Courtesy Reuters

The October Revolution in Spain

I. ITS IMMEDIATE ANTECEDENTS

ON October 4 a new Lerroux government was formed in Spain, containing three ministers who were members of Acción Popular, the Catholic-agrarian party captained by Gil Robles. The next day, a country-wide general strike was declared. On October 6 the autonomous government of Catalonia proclaimed the Catalan State within a Federal Spanish Republic -- that is to say, in a new form of Spanish republican government. On the morning of October 7 the Catalan State surrendered; the autonomous government capitulated to the forces of Madrid.

The general strike lasted another week in almost every part of the country. In Asturias the armed struggle between the revolutionary forces and those of the government lasted for two weeks, ending finally in a pact between General López Ochoa, commanding the government troops, and Belarmino Tomás, representing the workers. But as these lines are written guerilla warfare continues in isolated spots in the Asturian mountains.

The number of dead cannot yet be ascertained, except in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, where it is calculated that a thousand people have been buried or burned. In the whole of Asturias the dead, including revolutionaries, government troops, and civilians, are estimated at from two to three thousand. In the rest of the country the loss of life has been much less, but must amount to some hundreds. The material losses have been enormous. In Asturias alone, through fire and bombardment, they are estimated at more than one hundred and fifty million pesetas. Oviedo is literally a city in ruins, reminding one of certain Belgian and French villages destroyed by artillery in the World War.

Such, in brief, are the external facts of the October revolution in Spain. Let us now go below the surface, analyze its genesis and characteristics, and estimate as objectively as possible its social and political significance.

What first surprises those unfamiliar with the hidden factors in these events is the disproportion between so apparently minor a fact -- the participation

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