Political Reforms and Turmoil in Spain: 1931-1936

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  1. The Left Republicans and Socialist Government: Reforms October 1931 – November 1933 Azaña was named head of the government by socialists and Republicans and then started a series of reforms. The most important concerned the modernization of the army and the redistribution of land ownership in order to solve the unemployment problem originated by the latifundios. Public disorder was constant during this period and violence showed in episodes like the ones in Casa Viejas where an uprising against landowners turned into a massacre and Castiblanco where a series of protest marches turned into the lynching of a group of Civil Guards. On August 1932, General Sanjurjo failed a military coup in Seville trying to seize power.
  2. Radicals and CEDA Government: November 1933 – February 1936 Elections were again held in November 1933 and this time the majority of votes was reached by the CEDA and the Radical Party of Lerroux. Alcalá-Zamora, current president of the republic, did not give the CEDA the right to form a government, so Lerroux did and together formed a coalition. Socialists radicalized and started suspecting that the CEDA was a fascist party, which was false. This fear, encouraged by the situation in Germany, led to threats to rise against the CEDA holding any ministerial offices. In October 1934, Lerroux appointed some CEDA members as ministers and so the Socialists put their warning into practice, leading to what is known as the October Revolution.

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