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Title: The rise and fall of the Partido de Union Republicana Autonomista : centrist politics in the Spanish province of Valencia, January 1930 to August 1936
Author: Lynam, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 9388
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is an interrogation of the impact of the Partido de Unión Republicana Autonomista (The Autonomist Republican Union Party or PURA) on the politics of the Spanish province of Valencia, and in turn on national politics, during the politically turbulent years of 1930-1936, the period which immediately preceded the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It was the most important Valencian political force and acted as de facto provincial affiliate of the Radical Party, a conservative republican party which was to play a crucial role in national politics. This study uses a wide range of documentary sources, including contemporary newspapers, official papers, and parliamentary records, supplemented by a number of interviews with participants in the events and in-depth case study reviews of two important settlements in the province together with detailed studies of electoral and land ownership data in a further three settlements. It is the first study which places the PURA within a broader provincial context, including the impact of the economic depression of the 1930s, the socio-economic structure of Valencian society, and land ownership patterns. Particular attention is paid to the PURA's relationship with its major political rivals, the Radical Socialists (and subsequently Izquierda Republicana, the Republican Left party) to its left and the Derecha Regional Valenciana (The Valencian Regional Right or DRV) to its right. Nationally the main focus is on its relationship with the Radical Party. The PURA, with poor quality and corrupt leadership, failed to have any meaningful impact on the political trajectory of the Radical Party nationally and was unable to utilise the PURA's undoubted popular support to stabilise and strengthen the Radical Party. In the province the PURA acted as the single most destabilising political force, creating a violent and meretricious political culture which shut down democratic discourse. In so doing it inadvertently helped undermine the more centrist forces within its political opponents, ensuring that the local Radical Socialists moved decisively leftwards, providing a strong provincial basis for the subsequent creation of the Republican Left. To its right, by cheating the DRV of an important electoral victory, the PURA strengthened the anti-democratic forces within the DRV, which went on to become a key part of the conspiracy against the republican regime in the spring of 1936. The thesis discusses why the PURA, a purportedly centrist party, acted in a way so diametrically opposed to its apparent liberal democratic credo.
Supervisor: Rees, T. ; Thomas, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Second Spanish Republic ; Valencia Province ; Spanish Republicanism ; Blasquismo ; Valencian Regional Right ; Anarchism ; Peasant farmers ; Political violence ; Electoral corruption