Radical Republican Party

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This article is about the Spanish political party. For the 19th-century American political faction, see Radical Republicans.
Radical Republican Party
Partido Republicano Radical
Leader Alejandro Lerroux
Founded 1908 (1908)
Dissolved 1936 (1936)
Split from Republican Union
Headquarters Madrid, Spain
Ideology Republicanism
Radicalism
Social liberalism
Anti-clericalism
Political position Centre
Colors             
Red, Yellow and Murrey
Caricature of party leader Lerroux by Areuger in Gracia y Justicia magazine

The Radical Republican Party (Spanish: Partido Republicano Radical), sometimes shortened to the Radical Party was a Spanish political party founded in 1908 by Alejandro Lerroux in Santander, Cantabria by a split from the historical Republican Union party led by Nicolás Salmerón.

History[edit]

Having uncertain ideological bases, the party's ideology shifted significantly over time from its initial violent anti-clericalism and its participation in the Tragic Week of 1909 to a coalition with the conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right during the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. Its leader, Alejandro Lerroux was a controversial figure known for his corruption and demagogic rhetoric.[1]

The Radicals enjoyed success in Barcelona, rivaling the local Lliga Regionalista and dominated municipal politics in Barcelona; a period during which Lerroux was dogged by accusations of corruption. Lerroux's skills in mobilizing the lower classes, until 1914, earned him the epithet "Emperor of the Paralelo" (after the working-class neighborhood of the city). Traditional republicans were always skeptical of Lerroux's Radicals, likely because of allegations that he was founded by the dynastic Liberal Party as a method to divert the working-class from anarcho-syndicalism.

At the end of the reign of Alfonso XIII, with the regime suffering a profound crisis, the Radicals were a signatory of the Pact of San Sebastián and participated in the provisional government which followed the overthrow of the monarchy in April 1931. With 89 seats following the 1931 election, the Radicals revealed themselves as the main parliamentary opposition to the left-wing policy led by Manuel Azaña.

Following the victory of the right in the 1933 election, after which they held 104 seats, the Radicals formed government, alone at first, but with the clear support of José María Gil-Robles' Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right and later with the participation of Gil-Robles' conservatives.

While in government, it faced the Asturian miners' strike of 1934, an event caused directly as a response to CEDA's participation in government. The government harshly repressed the strike in Asturias as well as a revolt in Catalonia led by the President of the Generalitat, Lluís Companys.

The Radicals suffered significantly from the Straperlo scandal, and won a mere 5 seats in the 1936 election

It suffered numerous splits during its existence. In 1929, the left wing of the party split off as the Radical Socialist Republican Party. In 1934, moderates in the party led by Diego Martínez Barrio left to form the Radical Democratic Party,[citation needed] one of the political groups which merged to create Republican Union Party.

The party was often seen to be anti-clerical and close to the Masonic Gran Oriente Español.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Townson, Nigel (2000). Crisis of Democracy in Spain: The Radical Republican Party & the Collapse of the Centre under the Second Republic (1931-1936). Sussex Academic Press. p. 444. ISBN 1-898723-95-8. 
  2. ^ p, 48, The Collapse of the Spanish Republic, 1933-1936: Origins of the Civil War, Stanley G. Payne, ISBN 0-300-11065-0
  • Original version translated from the Spanish Wikipedia article

External links[edit]