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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Spain has never forgotten Gibraltar


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continuously in recent years,

and have been an issue which has divided Spaniards. Many of the conservative elements of Spain have long been, not so much pro-German, as anti-French, and they have been supported by those parts of the masses which follow the lead of the church or else take no great interest in politics. The causes of this Francophobe feeling are numerous. The _Dos de Mayo_, Spain's national holiday, stands for an uprising against the French, followed by the glorious War of Independence, although, to be sure, this has of late exercised but little influence; many French writers have written disparagingly or in a patronizing manner of Spain, causing a natural feeling of resentment; Spanish American countries have asserted that France is their intellectual mother, not Spain, and this may have had an effect, though comparatively little, on the minds of some; mere propinquity with France, which is the only great power bordering upon the peninsula, has brought about a certain hostility which neighboring peoples so often feel with regard to each other; the affronts which Spain claims to have received at French hands in Morocco have had great weight; and the already hostile attitude of the clergy against republican France was enhanced when that country broke with the Catholic Church a few years ago. As regards England, Spain has never forgotten Gibraltar. With Germany, on the other hand, there has been little occasion for friction, and German commercial competition with England for Spanish markets has
been welcomed as beneficial to the country. The radical and liberal elements, which include the intellectuals, and, generally speaking, the Liberal party have favored the _Entente_ as against the Central Powers, and their position has been very greatly strengthened by the evident support of the king. In part, pro-_Entente_ feeling has been a matter of political principle, because of the liberal types of government in France and England, the only two countries of the _Entente_ allies (prior to American entry in the Great War) to whom Spaniards have paid attention. In large measure, however, the Spanish point of view has been the result of a certain practical, materialistic trait which is ingrained in Spanish character. Thus Spaniards have pointed out that it would be fatal for Spain to side with Germany, since her wide separation from the latter, coupled with British naval supremacy, would make it unlikely that German arms could be of any assistance to Spain. Commercial and other reasons have also been adduced to show that Spain could _gain_ nothing by an alliance with Germany. These views have developed in the course of the Great War until Spain has become rather more inclined to the allies than to the Germans. It is not improbable, however, that an allied disaster might be seized upon by the pro-German military element to swing Spain the other way, for the army is still a factor to be reckoned with in Spanish politics. On the other hand, many leading Spaniards have argued that there would be no advantage for Spain if she should enter the war, whereas there has thus far been a distinct benefit for certain elements in the population, in the shape of abnormal war profits, through remaining neutral. Lately, however, great misery has been occasioned as a result of Spain's inability to procure needed supplies from the allies and the danger from the German submarines.


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