The president of the Spanish Republic until nearly the end of the war was Manuel Azaña, an anticlerical liberal.
Internecine conflict compromised the Republican effort from the outset.
In 1934 there was widespread labour conflict and a bloody uprising by miners in Asturias that was suppressed by troops led by General A well-planned military uprising began on July 17, 1936, in garrison towns throughout Spain.
By July 21 the rebels had achieved control in Spanish Morocco, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands (except Minorca) and in the part of Spain north of the Guadarrama mountains and the Ebro River, except for Asturias, Santander, and the Basque provinces along the north coast and the region of Catalonia in the northeast.
Spanish Civil War, (1936–39), military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country.
When an initial military coup failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued, fought with great ferocity on both sides.Politically, their differences often found extreme and vehement expression in parties such as the Fascist-oriented Falange and the militant anarchists.Between these extremes were other groups covering the political spectrum from monarchism and conservatism through liberalism to socialism, including a small communist movement divided among followers of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his archrival, Leon Trotsky.The following day the remnant of the Republican government surrendered; Franco would establish himself as dictator and remain in power until his death on November 20, 1975.The war was an outcome of a polarization of Spanish life and politics that had developed over previous decades.Republican violence occurred primarily during the early stages of the war before the rule of law was restored, but the Nationalist violence was part of a conscious policy of terror.The matter of how many were killed remains highly contentious; however, it is generally believed that the toll of Nationalist violence was higher.While ground combat was somewhat reminiscent of World War I—tanks had a comparatively limited role, and lines remained fixed for months at a time—Hermann Göring’s Luftwaffe offered a glimpse of the role that air power would play in the German blitzkrieg.The final Republican offensive stalled at the Ebro River on November 18, 1938.The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union as well as from the International Brigades, composed of volunteers from Europe and North America.What began as a failed coup spiraled into a proxy war between Europe’s fascist and communist countries, with the future Allies backing the Republicans and the Axis powers supporting Franco’s Nationalists.