The Spanish Civil War Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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war came from Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State. Hull greatly influenced President Franklin Roosevelt’s decisions on foreign policy. Roosevelt often followed Hull’s advice despite having contrasting opinions as was the case with the Spanish Civil War. Roosevelt chose to represent the opinion of the majority of America and stayed neutral throughout the duration of the war (Werstein 139). Great Britain remained neutral for many of the same reasons as the United States. Britain, too, was in the midst of an economic crisis under conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and therefore most of the British people wanted to focus on the problems of their own nation (Werstein 137). Several British companies owned interests in Spain. The British Rio Tinto Company owned vast copper

deposits in Spain which could be jeopardized in the event of a communist takeover (Werstein 136). World War I was scarcely twenty years old and most Britons wanted to avoid another war. To achieve this, Britain signed the Non-Intervention Pact on August 2, 1936. Introduced by France, it was signed by the five major European Nations of Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and Italy (Werstein 152). The purpose of the pact was to contain the war within Spain by prohibiting the member nations from supplying materials of war to either side of the conflict (Werstein 152). Since Britain was the only country to abide by the agreement, the Non-Intervention Pact was completely ineffective. It would eventually harm the republic drastically because Britain and France, for the most part,

followed the agreement while Germany and Italy completely ignored it. The main British support for the republic came from Clement Attlee, leader and spokesman of the Labour Party (Werstein 137). He was joined by British liberals, leftists, trade unions, and labourites (Werstein 137). The main opposition came from Anthony Eden, the British Foreign Minister. Backed by the British majority, Eden wanted to do nothing to upset the peace in Europe. Eden was joined by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Baldwin was succeeded by Neville Chamberlain who also prescribed to complete neutrality (Werstein 137). Great Britain actually supported the fascists in several ways. At the outbreak of the war, most of Franco’s troops were stationed in Morocco. The republic set up a naval blockade to

prevent Franco from transporting his troops to the Iberian peninsula. The British greatly hindered the blockade’s effectiveness by not allowing republican ships to refuel in Gibralter, an island midway between Spain and Morocco (Fraser 108). Franco succeeded in transporting his entire army to Spain after the blockade was broken. Britain imported several products from nationalist Spain including 9.8 million dollars worth of sherry (Fraser 279) and 8.3 million dollars worth of coal per year (Fraser 410). Franco used such funds for the war effort. Britain did not protest when Franco shipped large amounts of British owned metal ore to Nazi Germany at artificially low exchange rates (Fraser 278). Germany in turn manufactured weapons with the raw materials and shipped them to the

fascists. Britain even supplied intelligence to the fascists; an officer in the British Admiralty leaked information about ships carrying arms to the republic to the Duke of Alba, Franco’s unofficial agent in London (Fraser 470). Britain’s final blow to the republic came in February of 1939 when it officially recognized Franco’s regime (Fraser 489). The neutrality of France was controlled mainly by the unstable politics of the nation during the war. At the outbreak of the war, France was governed by Premier Leon Blum, leader of the French Popular Front, a leftist party in control of France. Blum was faced with a serious dilemma. He did not want to alienate the British and split the Popular Front while on the other hand, he feared that Spain would become a fascist ally to

Germany and Italy on France’s southern border if France did not intervene (Fraser 127). Blum chose to support the republic in the beginning by sending seventy planes, pilots, and technicians. However, on August 8, 1936, France closed its border with Spain to materials of war and thus deprived the Spanish Republic to its right under international law to purchase arms for self-defense (Fraser 127). Blum lost and regained power several times during the war. French support ebbed and flowed depending on whether Blum was in power. For the most part, France remained neutral (McKendrick 201). France signed the Non-Intervention Pact which it broke albeit infrequently (Werstein 152). Another reason for neutrality was that the bourgeoisie capitalists feared a communist revolution. A