Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Background of the Spanish Civil War/archive2

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Resolved issues from Quadell's review[edit]

This article is good, thorough, and well-organized, but there are many (relatively minor) wording problems which remain. Most of these have to do with the material being unclear to a reader not already familiar with the topic, or with neutrality. I hope these can be remedied quickly.
    • Great review, this will really help us get moving. I'm just going to add a comment or two below. - Dank (push to talk)
  • In the lede, I don't think the word "outright" adds to the description of Fascist. The organizations were simply Fascist, and we don't refer to the Catholic organizations as "outright Catholic". The same thing applies in the "Second Republic" section.
(Have a short time today, but not fully active.) Changed. I provide a short explanation in the edit summary. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Apathy to the movement came and went." Does this mean apathy within the movement? Or about the movement, within the general population?
After some thought, I've tried to clarify this but it hard; hence my introduction of "idea": "Apathy to the idea and support for the movement came and went". Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "...a growing number of arrests and the use of torture led to the assassination of..." The passive voice doesn't work well here. I think you mean he ordered the arrests and torture, and was assassinated because of this. If so, an active wording would be more clear.
Reworded: I'm trying to avoid pinning too much of the torture/arrests thing on the PM personally. Now "In 1897 an Italian anarchist assassinated Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, motivated by a growing number of arrests and the use of torture by the government" Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Perfect. – Quadell (talk) 17:19, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • What are "Smallholders"?
Changed - we have smallholding but in a slightly different sense to the one intended (particularly as the articles isn't great). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:03, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "However, these hopes were defeated in 1917–8 when the various parties were appeased or suppressed one by one." This is unclear. From the previous sentence, it sounds like you mean the working class, industrial class, and the military were either appeased or suppressed... or do you mean unmentioned political parties? Appeased or suppressed by whom?
I've had ago at addressing these two things, but it probably needs another look by you to check it addresses your concerns. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:03, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I have attempted to reword further. Is my wording accurate and acceptable to you? – Quadell (talk) 18:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Fine, no change of meaning. (I intended the above as a reply to Events culminated... as well, in case that was missed.) Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:22, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Grammar: "The UGT was brought into the government, also this was opposed by some in the group"
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:03, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I made a further minor tweak. – Quadell (talk) 18:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Fine, no change of meaning. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:22, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Unsourced interpretation: "The Second Republic was a source of hope to the poorest in Spanish society and a threat to the richest"
Sourced. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:37, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Unsourced interpretation: "Supporters of the dictatorship attempted to block progress on reforming the economy."
Sourced. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:37, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Rivera had close to total control of fascism in Spain. The press often editorialised about..." Does this mean the fascist press, relating to the previous sentence? Or the general press, which was earlier said to be controlled by the ACP?
The press in general, I can't quite think how to make this clearer. The ACP had influence, but not total. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:37, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
That's fine then. – Quadell (talk) 13:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "The ruthless and deeply unpopular Civil Guard..." This may be true, but is it NPOV? Is it the only assessment by major commentators? (I don't have access to the source, Thomas.)
Well, it seems I did them a little disservice: it is more correct to say that people thought of them as ruthless than them actually being ruthless, which would suggest it was intentional. I've changed it, which affects the tone. The other sources I've got appear to support this (Preston, for example) have a suitably consistent tone. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:47, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Regarding the Constitution of 1931, there is wording which sounds POV to me. You say it "seemed only to match the views of the people who created it", but that's unsourced. Seemed to whom? I assume not everyone would agree with that assessment.
Removed: I've been using various means to retain access to th sources, but no luck this time. It does sound POVy and probably unneccessary, since there are other more descriptive viewpoints given. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:44, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "...even a liberal advocate of the separation of church and state such as Jose Ortega y Gasset considered the articles overreaching." The "such as" is odd, when there's only one of him. Should this be "...even liberal advocates such as Ortega considered..." or "...even Ortega, a liberal advocate, considered..."?
Reworded more or less like your latter suggestion. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:44, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Whilst Socialists continued to support Azaña, the left became fractured, whilst the right united; the Socialist Party headed to the political left." This could use a reword. There are too many whilsts, and I don't understand how the semicolon joins the clauses together. Also, was the Socialist Party not on the left already?
Reworded. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 12:47, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Excellent. – Quadell (talk) 13:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Google seems to show "bienio negro" in this context translated as "two black years" as often as "black two years", and "two black years" sounds more natural to me.
