3. To what extent can the Spanish Civil War be considered both a national and international conflict?
One of the biggest civil wars, the Spanish Civil War, can be considered both a national and international conflict. The main reasons for its outbreak, as well as the goals of both sides during the war, concerned Spain and Spain alone. However, for a variety of reasons, which will be discussed later,the Spanish Civil War attracted international attention and gained international support.
Civil wars, as described by ICRC, based on Article 3 of Geneva Conventions are conflicts “(…) with armed forces on either side (…) which are in many respects similar to an international war, but take place within the confines of a single country.". Moreover, they involve both sides occupying a part of a country’s territory and usually aim at changing governments’ policies or abolishing the government. This definition fully applies to the Spanish conflict and explains its national character.
It involved two sides: the state,the Second Republic, and the rebels,the Nationalists. The power in the Second Republic was in the hands of the left wing government, consisting of communists, socialists, liberals and anarchist groups and led by the President, Manuel Azaña. The opposition at the time was the Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, together with the church and the army. The reasons for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War were the actions of the leftist government: anticlericalism, terror and murder of the leader of the Conservative opposition, José Clavo Sotelo, as well as obvious ideological differences. The aim of the military revolt was putting an end to leftist rule . The leaders of the putsch were José Sanjurjo, Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco.
The Spanish conflict lasted 3 years (1936 -1939). The most important battles of the War were were the Battle of Santander, Battle of Ebro, the Siege of Madrid and the Battle of Guadalajara. Civilians were...