Prieto in 1936
|Minister of Finance|
14 April 1931 – 16 December 1931
|Preceded by||Gabino Bugallal Araújo|
|Succeeded by||Jaime Carner|
|Minister of Public Works|
16 December 1931 – 12 September 1933
|Minister of the Navy and Air Force|
4 September 1936 – 17 May 1937
|President||Francisco Largo Caballero|
|Minister of the National Defence|
17 May 1937 – 5 April 1938
|President of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party|
|Preceded by||Enrique de Francisco|
|Succeeded by||Trifón Gómez|
|Born||30 April 1883|
|Died||11 February 1962 (aged 78)|
Mexico City, Mexico
Indalecio Prieto Tuero (30 April 1883 – 11 February 1962) was a Spanish politician, a minister and one of the leading figures of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in the years before and during the Second Spanish Republic.
Born in Oviedo in 1883, his father died when he was six years old. His mother moved him to Bilbao in 1891. From a young age, he survived by selling magazines in the street. He eventually obtained work as a stenographer at the daily newspaper La Voz de Vizcaya, which led to a position as a copy editor and later a journalist at the rival daily El Liberal. He eventually became the director and owner of the newspaper.
Spain's neutrality in World War I greatly benefited Spanish industry and commerce, but those benefits were not reflected in the workers' salaries. The period was one of great social unrest, culminating on August 13, 1917 in a revolutionary general strike. The government's fear of unrest like that of the February Revolution that year in Russia (the October Revolution there was still to come) caused it used the military to put down the general strike. Members of the strike committee were arrested in Madrid. Having been involved in organizing the strike, Prieto fled to France before he could be arrested.
He did not return until April 1918, when he had been elected to the Spanish Congress of Deputies. Very critical of the actions of the government and army during the Rif War, or "War of Melilla" (1919–1926), Prieto spoke out strongly in the Congress after the Battle of Annual (1921). He also addressed the likely responsibility of the king in the imprudent military actions of General Manuel Fernández Silvestre in the Melilla command zone.
In August 1930, despite the opposition of party leader Julián Besteiro Fernández, Prieto participated in the Pact of San Sebastián. The broad coalition of republican parties proposed doing away with the Spanish monarchy. In that matter, Prieto was supported by Largo Caballero's wing of the party, as the latter believed that the fall of the monarchy was necessary so that socialism could rise to power.
Second Spanish Republic
As Minister of Public Works in the 1931–1933 government of Manuel Azaña, he continued and expanded the policy of hydroelectric projects that had been begun during the Primo de Rivera dictatorship, as well as the ambitious plan of infrastructural improvements in Madrid, such as the new Chamartín railway station and the tunnel under Madrid linking it to Atocha railway station. Most of those works that would not be completed until after the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War.
Unlike Largo Caballero, he opposed the general strike and the failed armed rising in October 1934,[dubious ] but he again fled to France to escape possible prosecution. Before the republic, Prieto had arguably maintained a morr radical line than Largo Caballero, but he would now be identified as a relative moderate and opposed Largo Caballero's more revolutionary tendency.
Prieto gave a thrilling campaign speech in Cuenca on 1 May 1936, prior to the 3 May repetition of the February 1936 election in the district in which the Popular Front would face among the right-wing rival José Antonio Primo de Rivera and, after the resignation of General Francisco Franco as candidate, Manuel Casanova. He brought Regenerationist memories and proposed Keynesian measures to develop the domestic market of the country. In words directed towards the firebrand faction of Largo Cabrello, Prieto asked for moderation, discipline and the disregarding of revolutionary excesses that would put the democratic government in peril. The speech in which Prieto also displayed a deep sense of patriotism (he claimed to "carry Spain within his heart" and "in the marrow of his bones") was celebrated by the republican press, and it was received well even by José Antonio, then in prison. However, it was met with hostility among the radicals, deepening the rupture within the party.
Spanish Civil War
After the beginning of the Civil War, when news of the ruthless and systematic executions of Loyalists by the Nationalists, as part of General Mola's policy of instilling terror in their ranks, began to filter to the areas held by the government, Prieto made a fervent plea to Spanish republicans on 8 August in a radiocast:
Don't imitate them! Don't imitate them! Surpass them in moral conduct; surpass them by being generous. I do not ask you, however, that you should lose either strength in battle or zeal in the fight. I ask for brave, hard and steely breasts for the combat,... but with sensitive hearts, capable of shaking when faced with human sorrow and being able to harbour mercy and tender feelings, without which the most essential part of human greatness is lost.
However, a couple of weeks after those words, the Modelo Massacre took place in Madrid, much to the dismay of many Popular Front leaders. Saddened, Prieto is recorded as expressing his pessimism with these words: "with this brutality we have lost the war".
