November 20 - 1936 - The Execution of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera

Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera was the son of the Prime Minister of Spain under King Alfonso XIII, Miguel Primo de Rivera. The younger Primo de Rivera took a different approach than his father by creating a brand new political party after becoming a lawyer called the Falange de Espanola. The Falange was heavily influenced by the Italian Fascists and also admired the German National Socialists. In 1930s Spain this gained him some followers, but it also made him allied with the various monarchists, conservative Catholics, and military leadership that opposed the Spanish Republic's left leaning government. This gave Primo de Rivera a special influence on Spanish politics by being allied with General Francisco Franco's Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas, or CEDA. This right-wing umbrella organization elevated Primo de Rivera, although Franco held real power. Yet when Primo de Rivera was held captive by the Republicans on illegal firearms charges, Franco and his fellow Nationalists did not do much to free him. Primo de Rivera would be executed by the Republicans, but his memory and legacy would be coopted by Franco and his ultimately successful effort in the Spanish Civil War.

William Floyd