Law of Political Responsibilities

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The Law of Political Responsibilities (Ley de Responsabilidades Políticas) was a law issued by the Francoist dictatorship on February 1939, two months before the end of Spanish Civil War. The Law targeted all the supporters of the Second Spanish Republic[1] and criminalized membership in the defeated Popular Front.

It was a central piece of the Francoist repression in the postwar era. Half a million people were prosecuted before repeal of the law in 1945.

Background[edit]

On February 1939, soon after the fall of Catalonia, the war was lost for the Republic and Franco rejected the only condition of the Republican government for a surrender: a guarantee of no reprisals against the defeated Republicans.[2] According to Antony Beevor, the Nationalist Spain was "little more than an open prison for all those who did not sympathize with the regime."[3] and according to Helen Graham the Francoist Spain was "constructed as a monolithic community by means of the brutal exclusions of specific categories of people... Those excluded, broadly speaking, were defeated Republican constituencies who could not leave Spain... For the Franco regime were all reds and, once placed beyond the nation, they were deemed to be without rights.".[4]

Law of Political Responsibilities[edit]

On 13 February 1939, Franco published in Burgos the Law of Political Responsibilities (Ley de Responsabilidades Políticas).[5] The law declared guilty of a crime of military rebellion, all of those who was a member of a Popular Front party from 1 October 1934 and all of those who was opposed the military Coup d'état of the 17–18 July[6] or had shown "grave passivity"[7] (all the government officers of the Republic and all the members of the Republican Army).[8] The law was retroactive (could be applied back to October 1934) and established fines and expropriations from defendants and their families[9] (from 100 pesetas to the confiscation of all the accused's assets). Furthermore, additional penalties included the restriction of the professional activities, the limitation of freedom of residence and the loss of the Spanish nationality. Deceased and disappeared persons could be held responsible and their families inherited the economic sanctions.[10] Among the victims of this laws were intellectuals and artists like Pere Bosch-Gimpera, Josep Lluís Sert and Pablo Casals.[11] The most common way of finding the "collaborators" was through the Electoral Register at the time, targeting those who had previously voted Republican.

Aftermath[edit]

The law was abolished on February 1945, although a Comisión Liquidadora de Responsabilidades Políticas (Commission for the Discharge of Political Responsibilities) remained in operation until the 1960s.[12] Between 1939 and 1945, 500,000 persons out a population of 23,000,000 (2% of the population of Spain)[13] were subject to Political Responsibilities proceedings.[14]

References[edit]

  • Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain; The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. ISBN 0-14-303765-X.
  • Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. ISBN 978-0-19-280377-1
  • Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939. Princenton University Press. 1967. Princenton. ISBN 0-691-00757-8

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. pp.385-386
  2. ^ Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A very short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 111
  3. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.407
  4. ^ Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A very short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 129.
  5. ^ Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution & Revenge. Harper Perennial. 2006. London. p.296
  6. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2003. p. 870
  7. ^ Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939. Princeton University Press. Princeton. 1967. p.466
  8. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.385
  9. ^ Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A very short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 134
  10. ^ http://revistes.iec.cat/revistes/index.php/CHR/article/viewFile/639/CHR08_Mir Mir, Conxita. The Francoist Repression in the Catalan Countries. p.8
  11. ^ http://revistes.iec.cat/revistes/index.php/CHR/article/viewFile/639/CHR08_Mir
  12. ^ http://revistes.iec.cat/index.php/CHR/article/viewFile/40583/40482
  13. ^ http://revistes.iec.cat/revistes/index.php/CHR/article/viewFile/639/CHR08_Mir Mir, Conxita. The Francoist Repression in the Catalan Countries. p.8
  14. ^ Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A very short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 134

External links[edit]