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Conspiracy, coup d’état and civil war in Seville (1936-1939): history and myth in Francoist Spain

Serém, Rúben (2012) Conspiracy, coup d’état and civil war in Seville (1936-1939): history and myth in Francoist Spain. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis deconstructs the bases of enduring Francoist myth that General Queipo de Llano heroically conquered Seville with a handful of soldiers. Having established the full ramifications of that conquest, it goes on to assess the political, social, economic and cultural implications of the Spanish Civil War in Seville, the largest urban centre to fall to the military rebels at the beginning of the conflict. Chapter I examines the nature and infrastructure of the military conspiracy against the democratic Republic developed in response to the Popular Front electoral victory of February 1936. Chapter II scrutinises the career of General Queipo, in particular his metamorphosis from a marginal figure in the conspiracy into a rebel secular saint. Chapter III dismantles the legend that Queipo directed a small group of soldiers that miraculously conquered Seville and examines how the myth was exploited to legitimise political repression. Chapter IV demonstrates how the bloody pacification of Seville by nearer to 6,000 men exemplified the conspirators’ determination to eliminate the Republic by extreme violence. It shows how the use of the most brutal methods of colonial war was employed against civilians all over rebel-controlled territory. Chapter V analyses the painful transition from insurrection to civil war from a novel perspective: fundraising campaigns. It quantifies the devastating consequences of Nationalist economic repression. Finally, Chapter VI demystifies the legend of a Catholic Church persecuted by a ‘Judeo-Masonic’ conspiracy. It concludes that anticlericalism was a popular form of protest that pre-dated the establishment of the II Republic by analysing/quantifying patterns of religiosity, revealing that only 1.44% of the local population regularly attended Church in 1930s Seville; and investigating the development of the Catholic Church into the main cultural institution in Nationalist Spain that sanctified the transformation of myth into History.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Rúben Emanuel Leitão Prazeres Serém
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
Sets: Departments > International History

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