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The Crisis of Democracy in Spain

Centrist Politics under the Second Republic, 1931–1936

In the Series
Studies in Spanish History

Nigel Townson is editor of a general history of Spanish republicanism; and author of a three-volume work of the Spanish exiled writer Arturo Barea, a counterfactual history of modern Spain; and, most recently, Spain Transformed: The Late Franco Dictatorship, 1959–1975 (Palgrave, 2007). He is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Thought and Social and Political Movements at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Best New Book – Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies

The Crisis of Democracy in Spain is the first study in English to scrutinize the central role of republicanism in the origins of the Spanish Civil War of 1936–39. Previously historians have focused on the Left and the Right of the political spectrum at the expense of the Centre. Yet the Centre, as represented by the republican movement, dominated the governments of the Second Republic of 1931–36 until it collapsed into war. The Crisis of Democracy in Spain thereby confronts the greatest paradox of the Second Republic: why did the most popular and historic party of the republican movement play a key role in the Republic’s destruction?

Hardback ISBN: 9781898723196
Hardback Price: £45.00 / $65.00
Release Date: September 2000
Paperback ISBN: 9781898723950
Paperback Price: £16.95 / $24.95
Release Date: September 2000
Page Extent / Format: 184 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


List of abbreviations
Map: The main towns, provinces and regions of Spain
Photo section

1 From Revolution to Reform The origins and evolution of the Radical Party, 1901–1931
II “A Republic for all Spaniards” The Radical defence of change and continuity, April to June 1931
III The Struggle with the Socialists The fight for supremacy within the Republican–Socialist Alliance, July to December 1931
IV In Search of a Strategy The vicissitudes of the Radical opposition, January to August 1932 V Plotting for Power The attempted coup d’état of 10 August 1932
VI The Ambiguous Courtship The Radicals and the left–republicans, August 1932 to September 1933
VII The Quest for the Centre The Radical Party in power, September 1933 to April 1934
VIII The Price of Pragmatism The schism of May 1934
IX Trapped between Left and Right The Samper administration of May to October 1934
X Allies and Adversaries The Centre–Right government of October 1934 to April 1935
XI Compromise and Confrontation Resisting the Right, May to October 1935
XII The Fall from Power The unravelling of the Radicals, November 1935 to July 1936



First-rate…essential reading for anyone interested in 20th century Spain and should long be a standard in the historiography of the Second Republic.
Journal of Modern History

The best recent political history of the tumultuous Spanish Second Republic… it should become the standard political narrative of the Republic for historians and students alike.
American Historical Review

The first detailed and carefully documented account of Leroux and the Radicals. The interpretation is striking and challenging. An important work.” Choice

An exhaustive study of the political significance of the Radical Party during the 1930s that enhances our understanding of the republican regime … one of the best books on the life of the Second Republic.
Revista de libros

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