23.07.

1936: “Junta de Defensa Nacional” Established During the Spanish Civil War

1936: “Junta de Defensa Nacional” Established During the Spanish Civil War
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/General map of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 23 July 1936
  • The first nationalist government (Spanish: Junta de Defensa Nacional) was established in Burgos (northern Spain). Burgos was the historic capital of Castile, also famous for the magnificent Gothic cathedral, where El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar) was buried.

On this day in 1936, the first nationalist government during the Spanish Civil War was established.

This happened just a week after the beginning of the war, which was mostly led by Spanish generals (Francisco Franco was among them). They fought against the ruling Republican government, which was left-wing.

At the beginning of the war, General Franco came from the Canary Islands (he was dismissed as the Chief of Staff, and the Republican government sent him to the Canary Islands) to North Africa (Spanish Morocco).

He led the so-called African Army, and they wanted to conquer Spain. It is interesting to that the local Moroccan Muslims and the nationalists became allies.

Franco wasn’t a member of the first government, which was established on this day. It was established in Burgos (northern Spain). Burgos was the historic capital of Castile, and is also famous for the magnificent Gothic cathedral, where El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar) was buried.

The nationalist government of Burgos was firstly led by General Miguel Cabanellas Ferrer, who held the rank of Division General (Spanish: General de Division).

It is interesting to note that the nationalist government was officially called Junta de Defensa Nacional. In Spanish, the word “junta” means “government” or more generally “Committee” (the word is derived from the Latin “iunctus”, which means “paired”, “connected”).

In today’s Spain, even the local governments were called “juntas” (for example – the Andalucian government is officially called “Junta de Andalucía”, the government of Castile and León is called “Junta de Castilla y León” etc.).

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