Miguel Primo de Rivera: The Effects of his Dictatorship

Historical account of General Miguel Primo de Rivera’s coup d’etat, the conditions under which he ruled Spain, and the consequences of his rule.

On 13 September 1923, General Miguel Primo de Rivera launched a successful and bloodless coup d’etat, beginning seven years of dictatorship in Spain. Primo de Rivera was a maladroit politician filled with the fervor of Spanish patriotism thought sufficient to navigate his dictatorship through the murky waters of politics. This paper will argue that the regime was more of a developmental dictatorship than one based in the usual fundamentals of autocracy. It concerns itself instead with describing the political realities in which the Primo de Rivera dictatorship was based, before moving on to discuss the objectives and achievements of the regime. The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which the dictatorship may have influenced the cataclysmic developments that drew the nation into Civil War less than a decade after the collapse of the Primo de Rivera regime.