Spain 1918-1923 Spain 1931-1936

Spain 1923-1931

In September 1923, the Captain General of Catalonia, MIGUEL PRIMO DE RIVERA proclaimed his intention to form a government without politicians. The cabinet resigned, Prime Minister Marquis of Alhucemas seemingly relieved to be deprived of the burden of government; King Alfonso XIII. asked de Rivera to form a government and even given quasi-dictatorial powers, after the Italian precedent.
De Rivera was a military man and, at dealt with what he regarded military problems - unruly Catalonia, where the autonomy was cancelled (1924), and with the Rif. In cooperation with the French, Abd-el-Krim was defeated; he surrendered in 1926.
In Spain, freedom of the press was curtailed, police given far-reaching powers. The CORTES was dissolved, the constitution suspended, MARTIAL LAW declared instead. De Rivera presided over an administration consisting of mainly military officers without party affiliation. While civil rights were infringed upon, following years of street fighting and civil unrest, order was restored. The CNT and the Communist Party were forbidden.
To some, Primo de Rivera seemed to be the IRON SURGEON which Joaquin Costa in his 1898 publication had called for; having reestablished order and, for many, trust in society and state, he had gained in popularity. In 1924 the PATRIOTIC UNION (UP) was founded as a new party, standing for the policy of Primo de Rivera and his administration. In 1926 a NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY was established; the administration took on characteristics of a democratic civil administration.
De Rivera adopted the Italian concept of a CORPORATE ECONOMY (1926), which was implemented in Spain with much less rigidity.State-planned infrastructure projects such as the construction of highways, hydroelectric power stations etc. were undertaken. Government economic policy was protectionist and interventionist; the Spanish industry, centered on the Basque country and Catalonia, expanded.
In the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash, Spain like many other European economies was affected by the Great Depression; the Spanish Peseta was devalued, by 42.7 % over 2 years. In 1930 Prime Minister Primo de Rivera resigned. King Alfonso XIII appointed General BERENGUER his successor. However, the king's popularity was at a low, and many of the country's political organizations tended toward a republican constitution. On April 12th 1931 elections were held, and in both Madrid and Barcelona the REPUBLIC was proclaimed, King Alfonso went into exile.

Critics of dictator Primo de Rivera included writer MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO, who in 1924 was deported to the Canary Islands. In 1926 a planned coup by opposition parties and traditional politicians was uncovered. A 1926 law permitting the government to take measures even if these violated the law caused many to join the opposition. From 1928 many universities, hotbeds of political protest, were closed down.

Biography of Miguel Primo de Rivera, from Spartacus Schoolnet
The Rif War, 1893-1926, from ACED
The Proclamation of the Republic, from Historia de Espana
Catalunya durant la Dictadura de Primo de Rivera, from La Pagina de la Historia (Catalonia during the Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera), in Catalan
Apunts de la Dictadura de Primo de Rivera als Paisos Catalans, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
La Constitucio Catalana de l'Havana 1928, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Spain by Ben Cahoon
Images from Chronik 2000 Bilddatenbank : King Alfonso XIII.
REFERENCE Peter Pierson, A Troubled New Century, 1898-1931, in : P. Pierson, The History of Spain, London : Greenwood 1999 KMLA Lib. Call Sign 946 P624t
Francisco J. Romero Salvado, Twentieth Century Spain, Politics and Society in Spain 1898-1998, NY : St. Martin's, 1999, 219 pp.; KMLA Lib. Call Sign 946.08 S182t
Article : Spain, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1924 pp.1284-1304, 1925 pp.1292-1310, 1926 pp.1256-1275, 1928 pp.1295-1313, 1929 pp.1271-1290 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Americana Annual 1927 pp.801-805, 1928 pp.731-733, 1930 pp.719-720, 1931 pp.713-716 [G]
Article : Spain, in : New International Year Book 1925 pp.661-664, 1928 pp.707-709, 1930 pp.730-732 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 12th 2002, last revised on August 23rd 2007

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz