largo Caballero.
In July 1936,
Francisco Francoand other conservative/monarchist generals instigated a coup d'étatwhich started the Spanish Civil War(1936- 1939). The Government dissolved the army in the loyal territory and brought weapons to armed groups organized by the unions (UGT and CNT) and workers' parties (PSOE, PCE, POUM) that had initial success in defeating the Francoist forces in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbaoand Valencia. Ultimately though Franco would defeat the "Popular Front" forces and rule Spain as a dictatorship until he died in 1975.
Spanish Civil War chronology 1936
Popular Front (France)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.