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Old May 18th, 2016, 08:04 PM   #1
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Irish vs Spanish Land Reform


Any thoughts on why the Irish from 1903-1909 were able to force the big landlords to sell to their tenants and pacify the countryside whereas the Spanish efforts from 1931-1936 couldn't avert civil war?

If this is a bad comparison please tell me why. I haven't really thought this through.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 10:51 PM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete77 View Post
Any thoughts on why the Irish from 1903-1909 were able to force the big landlords to sell to their tenants and pacify the countryside whereas the Spanish efforts from 1931-1936 couldn't avert civil war?

If this is a bad comparison please tell me why. I haven't really thought this through.
I haven't read about the Irish bit mate, but this was one of the main causes of the Spanish Civil War. Dont know about Ireland but in Spain it was the communist/anarchist policy to 'redistribute' all the big and small businesses, remove (sometimes kill) the owners and managers and divide it up between the good old workers, Mugabe style.

Stealing peoples money and destroying the economy at the same time wasn't always well received in a society like Spain.

In case you doubt the madness involved, at the start of the war - WAR mind you - the anarchists in charge of Catalonia reduced 'workers hours' down to 40 per week max. Took them nearly a year to realise production for the war effort reduced accordingly.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 11:17 PM   #3
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Yes but you are talking about post July 1936.

The land reform began in 1931 when Communists and anarchists had no power in the government.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 02:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pete77 View Post
Any thoughts on why the Irish from 1903-1909 were able to force the big landlords to sell to their tenants and pacify the countryside whereas the Spanish efforts from 1931-1936 couldn't avert civil war?

If this is a bad comparison please tell me why. I haven't really thought this through.
Land reform (la cuestión agraria) was one of the main points in the agenda of the left and center-left political parties that were behind the proclamation of the II Spanish Republic on 14th April 1931, and they immediately began working towards that end. It should be acknowledged though that land reform was somewhat of a "regional" issue, because latifundia were (and are still) widespread only in the southern half of Spain, in the southern Meseta, Extremadura and Andalusia. In these regions the mass of the population were landless peasants who worked as hired hands (jornaleros) for the great landowners for miserable wages. Since the last decades of the XIX century, anarchist doctrines had proliferated amongst them, and by the 1930s they represented a very radicalized and potentially explosive segment of the Spanish popualtion. The willingenss of the Socialist and center-left Republicans to adress the issue arose both from a genuine desire for social justice but also from fear of the danger that such a large radicalized population posed to the stability of the new republican regime.

The rightist parties on the other hand did not want to even hear talking about land reform, and it was their frontal opposition to it that caused in the end its failure. In late 1933, the center-left Republican government of PM Manuel Azaña fell, and the following election gave a majority in parliament to the center-right and rightist parties (mainly Lerroux's Partido Radical and Gil Roble's CEDA) who immediately stopped the land reforms in its tracks, and in many cases even backtracked it, raising even more the political volatilty in the countryside of southern Spain.

The election of February 1936 gave once gain a majority in parliament to the left and center-left, and they announced urbi et orbe that rthis time they would push the land reform forward against any obstacles, and they really applied themselves to the job, but six months later on 18 July the military rebellion ignited the Civil War and after the war Franco's government made sure that everything returned to the state it was in 1931.

Today Spain is jointly with the UK the European country with the highest degree of concentration of land ownership in fewer hands.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 03:10 AM   #5
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Excellent thanks. Where is that from?
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Old May 20th, 2016, 12:14 AM   #6
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The Agrarian reform never was done. The Instituto de Reforma Agraria (Agrarin Reform Institute) wasn´t provided with funds and the projected 60.000 laborers settled in lands by year (the Agrarian law´s aim) was reduced by 12.000 laborers in 2 years!!
The Law caused resentment between the laborers and the aggravation between the land lords. So, farmers ilegally occupied farms and used the violance as in Castiblanco or Arnedo in 1931
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:13 AM   #7
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Thanks Martin. Do you think agrarian reform could have pacified Spain? Or were there simply too many landless peasants and not enough land?
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Old May 21st, 2016, 09:06 AM   #8
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Excellent thanks. Where is that from?
Sorry? I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
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Old May 21st, 2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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I thought you got that from a website or book. Congrats if it was your own analysis. I'm impressed.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 11:06 PM   #10
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Thanks Martin. Do you think agrarian reform could have pacified Spain? Or were there simply too many landless peasants and not enough land?
I don´t think so... the Agrarian reform was only one of the many problems in Spain in the 30´s. the proble was not in latifundium (only in West Andalusia, Extremadura and some areas in New Castile) but in the mind of the owners of the great states and in the minifundium, the small states did impossible their economic explotation (From Galicia to Navarra and some areas in Old Castile).
The Republican Agrarian reform was a fiasco.
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