Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

   The Civil War in Spain began when military leaders led by General Francisco Franco rose in revolt against the left-wing Republican government. Spain became an ideological battleground between left and right as the Soviet Union backed the Republicans, while Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s fascist Italy supported Franco. Opinion in the United States was divided about the war, and the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt supported the nonintervention policy urged by Great Britain and France and adopted a policy of impartial neutrality. As support for the Republicans grew, Roosevelt asked for and in January 1937 obtained a congressional resolution imposing an embargo on war materials going to Spain. This did not, however, prevent American volunteers from taking part, and several thousand joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and George Washington Brigade to fight for the Republican cause. Among those who supported the cause was Ernest Hemingway and members of the League of American Writers.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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