The Legal Road to the Corporative State: The CEDA in Power 1934–5

  • Paul Preston


For Gil Robles the successful repression of the Asturian insurrection was adequate confirmation of the efficacy of his legalist tactic. When the Socialists had formed part of the republican government, his monarchist allies had tried to destroy the regime with a badly organised military coup. That direct assault had, in fact, strengthened the Republic in the same way that the Kapp putsch strengthened the Weimar Republic. Thus Gil Robles, in the aftermath of the abortive 10 August rising, reinforced Acción Popular’s commitment to legal tactics. He was confident that skilful propaganda would bring electoral success and eventually power. It clearly made more sense to carry out his party’s ambitions — the defence of the pre-1931 social order and the destruction of the Socialist threat — from the government rather than in opposition to the state’s repressive apparatus. Having won an electoral victory in circumstances not likely to be repeated, he had nursed that victory with considerable skill and patience until, in October 1934, three CEDA ministers had joined the government. To his satisfaction, the Socialists had taken the bait and launched a hopeless assault on the state. Now thousands of Socialist cadres were in prison and the Socialist press was silenced —El Socialista, like El Obrero de la Tierra, was not to reappear for over a year.


Agrarian Reform Town Council Electoral Success Electoral Victory Youth Movement 
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  1. 5.
    Joaquýn Arrarás, Historia de la Cruzada española, 7 vols (Madrid, 1939–40) vol. II, p. 277; Gil Robles, No fue posible la paz pp. 145–9.Google Scholar
  2. 38.
    Joaquýn Chapaprieta, La Paz fue posible (Barcelona, 1971) pp. 207–33; Gil Robles, No fue posible la paz pp. 286–91; Pabón, Cambio pp. 433–5; El Debate 20 and 24–26 Sep 1935.Google Scholar
  3. 51.
    Gil Robles, No fue posible la paz pp. 404–30; Javier Tusell, Las Elecciones del Frente Popular 2 vols (Madrid, 1971) vol. I, pp. 42–133; El Socialista, 11 and 18 Jan 1936 (which noted this chicanery with grim amusement); Blinkhom, Carlism p. 204.Google Scholar

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© Paul Preston 1978

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  • Paul Preston

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