Study Guide

IB Review

Causes, Practices and effects of Wars: Topic 1

Exam 2011 Question 6: Assess the economic effects of either the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) or the Nicaraguan Revolution (1976-1919)


The Spanish Civil War(1936-39), was a military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country. When an initial military coup failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued, fought with great ferocity on both sides. The Nationalists, as the rebels were called, received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union, as well as from International Brigades, a great number of volunteers who came from other European countries and the United States.

Economic Effects

Brief Summery

Spain's economy was devastated by the war. Some 10-15% of its wealth was destroyed, and per capita income was 28% lower in 1939 than in 1935. Seventy percent of Madrid's factory machinery needed to be replaced, and its communication systems had to be rebuilt. There was high inflation due to the cost of fighting the war, and the method used to pay for it.
  • Spain stagnated until the late 1950's,but then saw economic growth and the development of the modern tourist industry.
  • The war ended social changes and reforms getting underway in the 1930's.
  • Economy was burdened by economic dislocation of trade and industry and a large war debt owed to Germany and Italy.
  • Loss of labor, economic expertise, and diversion of resources to war production.
  • Spain reverted to self-sufficiency as a result of the war.
  • Wages were very low but prices rose because of shortages in the 1940's.
  • From 1956, Spain's economy began to modernize and their was more contact with other European countries.
  • Later 1950's, that post-war isolation began to give way to modernization.
  • With the prosperity and the arrival of mass tourism in the 1960's the regime began to relax.

Final Outcome

  • Nationalists won and General Francisco Franco ruled Spain for the next 36 years.
  • Thousands of Republicans were imprisoned, executed or fled abroad.
  • Guerrilla Warfare was waged ,gradually reduced by military defeats and scant support from the population