this article refers to the Spanish country on the motherland. To see the article about Spain-in-exile, go to Ifni
The Union of Free Iberian Territories (Unión de Tierras Libres Ibéricas, also unofficially called Spain or Anarchist Spain) is a federal state located in the far-west of the European continent. Surrounded by the Kingdom of Portgal to the west and the French Republic to the east, Spain is home to nearly 50 million people, being the sixth most populated country in the European continent. Spain is composed of the Spanish heartland per se plus an associated free state in the Rif (south of the Mediterranean Sea in Africa), and also claims the territories of Ifni, the Canary Isles and Fernando Po, controlled by the exiled remnants of the CEDA and the Spanish Monarchy, Spain-in-exile.
The Spanish state originated in its current form in the Spanish Civil War of 1931-1935, in which the Spanish monarchy was overthrown by protesting civilians in the middle and lower classes of Spain led to the overthrow of the Spanish King Alfonso XIII. While loyalist forces held out bravely, especially under the command of General Francisco Franco in Ifni and José Antonio Primo de Rivera in Cantabria, they were eventually pushed back, not under command of the bourgeois Spanish Republic but rather by the forces of the National Confederation of Labour (CNT) and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI).
The new UFIT government was reorganised to form a bottom-up confederalist structure based on local communes and syndicates, organised into nine regional federations; Galicia, Asturias, Castile, León, Extremadura, Andalusia, Catalonia, the Rif, and the Euskadi. Over time, the organisation of the nine regional federations changed variably; Extremadura, Andalusia and Galicia slowly centralised into more bourgeois republics, while the Rif, threatened by Moroccan and Spain-in-exile, joined the syndical forces with army commands, adding a piece of military dictatorship to the mostly democratic government. UFIT's national parliament has become multiparty after reforms under the 1990-1994 Federal Council, but is still overwhelmingly controlled by delegates sent from syndicates, which almost universally support either the PSOE or CNT-FAI, leading to almost permanent left-wing governance in the region. The exodus of many right-wingers to Spain-in-exile means that the main opposition is the nationalist Christian Democratic nationalist federations in all non-Castillian states.
Despite its far left configuration and heavily egalitarian policies, the government of the UFIT recognises private ownership and the control of some small parts of the economy by the private sector. This, plus integration into the European Community (in part thanks to lobbying by Nestor Makhno's anarchist government in Eurasia), entails that Spain has been blessed with much of the economic growth other governments across Europe experienced in the 50s and 60s. Spain is slightly wealthier than Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
The End of Carlist Spain
The anarchist experiment in Spain would probably ot have arisen were it not because of the developments in Spain in the 1910s. The Spanish government had been overthrown by Carlist rebels with the support of the Drumontian French State. Establishing itself in personal union with the French monarchy, The French began establishing presences by part of the French administration in Catalonia and the other Paysos Catalans, leading to a strong Spanish backlash and the growth of Spanish nationalism. The presence of hundreds of thousands of Spanish troops to several different fronts in the Great War, even though the Spanish government had no say on the matter, led to an increased presence of anti-French sentiment. The monarchy and the state were protested against ever more strongly, with the Carlist government feeling weakened within Spain ever more strongly.
The French monarchy began to collapse in 1919 and 1920 through the Autumn Revolutions, with Carlos VII being forced to abdicate outside Versailles. When he fled to Barcelona, he expected a loyalist rescue to his government, and retaining the crown of Spain. No news had reached Carlos VIII's court after crossing the Pyrenees, and the Basque Country had remained loyal to the Carlist junta that had permitted their foral rights to stay. However, after leaving Gipuzkoa and Navarre into Huesca, he was captured by the Civilian Guard of the insurgent PSOE. After being forced to resign by the Civilian Guard, he was escorted to a prison camp in northern León, where he died of tuberculosis. His son, Jaime, was barely able to flee Spain into Switzerland.
The new government was more or less dictated by part of the Allied Powers, established as a continuation of the Isabelline Bourbon dynasty which had previously been exiled from Spain in Cuba. A constituent assembly was called in early 1921. Elections very severely punished the traditional Liberal and Conservative parties, as well as the Carlist movement.
The Trienio Reformista - the Tarragona Constitution
1921 elections saw the Liberals come in sixth and the Republicans fifth. The Reformist Party came in in front, supporting a moderate constitutional monarchy with the abolition of the turno system. Second came the Socialist Party, openly supporting the overthrow of any of the monarchy and the establishment of a republican system of governance. The new constitution, signed in August 12 of 1921, promised a democratic liberal constitutional monarchy, but soon was unable to prove to accommodate Spain's present issues. The first conflict it saw was internal, as the PSOE-aligned Civilian Guard was established as the paramilitary wing of the party rather than reintegrating into the Spanish military, against the wishes of both the military and the Government.While the Allies had not pronounced themselves in regards to the insurgent Rif Republic that had seized much of the northern colony in Spain, the war continued to ravage even after continuous defeats of the Rif military by part of the Franco-Spanish (and later only Spanish) contingent. The Spanish populace seemed to suspect that the Moroccan protectorate was being aided by Germany to achieve its independence, as well as by the British from their territory of Gibraltar. Riled up and offended at what they perceived as an Allied slight (which today seems likely, although there is no conclusive way of anything happening either way), the Tarragona Government, seen as a puppet state of the Allies, began to lose support.
