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Spanish Imperial Power at the end of World War I - Essay Example

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Summary
Spain enjoyed being an imperialist state right from the eighteenth century when the communist leaders decided to divide in independent states of Cuba and Puerto Rico till 1918 - when Spain confronted the First World War. Spain was considered as a source for attaining economic motives for the European era that was the main reason for why there emerged several rivalries among European states to benefit from this imperial state…
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Spanish Imperial Power at the end of World War I
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Spanish Imperial Power at the end of World War I

Download file to see previous pages... By twentieth century Spain was in the full swing of economic modernisation. A national network of railroads linked Spain's cities and provincial capitals, and Spain was connected with the rest of the Europe. Because for its main lines Spain used a wider gauge track than France did, at places like Irun and Port Bou on the frontier, passengers and goods had to change their trains. Within Spain, the railroads overcame geographic barriers that had forever frustrated the development of a national economy. Steamships increased maritime commerce, both along Spain's coasts and with foreign ports. Spain exported citrus fruit, wine, olive oil, and the products of its mines, including coal and iron ore from the north and copper from the Rio Tinto. As manufacturing grew, stimulated by the spread of rails, iron ore soon headed for Spanish mills. (Pierson, 1999, p. 118)
The outbreak of the First World War where on one hand resulted in the economic and social barriers like food shortages, economic dislocation and social distress, on the other hand Spain which at time considered to be the vanguard among its allies like Britain and France, experienced as much of the effects of the conflict as the other European states. Her official impartiality could hardly hide the intensity of the debate between the supporters of the Central Powers and those of the Allies, nor could it check the increasing militancy and ideological awareness produced by the impact of the war on the daily lives of the Spaniards. Having rested so far on the political apathy of most Spaniards, the Restoration system entered a period of crisis; a crisis of domination produced by the inability of the governing elites to face successfully the arrival of mass politics and its subsequent challenge to clientelism and patronage as a source of power. (Salvado, 1999, p. 5)

Pierson writes, "In August 1914 most of Europe went to war. Spain did not. Held in low esteem as a military and naval power, Spain was part of no alliance system, nor was there any sentiment in Spain that it should be. What international difficulties it had with France over the establishment of a French protectorate over most of Morocco had been settled in 1913 through diplomacy". (Pierson, 1999, p. 124)

Spanish Dual Attitude
One of the main causes for Spain's hypocrite or neutral attitude was the weakening of her political and social recognition along with no growth in the context of economic reforms. Military was also unorganised and depicted a poor economic reserve for instability. Under such conditions Spain had no choice other than to adopt a neutral behavior towards its allies and rivals. Furthermore, the dispute in Europe was not regarded as affecting Spanish interests, while there was always the hope that by maintaining an impartial position Spain could play the leading role in organising a peace summit and therefore gain in the diplomatic field what could never be achieved on the battlefield. (Salvado, 1999, p. 6)

Aftermath Economy
The repercussions of the First World War on Spain were dramatic in a sense that able ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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