I merely copied my source on that - who perhaps is trying to maintain the integrity of "bienio" as "two years". (You could indeed say that 'two black years' suggests each year was black and there were two; whereas 'black two years' suggests the whole thing is one black period - which is probably closer to the truth.) I don't particularly think either sounds better, does it really make a difference? Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Not really. – Quadell (talk) 13:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Gil Robles struggled control the RRP's youth wing"... Should this be "struggled for control"? Or something different?
Should be "struggled to", now changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Months of retaliation and repression followed; torture was used on political prisoners. Even moderate reformists within the CEDA were overshadowed." What does "overshadowed" mean here?
I've changed it to "became sidelined", as I think that despite being another metaphor it is probably mroe easily understood. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, much clearer. – Quadell (talk) 13:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Azaña was unsuccessfully made out to be a revolutionary criminal..." Does this mean someone described him as such? Who? What made the attempt unsuccessful?
I've noted that this was by his right-wing opponents, but I can't say exactly how. I don't have the book to hand, but I may be able to get it if you think the point is unduly under-weighted. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:47, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
That's fine. – Quadell (talk) 13:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "The nineteenth century was a turbulent time for Spain." Clearly true, but it's still an unsourced interpretation.
    • There's a cite on "Twelve successful coups d'état were carried out between 1814 and 1874", and it doesn't feel like a stretch to me to call that "turbulent". But the real reason I'm commenting here is that I often see criticisms of topic sentences at FAC in cases where I think it would be easier to follow the story with more topic sentences rather than fewer, to help the reader understand the meaning of what's coming ... and Grandiose is one of those writers who wouldn't go wrong with a few extra topic sentences, I think. - Dank (push to talk) 22:57, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
      • I agree, it's a good topic sentence. I would think a cite would be useful though, even if it's a passim reference. (But if there's disagreement from others with more citation experience than me, then perhaps a cite isn't needed.) – Quadell (talk) 12:25, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
        • That works for me ... same cite as the "coups d'état" sentence, then? - Dank (push to talk) 13:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
          • Sure. 12:30, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
            • One last thing ... I just moved the link up to the first occurrence of "coup", and shortened this to "coup", to avoid having to write "coups d'états". - Dank (push to talk) 13:30, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
    This is still an issue. – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Done, I think I got the right citation. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Well I don't have access to page 8, so I sure hope so! – Quadell (talk) 14:02, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikilinking intellectual doesn't provide any new or useful information for a typical reader.
For me, the word intellectual may otherwise to be taken to mean someone who is merely clever or who studies; in this context, it is a particular sort (the article could be better, granted). It is impossible to point at a particular section there, for Spain is not discussed; however, most of the Historical perspectives applies in part. I wonder whether you agree but merely disagree that the ordinary reader would not necessarily be au fait with the concept. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
What I mean is, if a reader wasn't sure what was meant by "intellectual" in that sentence, clicking on the link would not provide any elucidation. Nor would an expansion of the intellectual article be likely to change that. That's why I think the wikilink should be removed. It's a minor issue, but that's my opinion. – Quadell (talk) 17:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
This is still an issue. – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, I've removed it. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "based on a simplistic form of Marxism..." That's an interpretation, and needs at least a cite. (Presumably, they didn't think of their ideals as simplistic.)
Duplicated the reference to the end of that sentence to make it clearer. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I still think it would be better to say "based on a reduced form" or "based on a simplified form" or just "based on a form of Marxism". But the current wording, while not ideal, is acceptable to me since it's cited. – Quadell (talk) 17:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
This is still an issue, in the sense that I think it can be improved (though I won't withhold support based on this issue alone). – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I changed it to "simple" rather than "simplistic", which is what the source says (it goes on to say it is a problem, hence "simplistic", but this may be more agreeable since the discussion in the source is not present here). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Parties in opposition to the government gained the support of the church, particularly Cardinal Pedro Segura—head of the church in Spain—and the military." This wording makes it sound like Cardinal Pedro Segura and the military were both particular parts of the church.
Changed round, hopefully clarifying. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:34, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't look like this sentence changed. Here's my confusion: Were Segura and the military two parties that gained the support of the church? I don't see how Segura could have "gained" the support of the church, since he was already the head of the church in Spain. I understand "Parties in opposition to the government gained the support of the church", but I don't understand how Segura and the military fit into the sentence, or what they are "particulars" of. – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Put into two sentences (I see now, you parsed in a very different way to I intended it, so hopefully I've maned to clear that up). I do still wonder if "of the government" is needed after "disapproval": "Parties in opposition to Alcalá-Zamora's government gained the support of the church and the military.[46] The head of the church in Spain, Cardinal Pedro Segura, was particularly vocal in his disapproval." Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
It's perfect as is. – Quadell (talk) 16:36, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Until the twentieth century, the Catholic Church embodied Spain, although it had internal problems." I don't know what you mean by "embodied" here.
