Jul 18, 1936 CE: Spanish Civil War

Jul 18, 1936 CE: Spanish Civil War

On July 18, 1936, Spanish troops began an uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War, often recognized as a prelude to World War II.


6 - 12


Social Studies, World History

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On July 18, 1936, troops under the leadership of General Francisco Franco began an uprising against the democratically elected government of Spain. This revolt quickly escalated into a civil war. The Spanish Civil War is sometimes called a prelude to World War II. Many foreign powers supported different sides of the Spanish Civil War. Republicans, who supported the overthrown democratic republic, were supported with munitions and money from the Soviet Union and Mexico. Volunteers, nicknamed the International Brigades, came from countries including Ireland, France, Poland, Canada, and the United States. (The group from the U.S. called themselves the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade.”) Many celebrities, such as British writer George Orwell and American novelist Ernest Hemingway, supported the Republican cause. Germany, Portugal, and Italy supported Franco’s Nationalists. International volunteers from France, Portugal, and Morocco also supported Franco. Celebrities who supported the Nationalists included British novelist J.R.R. Tolkien and American writer Gertrude Stein. The Republicans were crushed. Franco remained Spain’s dictator for nearly 40 years. Spain was a nonbelligerent during World War II, but supplied economic and military assistance to the Axis powers during the conflict.

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Last Updated

March 6, 2024

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