Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

El Presidente Ha Dicho

[The President has spoken]. . Ministerio de Propaganda Lithograph, 2 colors; 65 x 88 cm.

This poster (c. 1937) is similar to poster 9 in this exhibit (El Presidente de la República ha dicho...) in that it too includes an excerpt from a speech given by Manuel Azaña, the President of the Republic, on January 21, 1937. Note the color scheme of the two predominant colors - red and black - of the communist and anarchist factions within the Republic. Here, the larger red text is overlaid on the smaller black text which contains the substantive text from Azaña's speech.

In the speech, Azaña developed key themes such as Madrid's resistance to Franco's troops and aid provided to Franco by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. As noted on poster #9 in this exhibit, part of Azaña's speech admonished Spaniards to continue the fight against Nationalist troops. In this poster, he seeks to reassure his listeners of the legitimacy and stability of the Republican government. The poster reads:

We are not prepared to admit that there is doubt nor that the slightest shadow falls upon the authority of the Republic, on the legitimacy of the regime, on the authority of the Government that embodies it, and on any of the representations of the official Spanish State. Regarding this. nothing. [It will be the] first to perish.

Manuel Azaña was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1880. A lawyer by training, he preferred writing fiction and literary criticism. Politically, Azaña was affiliated with the moderate Reformist Party of Melquiádez Alvarez until he founded his own Acción Republicana in 1927. When the Republic was declared in 1931, Azaña participated in the government as Minister of Defense. From March to October of 1931, he led the Republican government as premier and turned his attention to reforming the land tenure system, constructing more schools, hiring more qualified and secular educators, and curbing the clergy's influence in society. Azaña has been criticized for his lack of tact in accompanying his reform with scathing rhetoric. For example, after the burning of Madrid's religious buildings on May 10, 1931, Azaña was quoted as saying, "All the convents of Madrid are not worth the life of a single Republican." In 1934, Azaña was briefly imprisoned for allegedly being responsible for the revolutionary strikes that took place in the month of October. That same year, Azaña fused his Acción Republicana with other moderate parties to form Izquierda Republicana. This political party became the driving force behind the Popular Front coalition (which included the Socialists, the Communists, and other Republicans) that slimly defeated the right in the national elections of February 16, 1936. In October 1936, Azaña became President of the Republic, a post that he occupied throughout the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, he fled to Montauban, France, where he died of a heart attack on November 3, 1940.

 
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