The establishment of a dictatorship in Spain in September 1923 should be viewed in the wider context of the general European situation. The social and economic distress produced by the Great War, the spread of Bolshevik ideas and the power vacuum created by the collapse of the Central Powers, initiated a period of massive class struggle and political turmoil which heralded the arrival of mass politics and the death-knell for the oligarchic Liberal orders on the continent. It was not so much the threat of revolution, which had clearly subsided by the early 1920s, as the fear caused by the growing strength of the organized labour movement and the challenge presented by the advent of genuine democracy which persuaded the ruling economic and social classes to support authoritarian formulas. Ironically, one of the more bizarre consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution was that the interwar years were an era of virtually uninterrupted working class defeats.1 The destruction of the Soviet regime in Hungary in the summer of 1919 and its replacement by Admiral Horthy’s dictatorship inaugurated an era of political and economic reaction which swept Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.
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- From Dictatorship to Republic, 1923–31
Francisco J. Romero Salvadó
- Macmillan Education UK
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