President of the Republic (Spain)

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President of the Republic (Spanish: Presidente de la República) was the title of the head of state during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39). The office was based on the model of the Weimar Republic, then still in power in Germany, and a compromise between the French and American presidential systems.[1]

The "Republican Revolutionary Committee" set up by the Pact of San Sebastián (1930),[2] considered the "central event in the opposition to the monarchy of Alfonso XIII",[3] and headed by Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, eventually became the first provisional government of the Second Republic, with Alcalá-Zamora named President of the Republic on 11 December 1931.

The use of the term Presidente del Gobierno (literally, President of the Government) in Spanish when referring to the country's head of government, that is, the highest official in the executive branch, has led to some confusion, including Jeb Bush's notorious faux pas in 2003.[4] In 2001, President George W. Bush had also referred to Spain's prime minister as "President".[5] With Spain a constitutional monarchy since 1975, the current monarch is head of state.

Revolutionary Government (1868-71)[edit]

A provisional President of Spain ruled that country and its colonies between the deposition of Isabella II and the election of Amedeus.

Image Name Term start Term end
Provisional Government and Executive Power.[6] President:
Francisco-serrano.jpg Francisco Serrano y Domínguez (President of the Provisional Government)
8 October 1868
Queen Isabella II's deposition.
25 February 1869
(President of the Executive Power)
25 February 1869
18 June 1869
Image Personal
Coat of Arms
Name Regency start Regency end
Regent of the Realm
Francisco-serrano.jpg Coat of Arms of Francisco Serrano, 1st Duke of la Torre.svg Francisco Serrano y Domínguez 18 June 1869 2 January 1871
King Amadeo's arrival.

First Spanish Republic (1873–74)[edit]

Following the abdication of Amadeo I on 10 February 1873, the short-lived First Republic (1873–74) had four heads of state (officially, Presidents of the Executive Power): Estanislao Figueras, Pi i Margall, Nicolás Salmerón, and Emilio Castelar.

Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939)[edit]

Following the abdication of Alfonso XIII on 14 April 1931, there was no official head of state, meaning that the Prime Minister was, in effect, the highest office in the land. Niceto Alcalá-Zamora assumed the new role of President, the effective head of state. Manuel Azaña remained as Prime Minister, head of the government, until 12 September 1933.

Presidents of the Government of the Republic (Prime Minister) (until 31 July 1931 Republic remained provisional)[edit]

Name Term start Term end Political Party
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12783, Alcala Zamora.jpg Niceto Alcalá-Zamora 14 April 1931 14 October 1931 Liberal Republican Right
President Azaña.jpg Manuel Azaña 14 October 1931 12 September 1933 Republican Action

Presidents (from 23 July 1936 in Republican Zone only)[edit]

Name Term start Term end Political Party
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12783, Alcala Zamora.jpg Niceto Alcalá-Zamora 11 December 1931 7 April 1936 Liberal Republican Right
Martínez Barrio.JPG Diego Martínez Barrio (interim) 7 April 1936 11 May 1936 Republican Union Party (Popular Front)
President Azaña.jpg Manuel Azaña 11 May 1936 1 March 1939 Republican Left (Popular Front)
Martínez Barrio.JPG Diego Martínez Barrio (interim) 1 March 1939 4 March 1939 Republican Union Party (Popular Front)

With Franco's victory imminent, a National Council of Defense was established to negotiate a peace settlement with the Nationalists. By this point, Franco effectively had military control of the whole country.

Presidents of the National Council of Defense (Republican Zone)[edit]

Name Term start Term end Political Party
Emblem of the Spanish Army.svg Segismundo Casado López (interim) 4 March 1939 13 March 1939 Military
Miaja.jpg José Miaja Menant 13 March 1939 27 March 1939 Military

Fall of the Republic[edit]

On 27 February 1939, after both France and the United Kingdom had recognised Franco's military victory, President Manuel Azaña, exiled in France, resigned. The following week, the so-called Casado's Coup against Prime Minister Negrín's government[7] led to the creation of the National Council of Defense which attempted, unsuccessfully to negotiate terms, with Franco breaking off talks motu proprio.[8] Following Franco's final offensive at the end of March 1939, the Republic fell.

Presidents of the Spanish Republican government in exile (1939–1977)[edit]

Name Term start Term end Political Party
Martínez Barrio.JPG Diego Martínez Barrio (interim) 1 March 1939 4 March 1939 Republican Union Party (Popular Front)
Alvaro de Albornoz.JPG Álvaro de Albornoz (acting) 11 May 1940 17 August 1945 Republican Union Party (Popular Front)
Martínez Barrio.JPG Diego Martínez Barrio 17 August 1945 1 January 1962 Republican Union Party (Popular Front)
Luis Jiménez de Asúa 11 February 1962 16 November 1970 PSOE (Popular Front)
José Maldonado Gonzalez November 1970 1 July 1977 Republican Left (Popular Front)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Payne, Stanley G. (1993) Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic, 1931-1936, pp. 62-3. Univ of Wisconsin Press. Google Books. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  2. ^ Conversi, Daniele (2000) The Basques, the Catalans, and Spain: Alternative Routes to Nationalist Mobilisation, p. 38. University of Nevada Press. Google Books. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  3. ^ Preston, Paul (2002) Revolution and War in Spain, 1931-1939, p. 192. Routledge. Google Books. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Jeb Bush slips on Spanish history" CNN. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Joint Press Conference with President George W. Bush and President Jose Maria Aznar" The White House. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  6. ^ The official name of " Executive Power " between 1868 and 1874, designates a transitory and undefined authority without a constitutional configuration.
  7. ^ "War in Spain: Casado's Coup" TIME. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  8. ^ (Spanish) "Segismunco [sic] Casado: el final de una guerra" ABC. Retrieved 2 October 2013.