The Spanish Civil War of 1936-9 pitted the elected Spanish Republican government against the Nationalist rebels lead by General Francisco Franco. Both sides attracted massive military support from other European powers, despite the pretence of the British-sponsored policy of Non-Intervention, and some 32,000 foreign volunteers fought for the Republic. The Civil War polarised opinion along ideological lines, and has been compared to the French Revolution in terms of its impact on British society and politics.
This lecture series will investigate the extent of – and the reasons for – the profound engagement of many British citizens in this conflict. Drawing on recent research and many first-hand accounts from the time, and focusing mainly on supporters of the Republic, the lecture series will range widely across politics, government, humanitarianism, and intellectual and religious life.