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Question
Hello.

I have heard that if France(and in particular the Popular Front Party) had actively supported Spain in the Spanish Civil War, then France itself may have fallen into civil war between Fascists and Communists. This would have started world war 2 even earlier than expected.

Is this true?

Also if a civil war were to occur in France at this time, which areas of France(including its colonies) would have most likely sided with the Communists and which would have sided with the Fascists?

Thank you.

Answer
Hi Thomas,

In my own opinion, I don't think that France was close to civil war in the 1930s despite the tension between communists and other groups there and in other countries (notably Germany). The consequences of WWI seriously ruptured the political consensus throughout Europe and there was plenty of chaos, as you know. One result, of course, was the rise of Hitler. However, most Europeans were sick of war and were angry about the one that they had just endured. One reason for appeasing Hitler was the reluctance to start a new conflict. Therefore, while there was plenty of civil conflict throughout western Europe, I disagree that civil war was a possibility, regardless of France's disposition toward Spain during its conflict.

Based on that, the issue of which side France and its colonies would have sided with in the Spanish Civil War cannot quite be answered. However, I would speculate that the colonies would not side with the Spanish fascists, and the French government would not have sided with the Republicans.

I hope that this is helpful!

- Marc  

European History

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Marc Aperio

Expertise

I'm comfortable with each period of European history. I will be glad to respond to any question, and promise a clear, accurate, and simple reply. My personal interests include Medieval Europe, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Nazi Germany.

Experience

I've studied history for nealy 20 years. I'm currently volunteering in the US and European history categories.

Publications
My newest book is called (REAL QUICK) HISTORY (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MYOKUZT) I've also written: WE NEED TO TALK: 27 DIALOGUES ON RACE IN AMERICA is available in the Amazon Kindle store. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E69CUUI AMERICAN REVOLUTION 2016: RATIONALE AND AIMS FOR RADICAL CHANGE http://www.amazon.com/American-Revolution-2016-Rationale-Radical-ebook/dp/B00MI9H9VE

Education/Credentials
BA History (High Honors)

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