THE SPANISH STRUGGLE.
In 1931, at the proclamation of the Republic, the Government was in the hands of a Socialist, Liberal and Republican Coalition.
For the first time in the history of Spain, the Government programme contained effective social reforms, among them the question of agrarian reform, of the redistribution of the land, of protection for the unemployed, and of the liberty of the individual.
It was an enormous task that had to be accomplished. Three-fifths of the Spanish population is composed of peasants, mainly agricultural labourers. They lived under a regime which recalls the servitude of the Middle Ages. The plan of the landlords was to let out the land for a duration of 20 years, and for this the tenants had to pay a percentage on the average production of the land that was tilled. When the weather was favourable things would pass normally, the cultivator was able to meet his contracts, although this was only as the result of tremendous efforts and economies. When the bad years came, he could not meet his engagements, and had to mortgage the crop for the