THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR: A NEW INSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION OF THE SOCIAL ORDER AND MILITARY FACTIONS DURING THE SECOND REPUBLIC (1931-1939)
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This dissertation presents a new view that emphasizes the role of intra-elite fights in understanding the failure to consolidate democracy during the Second Spanish Republic. The two traditional explanations have emphasized the action of "blocks" and often reflect the ideological tensions behind the interpretation of the Second Republic. Rather than seeing elites as blocks or focusing on ideological divisions, my view focuses on the heterogeneity of interests within elites and how the redistribution of political and economic rents during the Republic relates to the support or animosity of elite factions vis-à-vis the republican government.
I apply my view to one specific Spanish elite -the Army- showing that, contrary to traditional interpretations, the military was a non-monolithic organization that was divided into different factions with conflicting interests. I explore the impact that factional military interests had on officers' chosen side (rebel or loyal) during the Spanish Civil War that ended the Republic. The econometric analysis uses a new data set that identifies officers' sides and uses information from military yearbooks to follow officers' individual histories between 1910 and 1936. The results confirm that the Army was a non-monolithic organization where factions behaved differently and responded to the impact from republican military reforms. Officers in favored corps and those that enjoyed greater promotions between 1931 and 1936 were more likely to support the republican regime. I also explore the effect of hierarchy on officers' choice. Results show that subordinates tended to follow the side chosen by their senior officers.