Well, it means "Be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling)." I can't think of an alternative phrasing and would therefore welcome you thoughts. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:34, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Spain is not an idea, quality, or feeling. How about "...the Catholic Church was an inseparable element of Spain..."? "...was an essential part of Spain's character..."? "...was a fundamental part of Spain"?
Good ideas; I went with a variant of the second (" the Catholic Church had proved an essential part of Spain's character"). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Unsourced interpretation: "Conditions for labourers remained dreadful".
Now sourced. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "...used an anti-strike law to pick union leaders off one by one..." Does this mean to kill them? Jail them? Remove them from power?
Reworded a fair bit, since I had a look at the source and it had wandered simultaneously a little close to the source and not quite meaning the same thing (as I recall, I had trouble finding an alternative phrasing) but I think I've encapsulated it now. "anti-strike law to successfully provoke and break up unions one at a time". Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Events culminated in the Tragic Week..." Everything from this sentence to the end of the paragraph is confusing to an outsider. The text does not explain things very well. The reader is left not understanding much about what happened, which side's members were tried or put to death, which side burned churches, etc.
    I think it would be better to describe what happened in a sentence or two, and then what the results were. (Currently, you say people were put on trial and executed, and then you say churches were burned.) I think the situation could be better summarized. I don't have access to the sources--all I know about the Tragic Week I know from our article--but I would say something like this:
    Events culminated in the Tragic Week (Spanish: Semana Trágica) in Barcelona in 1909, a series of confrontations between the army and working class groups, including socialists and anarchists. After a general strike, rioting and vandalism consumed the city, with 48 churches and similar institutions burned. Martial law was declared, and the army crushed the revolt. 1,725 people were put on trial, with five people sentenced to death. These events led to the establishment...
    I'm sure you could put it better, but that's a start. – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, I had another go based on the sources; "martial law" is not specifically mentioned. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 17:12, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
That's much clearer. But I believe you have a typo in the refs there. – Quadell (talk) 20:37, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:09, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Franco's men, some brought in from Spain's Army of Africa, acted horrifically..." I don't disagree, but I'm not sure that passes NPOV tone. Supporters would say they acted in a tough and steadfast way, for instance. I think you'll have to reword for NPOV.
    • I just want to clarify that, if most sources say or imply that they acted in various horrific ways (although ... how many gentle civil wars have there been?), and if the POV of the supporters has not fared well with historians, then it's fine, and maybe required by NPOV, to describe various actions that give the impression that they were horrific, but also mention the minority viewpoint. - Dank (push to talk) 23:06, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
      • I think something like "acted in ways that later historian referred to as 'brutal'[cite] and 'horrific'[cite]" would be ideal. – Quadell (talk) 12:25, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
        • Works for me, and I should have added about the minority viewpoint: as long as the minority viewpoint hasn't been thoroughly discredited or abandoned. - Dank (push to talk) 13:15, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    This is still an issue. – Quadell (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I wrote out "acted horrifically" but really I am still unsure as to what to do here. Perhaps you can help. Antony Beevor says "looting, rape and the execution of prisoners on the spot", and Paul Preston "the army carried out summary executions of leftists", Gerald Brenan (not cited) of a "torture squad" with "all the worst devices of the worst German concentration camps" and also talks of the army "sacrifiying all its principles" in bringing in an army whose previous acts were "savage". Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:20, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I've now added "Atrocities were carried out by both sides." (cited to Payne (1973) pp. 637–638.) which may help keep a neutral tone, I don't know. Would welcome your thoughts. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:29, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
After seeing your edits, I approve of everything you have in the article currently. I think it would be appropriate to mention looting and rape by Franco's men, so long as it's properly sourced. (It's not required, of course.) – Quadell (talk) 20:43, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
If I find another source, I think I will. The fact that able historians have omitted "rape" from there list of incidents indicates some doubt at some point in the evidence trail. I don't think it would affect much what the reader takes away from the paragraph. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:09, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Resolved issues from Dank's review[edit]

  • "in 1917–8": If this means a legislative term or fiscal year that spanned these two years, it would be better to say that. If this means "In 1917 and 1918", say that.
  • "Other articles legalising divorce and initiating agrarian reforms were similarly hated,": I'd use a different expression ... "widely rejected", maybe ... and say something about who's rejecting them.
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "called for a crusade against the Republic.": Scholars generally avoid the loaded word "crusade" in any context, and I would probably avoid it here, although I can see an argument for it if your books think it's important that the parliamentary right was drawing a connection to the Crusades.
