By James W. Cortada
Publication by means of Cortada, James W.
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Additional info for A City in war: American views on Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39
The scene was set for a major confrontation between two Spains: one liberal; the other conservative, pro-Catholic, landed and noble, and fearful of a "communist" or "red" state usurping traditional sources of power within Spain. The former 9For the specific period of 193136, some of the more useful monographs include Isidre Molas, Lliga Catalana, 2 vols. , "La autonomiá catalane durante la Segunda República (19311939)," ARBOR, 109 (1981): 95109. 10Payne, Politics and the Military in Modern Spain, p.
Although reliable figures are not yet available, a reasonable guess would be several dozen immediate deaths, and hundreds more in subsequent weeks. 4 Why the struggle centered on the Plaza de Cataluña becomes clear after reading the comments of F. Theo Rogers, a British reporter in Barcelona at the time who discussed the tactical importance of the plaza. He reported that the plaza with its tall buildings dominated old Barcelona and stood on the edge of the newer part of the city; therefore, whoever monopolized the square controlled the entire community.
As a result of the textiles' economic strength, some foreign visitors to Barcelona concluded that the city was financially sound. Despite the comparatively high level of employment, social tensions grew in an already highly politicized city, where a tradition of activist politics and strongly felt ideological positions existed. The revolt in 1934 by radical Catalans demanding more reforms in the government threatened to break open even further the cracks in the Catalanist movement, hinting that all was not well in Barcelona.
A City in war: American views on Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39 by James W. Cortada