The military started turning against the Tarragona Government after seeing these major failures. While they had not particularly supported the Drumontian ambitions of total war against the Germans (something they didn't really truly benefit from), the Tarragona Government was being completely incapable of mandating a result that would allow the military supremacy. The military command in the south, led by general Miguel Primo de Rivera, was able to launch several major attacks against the Rif, especially the crushing victory in an amphibian attack against Rif forces in Alhucemas, but was not able to deliver the final blow with a state that was reticent to follow with total war against the Berbers. In fact, in 1923, the Reformist government announced a compromise that would leave nearly every Spaniard outside Rif completely aghast; the Rif Republic was allowed extremely grand autonomic powers if they would negotiate a peace with Spain permitting Spain to retain protectorateship over the Rif.
With protests by French Morocco, whose sultan seemed poised to invade the Rif if it was allowed to declare independence from Morocco and Spain, General Primo de Rivera was forced to act quickly. Dispatching roughly half of his command to continue the guerrilla fight against Abd el-Krim, he himself returned to the Spanish mainland, where he gained the support of several contingents throughout Southern Spain. In April 27 of 1924, Rivera set out from Sevile, declaring a "March on Madrid" and the end to the "Republican mockery of a Government we've had the past three years". King Alfonso XIII, secretly glad at the return of Conservative rule despite his own moderation in comparison to the previous Carlist government, gave his full support to Rivera, who was able to declare himself the new Prime Minister of Spain.
Primo de Rivera and the Discrediting of the Spanish MonarchyMiguel Primo de Rivera, in many ways, followed previous Boulangist tenets that had not been received in Spain, with less traditionalism than what was common at the time of the Carlist attacks. Rivera reorganised the labour system, establishing 27 corporations that forced unions and industrialists to work together. In the Rif front, he used decisive force, launching an attack of thousands of conscripts to wipe out the Rif Republic. In months, with the death of thousands of Berbers and Spanish conscripts alike, the Rivera premiership was able to "pacify" the Rif, returning it to stable Spanish rule. He attracted international outcry when he declared the Rif an "integral and traditional part of Spain" rather than a part of Morocco occupied by the Spaniards; while Morocco and France heavily protested this,the presence of the French Quadrumvirate and the war-weariness of the French state led to no war being established and Rivera being allowed to continue with his plan.
While mostly a paternalistic conservative, Rivera set out to fix many of the pressing issues that Spain had to address. Regionalism was addressed in a traditionally Boulangist way, with Rivera trying to expunge Basque and Catalan culture and attempting to begin a process of Hispanicisation. The PNV and its left-wing splinters, as well as the Lliga Regionalista, were persecuted. General strikes were broken up violently by the armed police, which became ever more powerful.
Rivera's dictatorship became unpopular after people began realising that his attempt at power was not just a short-term fix for a heavily weakened Spain but rather a permanent affair. The Spanish populace had been relatively glad to hear about the end of the Rif War, but when news spilled about the atrocities committed by Rivera's troops in the ground, the public mood swung hard against Rivera's government and in favour of autonomy of the Riffians. This was especially the case in Catalonia and the Basque country, where Rivera was seen as an oppressive dictator, and the regionalist parties claimed that "after the Riffians and the Ifnites, after the end of Rivera's silly colonial project, we're the next to be slaughtered".
Open riots began in the cities of Vitoria, Bilbao and Pamplona when Primo de Rivera proclaimed an edict completely abolishing the foral rights that the Basques had enjoyed since the conquest of the Kingdom of Navarre. Riots were gruesomely put down by part of the Spanish army, which only incensed the Basque country even further. Soon after, rioters began to morph into their own paramilitary group, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country and Freedom). Catalans soon after joined in the ETA's support, rebelling against the Spanish military.
New rebellions grew throughout most of Spain. After regionalist rebellions began to spread like wildfire throughout the Spanish periphery, the PSOE and the affiliated Civilian Guard rebelled against the government in major cities. More or less allied with the CNT-FAI syndicate, they established socialist and anarchist communes in several major cities, most notably Asturias, where the entire province fell to CNT-FAI troops within a day. The Spanish civil war had begun.
The Spanish Civil War
main article - Spanish Civil War