What do we mean with the term ‘Moscow’? How is ‘Moscow’ linked to the civil war? What and who were the international volunteers and what were their links with ‘Moscow’? And lastly, what did the volunteers fight for and did they know what they were fighting for?
There are several views on what the war was about. Rather than expound in such a short paper the wide range of perspectives depending on which side of the political and social spectrum lies each viewer and opinion giver, it may be sufficient for our purposes to identify two of the extremist views about the Spanish civil war.
On one side are people like Beevor (1983) who view the civil war as a military uprising against a legitimate communist government that was carrying out a revolution as part of a Marxist class struggle aimed at reforming the corrupt economic and social structures of the time. Inspired by the success of the 1917 Russian revolution and driven by new ideologies for the liberation of peoples, several agents of change inside and outside Spain saw the Russian model as an applicable and pragmatic solution to social problems. The people (proletariat), therefore, fought back and waged war against a military force that wanted to topple the legitimately elected government.
On the other side you Arrarás (1968) and Carroll (1996) who see the civil war as a crusade fought to preserve Spain’s culture, mainly their religion, and poetically compares it with the country’s long 700-year war against Islam (Artieta 33). Carroll claims (6) that contrary to declarations by the politician who would later on become the President of Spain, Manuel Azaña, who in a major speech in October 1931 stated that “Spain had ceased to be Catholic” (Payne 49), most Spaniards remained devoted to their Catholic religion. For Carroll, therefore, the majority of the people supported the military in the civil war.
Spain in the 1930s was in turmoil, as were other European nations after
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