Picked a different speech. Certainly he did draw on the reconquista, but the same effect can be achieved without the word "crusade". Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:10, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "and the conservative right, who were against reform, were up in arms.": Why would the anti-reformers be alarmed that their opposition had just been weakened? And "up in arms" is probably too informal. And what's the connection between that and the next sentence, "Several agricultural strikes were harshly put down by the authorities", or the connection between that and King Alfonso's trial?
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "did little to improve the rural situation.": I don't know what this means.
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "They further alienated the land-holding right.": Combine this with the previous sentence.
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Restrictions on Christian iconography in schools and hospitals, control of cemeteries, and the ringing of bells, came into force in January 1932.": Maybe: State ownership [if it was state ownership] of cemeteries and restrictions on Christian iconography in schools and hospitals came into force in January 1932, along with [and describe what was going on with the bells].
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:17, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Spanish Catholics, if they were to oppose educational and religious reforms, were forced into opposition with the government.": Spanish Catholics who opposed educational and religious reforms resisted the government.
Merged into the previous sentence since it's a similar viewpoint put forward in slight variation by the sources. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:17, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "The press denounced government ...": Every newspaper?
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Serrador, and Tella": one name generally isn't enough.
I believe this has been seen to. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "It resulted in an overwhelming victory for the right,": The right obtained an overwhelming victory,
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 22:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "The Communist Party, with perhaps 3,000 members, were at this point not significant.": Perfectly good BritEng, but the "were" sounds really wrong to Americans, so: The roughly 3,000 members of the Communist Party were at this point not significant.
Changed Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:10, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Tensions rose in the period before the start of the war.": I'd delete this; I think it's implied by the next sentence.
Deleted. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:22, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Between 1934 and 1936, Spain entered a period called the "black two years" (Spanish: bienio negro).": Much of the next two paragraphs cover events before the black two years, and it would probably be easier to follow events chronologically. Also, you don't say when the two years were ... 1934, 1935 and 1936 is three years, so when did the two years start? Also, Garner's rejects the expression "between 1934 and 1936" as too vague; giving months would help. - Dank (push to talk) 13:35, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I've changed both the heading and the intro. I was a little hesitant, but reading hte sources the only real debate is whether the black two years can be considered over by the end of 1935; they all consider it starting in November 1933. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:32, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "There was a belligerent mood in Spain": I don't follow what this is saying that hasn't already been said.
Removed, I think (must have done this earlier). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:22, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "It marked the effective end of the Republic.": What's "it"?
Mentioned. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:22, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "The right began to conspire": "conspire" is a loaded word. If you do use it, explain why your books viewed it as a conspiracy.
Changed to "plan" which allows for the fact they probably did so separately. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:22, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "and his removal made the climate revolutionary.": maybe, "and that his removal would lead to revolution."
Changed to "and his removal was another step towards revolution." which I feel fits best what Trotsky meant. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:41, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "streets, in order to make an authoritarian regime justifiable.": streets to try to justify an authoritarian regime.
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 09:41, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "This was undermined by Cabellero, who preached of an inevitable overthrow of society by the workers.": Give this another shot. If Cabellero was specifically attempting to undermine Prieto, say that; I'm guessing he was just saying things a socialist would normally say, things that there was little public support for.
Turns out that a typo crept in because of a typofixing redirect, which I've now sorted. I've also rephrased this section, adding in something, but I think you'll want to have another look. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:31, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "Communists quickly took over the ranks of socialist organisations, helped by Cabellero's acquiescence. This alarmed the middle classes." "This" dangles, so: "With Cabellero's acquiescence, Communists [or lowercase if it's not a specific, organized party at this point] alarmed the middle classes by quickly taking over the ranks of socialist organisations."
Changed - I used "communists" without a capital because whilst there was a Communist Party, it wasn't this specific membership but rather the communist ideology that was important. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:57, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "utilising its power": "using" is better.
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:57, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
  • "several generals who had decided that the government had to be replaced if the dissolution of Spain was to be prevented. They held contempt for professional politicians.": ... several generals who disliked professional politicians and wanted to replace the government to prevent the dissolution of Spain. - Dank (push to talk) 14:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Changed. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:57, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
If I think of these as numbered, then my contributions to this changes (the others are yours, of course) should, hopefully, cover number 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9. I'll see to the others in due course. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 14:32, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Btw, I don't need diffs and I'm not picky how you reply; if it's easier for you to keep track of, you can reply under each point, or just make changes as you see fit and let me know when you're done. I'll figure it out, and I may choose to reply under my own bullet points. - Dank (push to talk) 14:52, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, I think I've now covered them but you may wish to take another look. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:31, 14 October 2011 (UTC)