set upon. On 9 February, Matías Montero was murdered while selling Falangist newspapers, and he became a martyr for this minority Fascist organisation. The socialists had their martyrs too, such as Juanita Rico, a young woman of 20, who was murdered by Falangists in July. Their funerals gave a chance for uniforms to be shown off, as well as their symbols, hymns, and blue, black or red shirts.
Yet to suggest that the October uprising marked the end of any possibility of constitutional coexistence in Spain, the 'prelude' or 'opening battle' of the civil war, is to place a workers' uprising, defeated and repressed by republican order, on the same plane as a military rebellion carried out by the armed forces of the State. The Republic always repressed uprisings and imposed order. After October 1934, socialists and anarchists alike abandoned rebellion as a stratagem and the possibilities of trying it again in 1936 were practically nil, now that their ranks were split and considerably weakened. For the non-republican right, however, October 1934 marked the way. They always had the army, the 'backbone of the Fatherland', as José Calvo Sotelo would often refer to it then.
After October 1934, the left tried to re-establish its democratic political activity, win at the polls and surmount its insurrectional failures. The CEDA grew, defended repression to the hilt, and shed any possibility of stabilising the Republic with its coalition partner, the Partido Radical. Any potential centrist solutions proposed by Lerroux and his team ended up swamped by the CEDA's conquest of power strategy, and by the scandals that, barely a year after that October, engulfed them until they were eliminated from the political scene.
Was this article helpful?