After the May 3–8, 1937 events in Barcelona in which the communists and the government forces tried to establish control over the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) and the anarchist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), the government of Largo Caballero was replaced by that of Juan Negrín, with Prieto being Minister of Defense. Lacking support from the democratic powers, such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Spanish Republic was subject to severe international isolation during Prieto's last ministry in Spain. Maritime access for Soviet material aid was effectively cut off by the attacks of Italian submarines, and the French border remained closed.
After the defeat of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces on the northern front in October 1937, he offered his resignation, which was rejected. Prieto finally left the government after the March 1938 defeat on the Aragon front after an escalating dispute with the communists.
He refrained from active political life for the remainder of the war, exiling himself to Mexico. In 1945, toward the end of World War II, he was one of those who attempted to form a republican government-in-exile and hoped to reach an accord with the monarchist opposition to Francisco Franco, the ruler of Spain since the end of the Civil War, with a view to restoring Spanish democracy. The failure of that initiative led to his definitive retirement from active politics. He died in Mexico City in 1962.
In Mexico, he wrote several books, such as Palabras al viento (Words in the Wind, 1942), Discursos en América (Discourses in America, 1944) and at the end of his life, Cartas a un escultor: pequeños detalles de grandes sucesos (Letters to a Sculptor: Small Details of Great events, 1962).
Supporting of the notion of further devolution to the Basque Provinces and Navarra, Prieto was greatly opposed to separatism as well as towards the plans of the Basque nationalists in the draft of the Estella Statute, fearing the prospect of the territory becoming a "reactionary Gibraltar and a clerical stronghold".
- Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. p. 40
- Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931–1939. Princeton University Press. 1967. Princeton. p. 91
- Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War Penguin Books.London. 2003. p. 40
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London: Penguin Books, 2006, p. 17
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. London: Penguin Books, 2006, p. 18
- Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931–1939. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1967, p. 24
- Beevor, Antony. The battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 21
- Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931–1939. Princeton University Press. 1967. Princeton. pp. 91–92
- Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931–1939. Princeton University Press. 1967. Princeton. p. 93
- Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books.London. 2001. p. 126
- López Villaverde 1999, p. 16.
- López Villaverde 1999, p. 18.
- López Villaverde 1999, p. 17.
- Redondo 1993, p. 43; Cabezas 2005, pp. 333–34
- ¡No los imitéis! ¡No los imitéis! Superadlos en vuestra conducta moral; superadlos en vuestra generosidad. Yo no os pido, conste, que perdáis vigor en la lucha, ardor en la pelea. Pido pechos duros para el combate, duros, de acero, como se denominan algunas de las milicias valientes—pechos de acero—pero corazones sensibles, capaces de estremecerse ante el dolor humano y de ser albergue de la piedad, tierno sentimiento, sin el cual parece que se pierde lo más esencial de la grandeza humana." Wikiquote, Indalecio Prieto
- Redondo 1993, p. 43.
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 146
- Beevor, Antony. The battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 271
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. pp. 289–90
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 302
- Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 336
- Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution and Revenge. Harper Perennial. 2006. London. p. 319
- Beevor, Antony. The battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. p. 425
- Granja Sainz 2008, p. 275.
- Beevor, Antony. The battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. ISBN 0-14-303765-X
- Cabezas, Octavio (2005). Indalecio Prieto, socialista y español. Algaba Ediciones. ISBN 84-96107-45-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Graham, Helen. The Spanish Civil War. A very short introduction. Oxford University Press. New York. 2005. ISBN 978-0-19-280377-1
- Granja Sainz, José Luis de la (2008). Nacionalismo y II República en el País Vasco: Estatutos de autonomía, partidos y elecciones. Historia de Acción Nacionalista Vasca, 1930–1936. Madrid: Siglo XXI. ISBN 978-84-323-1309-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931–1939. Princeton University Press. 1967. Princeton. ISBN 0-691-00757-8
- López Villaverde, Ángel Luis (1999). "Indalecio Prieto en Cuenca: Comentarios al discurso pronunciado el 1º de mayo de 1936" (PDF). Añil (19). ISSN 1133-2263.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Redondo, Gonzalo (1993). Historia de la Iglesia en España, 1931–1939: La Guerra Civil, 1936–1939. Madrid: Rialp. ISBN 84-321-3016-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. ISBN 978-0-14-101161-5
Gabino Bugallal Araújo
| Minister of Finance
Jaime Carner Romeu
Diego Martínez Barrio
| Minister of Public Works
Rafael Guerra del Río
Fracisco Matz Sánchez
| Minister of the Navy and Air Force
as Minister of National Defense
as Minister of the Navy and Air Force
| Minister of National Defence
|Party political offices|
Enrique de Francisco
| President of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party