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Interactions between the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and the Unión General de Trabajadores in Spain and Catalonia, 1931-1936

Corkett, Thomas (2011) Interactions between the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and the Unión General de Trabajadores in Spain and Catalonia, 1931-1936. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

At the moment of the founding of the Second Republic in April 1931, the labour movement in Spain was dominated by two organizations, namely the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and the socialist Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT). The Second Republic marked the first period in which the two organizations had concurrently operated openly since the Primo de Rivera dictatorship had made the CNT illegal at the same time as the UGT had agreed to cooperate with the General’s corporatist project. With the founding of the Republic, a long-standing organizational and ideological hostility between the two organizations was exacerbated by the fact of the UGT actively participating in the reform project of the Republican-socialist government and the CNT increasingly opposing that project. However, the Republic progressively became polarized between left and right; as fascist regimes came to the fore across Europe, increasingly large sectors of the Spanish left called for a unity of their forces to prevent a similar occurrence in Spain. The outbreak of the Civil War in July 1936 made this unity even more imperative. This thesis focuses on interactions between the CNT and the UGT between 1931 and 1936 within this socio-political context, primarily from the perspective of the CNT. The thesis traces and analyses the evolution of CNT as a national actor’s overall position on the UGT from one of outright hostility to a stance of proposing a revolutionary alliance with it in 1936. The thesis also examines interactions between the two organizations in Catalonia, which was both the CNT's birthplace and stronghold and a region in which the UGT had historically garnered little support. In addition to highlighting the pivotal role that the Catalan CNT had in determining the CNT's national-level stance on the UGT throughout this period, the thesis explores how the anarcho-syndicalist movement in the region presented its socialist counterpart as the embodiment of a socialist- and state-sponsored project to destroy the CNT, and also examines the largely hostile encounters between CNT and UGT unions in workplaces and localities across the region.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Spain, Catalonia, Second Republic (1931-1936), labour movement, anarchism, socialism, Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo, Union General de Trabajadores
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Bracke, Dr. Maud
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Mr Thomas Corkett
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2782
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:00
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2782

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