Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Committee Member

Dr. Richard L. Saunders

Committee Member

Dr. Alan Grubb

Committee Member

Dr. Steven G. Marks

Abstract

The following study endeavors to synthesize knowledge on what has heretofore been an almost entirely unexplored factor in the internationalized Spanish Civil War, that of the debate between Roman Catholics and Protestants in the United States. Upon examining documentary evidence collected from three different periodicals from either denominational camp between February, 1936 and June, 1939, a number of suggestive conclusions have been reached. First, American Catholics and Protestants were fundamentally at odds regarding the Spanish Republic, the Popular Front, and Francisco Franco's Nationalist insurgency which rose five months after the election of that Leftist coalition. This study indicates that Catholics universally, but not unfairly, condemned the Popular Front as a Soviet construct, bent upon fomenting revolutionary chaos and, hence, supported the rebellion as the shield and the sword of Western Civilization and Christendom. Conversely, Protestant opinion adamantly defended the Spanish government which, despite containing some unpleasant radical elements, would nevertheless be represented as being in consonance with the democratic tradition and humankind's hatred of squalid backwardness.

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