- Published: November 22, 2022
- Updated: November 22, 2022
- Language: English
- Downloads: 5
Spanish Civil War was one of the major events in the recent history of Spain. This event is now considered as the event which provided a rare hop of freedom to millions of Spanish workers and Peasants who united under the banner of socialism to fight against the Junta. The argument of Paul Preston that France actually betrayed Spain during its civil war shall be analyzed in multiple perspectives.
Though historically, it may be proved that France’s role was not supportive especially in the wake of arms embargo it placed on Spain with support of Britain which deprived country from achieving the minimum deterrence level to build up its defense capabilities. (Preston, 1987). Preston’s argument also significance because of the fact that French Premier Leon Blum supported second republic against which the rebellions started their civil war and promised arms shipment despite the historical fact that country put an embargo on them during most of the 1930s.
However, this support was quickly withdrawn because of international diplomatic pressures from Britain and Italy besides fearing a larger European conflict arising as a result of its involvement in Spanish Civil War. Viewing from that perspective, it may be inferred that France betrayed Spain during its civil war era. International law suggest that in times of internal rebellions, neutral states may provide any support to legitimate support to the legal government of time however, France, despite this fact, retrenched from its previous stance and as such betrayed the country by first promising and then retracting from that stance.
However, on the other hand, the historical facts also suggest that Blum was under the impression that France has become more or less a sleeping partner with the little or no involvement in the affairs of Europe therefore in order to regain the position of France, it was necessary that it should support a collective stance on the issue of Spanish civil war and shoulder with other countries like Britain. (Gallagher, 1971).
The initial response of France, to Spanish War, was in favor of Second Republic because of the legal government of the country however, on the other side there was also a fact that supporting popular movement against a potentially conflicting government. It is also further argued that Hitler, during that era, fully succeeded in militarizing the region and was fully capable of enticing rebels by supporting them.
Secondly there were strong anti-Soviet sentiments within France which compelled the than government of France to withdraw its support otherwise most critics predicted that that would have been a political suicide for country. (Kennedy, 2001). Further, what was most feared at that time was the spread of international communism if Spanish civil war was supported by international forces such as France and UK as it was also assessed that supporting an unpopular government in Spain would provide Hitler and ideal opportunity to have a fascist government in Spain which he can easily conquer by entering through Portugal. Forrest, 2000).
Conclusion France’s position on Spanish civil war and so called the notion that it betrayed Spain during civil war shall be viewed more in a larger diplomatic perspective rather than a mutual link between two governments and international law. The socio-economic orientation at that time did not permitted France to support an unpopular government at that time and it remained away from Civil War. (Wendel, 2002).
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