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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: April 2020

Introduction

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      • Introduction
      • James Simpson, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Juan Carmona, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
      • Book: Why Democracy Failed
      • Online publication: 17 April 2020
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108766999.001
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      • Introduction
      • James Simpson, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Juan Carmona, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
      • Book: Why Democracy Failed
      • Online publication: 17 April 2020
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108766999.001
      Available formats
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      • Introduction
      • James Simpson, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Juan Carmona, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
      • Book: Why Democracy Failed
      • Online publication: 17 April 2020
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108766999.001
      Available formats
      ×

Summary

The popular enthusiasm that greeted the Second Republic in 1931 proved short-lived, and the military uprising of July 1936 led to a civil war that lasted three years, with the rebels finding themselves too weak to quickly finish the task they had initiated, but too strong to be defeated by the government. While the army was the ‘ultimate cause of the breakdown’ of the brief democratic experiment, it was the deep political crisis and the regime’s loss of legitimacy that provided it with the opportunity to act. The experience of a ‘democratic breakthrough’ quickly collapsing and the country turning to authoritarian rule has been all too frequent over the past century, with the ‘Arab Spring’ being the most recent example.

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