In the early 1930s, 90 years before Wisconsin, as the worldwide Depression ripped through Spain, a citizenry that already had been suffering under a dictatorship and a monarchist with little sympathy for the people, managed to overthrow their leaders. For the most part, they employed a novel way of doing so — the ballot box. By 1936, after years of electoral victories by Republican and Socialist parties, the king and dictator were long gone; a Republic had been declared, much to the alarm of the still powerful rightwing factions, loyal to the deposed ruling classes. The Falangists got most of their early support from Mussolini. After the Popular Front won a majority of seats in the parliament, military leaders led by Francisco Franco plotted their overthrow. Now, they were backed by Hitler, who sought to use Spain as a way of sharpening his newly strengthened military (aided by US corporations) while also testing to see how western democracies would respond to his aggression.
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