Agrarian society and politics in the province of Badajoz under the Spanish Second Republic, 1931-1936
This thesis analyses rural social and political conflict in the province of Badajoz (Extremadura) during the Spanish Second Republic of 1931 to 1936. It takes a broad approach to social and political change in a province typical of southern Spain, but focusses particularly on the under-explored role of powerful agrarian elites opposed to the reforms introduced by the new liberal-democratic regime. The study begins with two complementary chapters covering the period 1870-1930; they consider the evolution of the autocratic rural order presided over by the elite and discuss the growth of the challenge to agrian power from organised rural labour. In the following chapters covering in detail the period 1931 to 1936 the partial transformat ion of the rural order that accompanied the transition to the Republic, the subsequent processes of social and political struggle, and the polarisation that followed are documented. A final epilogue considers the Civil War as a rural counter-revolution that involved the resurgence of agrarian autocracy in Badajoz. The thesis draws on a wide range of primary materials, from archives and printed sources to memoirs, and utilizes the relevant secondary literature. In general the study forms part of a movement to reach a deeper understanding of social and political change during the Republic and in particular offers new perspectives on the contribution of the 'agrarian question' to the breakdown of the regime and the origins of the Civil War.