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The Plundering of the Vanquished

The Economic Repression during Early Francoism

Julio Prada Rodríguez

Economic repression became a keystone of the social exclusion policies of the Franco dictatorship from the stage of the coup dʼétat. Beyond its utility in provisioning the warfronts and for the proper functioning of the rearguard, it became a valuable deterrent and a weapon of intimidation that smothered any expression of non-conformity. If its efficiency was so remarkable, this was due to the fact that it did not act in an isolated fashion, but projected itself on the social body that had already suffered the combined effects of the Civil War, the physical repression and the rest of the coercive and social control mechanisms employed by the regime.

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The Profiles of the Repressed


The profiles of those who were fined after the declaration of a state of war has already been sketched. In the case of the asset seizures and the financial penalties imposed in accordance with the LRP and the legislation governing civil liability, the differences between the economic and social structure and the political reality of each province introduce quite a few nuances that make it difficult to offer a general overview. Nonetheless, the repressed were more often than not married men whose average age placed them among the most socially active groups, in accordance with a broad range of grounds for liability relating to the holding of offices in local administration and political parties, trade unions and other organizations that had lent their support to the Popular Front. There was also a large number of people below the age of thirty, which evinces the notable involvement of this sector in the Republican and left-wing political and social mobilization characterizing the Second Republic (Martínez López 2015: 86; Prada Rodríguez, 2016a: 187).

The social and professional standing of the accused reflects, as is only to be expected, the peculiarities of each area, although it is evidently a hard task to classify professions in minimally uniform groups, which is not helped by the vagueness of the sources. This can lead to very mixed results depending on the group in which specific trades are included. A good example of this is Madrid for which M. Álvaro Due...

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