Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spanish Civil War 1

On July 18th, 1936, a part of the Spanish army attempted a coup d'etat to take power from the democratic republican government. The insurgents led by General Francisco Franco succeeded in taking over only in about half of the territory, the other half remained loyal to the legitimate government. This situation led to a civil war that lasted for almost 3 years and caused a fracture in Spanish society which is still present today.

The Spanish Civil War has been one of the most studied topics in Spanish history. There has been an incredible amount of research on the causes, development and consequences of the Spanish Civil War. However, there is still many unknown facts related to the victims of political violence, especially after the war ended. Moreover, the civil war has become a rich backdrop for literary, film and other artistic works.

My plan for this post is to offer some interesting links on the main causes of the war, its development and consequences. I will try to find the most objective references about a historical period that even today raises deep passions in Spain. I'd like to focus on resources and works of art that deal with the following topics:
  • How the Spanish Civil War and the political repression in the years after affected the lives of anonymous citizens.
  • How the Spanish Civil War affected international relations with a special interest in the International Brigades.
  • Works of art that have been inspired by the Spanish Civil War films and novels.
  • The work of photojournalists in the Spanish Civil war: Robert Capa, David Seymour, Gerda Taro and Agustí Centelles among others.
  • The propagandist posters during the war.
There are many websites with information about the Spanish Civil War. Some of them are produced by associations or political parties that support one of the contenders. Other websites have been produced by universities or high schools. These are my suggestions:
  • Los Caminos de la memoria: this is a website created by six European institutions from 6 different countries. The website links the great worlds in Europe with the Spanish Civil War. The site is also available in 6 languages
  • Website from the high school Maria Moliner in Tudela de Duero, Valladolid, Spain. This is a very thorough website that offers students a complete vision of the Spanish Civil War. It is divided in 5 sections: causes of the war, contenders, development, international  involvement and consequences. It is highly recommended for research projects.
  • Another interesting website with a lot of data and information is kept by the high school, Sabuco, in Albacete, Spain. The Social Studies department offers this website to their students as part of their class resources for the subject.  The links to the songs that both sides sang at the time as well as all the information about casualties and the fate of the refugees will likely be very interesting to the students.
  • Documentaries about the Civil War and its historical roots, published by Didactalia. Didactalia is an educational community which offers a repository of resources for K-12 education mostly in Spanish. It also offers links to many other repositories.
  • Guerra Civil Espanola gives us an almost unlimited list of links related to the Spanish Civil War, the participants, the International Brigades, etc.
  • Two examples of webquests which can help us to create our own activities. Webquest created by Ignacio Martinez Jimenez. A webquest created in a school in Minnesota by Liz Perona.
  • A good source of information in English is the website provided by Spartacus Educational.
  • Obviously, several documentaries are available online. The documentary produced by Granada television goes deep to explain what historical facts triggered the war, its development and its consequences. Numerous people who took part in the war offer their visions and opinions of the war. The historical advisors are Javier Tusell, Hugh Thomas and Ronald Fraser, which guarantees historical accuracy and impartiality. The length of the documentary, 6 chapters of an hour each, is not very manageable in a class but it can be a good tool for research. All chapters are available online in English and Spanish.

These are suggestions of resources where to find information in Spanish about the Civil war. In my next post, I'll talk about how the Spanish Civil War influenced international relations and the views on the International Brigades.