VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > C. Europe, 1919–1945 > 8. The Iberian Peninsula
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1914, Aug. 7)
8. The Iberian Peninsula
a. Spain
Though Spain was spared the horrors of the First World War, the effects of the conflict made themselves felt. The demands of the combatants for iron, munitions, and other goods led to a striking development of Spanish industry, centering in Catalonia. The growth of industry in turn resulted in increased tension between the semifeudal upper classes, supported by the Church and the army, and the new forces of socialism and anarchism. The volatility of this mixture was exacerbated by the uneven economic and social development of Spain and subsequent strong regionalist sentiment. The movement for autonomy for Catalonia, which had survived the centralizing policies of the 19th century, flared up anew, and the government was throughout confronted with the additional problem of Morocco, where constant native risings required a great military effort and the expenditure of much money. Politically the prewar system extended through the First World War and immediate postwar periods, with repeated changes of ministry and the rotation of Liberals and Conservatives in power.  1
The crisis of 1917 resulted from the waning economic benefits of the war and a rise in the cost of living. It began in May with military unrest that became more general social unrest by the end of July with strikes in Valencia, Bilboa, and Santiago. The result was a period of insecurity between 1917 and 1923.  2
The Junta of Defense of the Infantry forced the government to suspend constitutional guarantees.  3
July 5
The Catalan deputies and senators in the cortes demanded the convocation of a constituent assembly to consider home rule for Catalonia.  4
Aug. 13
A general strike was called to protest economic, social, and political conditions.  5
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.