Animal Farm/Spanish Civil War Similarities between Nationalist Spain and Manor Farm by Evan Beiles

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Although Francisco Franco, a Spanish dictator, and Napoleon, a character from the book Animal Farm, saw power in harsh leadership, the overwhelming domination in influence over their followers led to flawed decision making, such as going against all of their own beliefs and starting wars with other leaders.

Brief Summary

Animals from Manor Farm, led by totalitarianist pigs, tried to rebel against humans and take over humans government. They went by many strict policies, but in the end they broke these policies in order to fit the pigs’ wants. The pigs practically became humans by the end, but Manor Farm lived on.

How Animal Farm and the Spanish Civil War relate

This theme relates to the topic because of the pigs relate to Francisco Franco. Franco wanted to take over the Republic of Spain similar to how the pigs wanted to take over humans. Because of this, Franco recruited an army (like the pigs took their other animals) and took many lives to fight for his beliefs. But, similar to Animal Farm, Franco went against his anti-communist beliefs and he became a cruel dictator with communist beliefs (similar to Napoleon going against his to fit his needs)

The connection is not even mentioned in the book, as George Orwell could get in serious trouble by any of the communist governments at the time. When the Nationalists overthrew the Republicans, it was almost the exact same type of ruling that Franco did. Napoleon perfectly represents a Nationalist who turned into something else, something crueler.

Anarchists in Spain from 1936

Anarchists were a small part of the Spanish Civil War, they had an unsuccessful rebellion against the rebels.

Main Perspectives

Professor at Oxford - Britain, June 20, 1938

“For though I am insisting that in itself the legal issue is a simple one, I am very conscious that our policy in dealing with it cannot be determined without reference to many matters are far from simple. A recent writer in the Press has put this point very graphically. He likens the problem of the bombing to the fraction of an iceberg which is visible above the surface of the sea. It is not the visible part of the iceberg that constitutes the danger that shipping fears; it is the much larger invisible part below the surface. I think you have there a picture of this problem in its setting of the general European station, where what corresponds to the invisible part of the iceberg is the danger of war.” - J.L. Brierly

Modern USA

"Though he initially kept his distance from the plot, on July 18, 1936, Franco announced the Nationalist manifesto in a broadcast from the Canary Islands as the uprising began in the northwest of Spain. The next day, he flew to Morocco to take control of the troops, and shortly thereafter gained the support of both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, whose planes were used to shuttle Franco and his forces to Spain. Establishing his base of operations in Seville the following month, Franco began his military campaign, advancing north toward the seat of the Republican government in Madrid. Anticipating a swift victory, on October 1, 1936, the Nationalist forces declared Franco head of the government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. However, when their initial assault on Madrid was repelled, the military coup evolved into the protracted conflict known as the Spanish Civil War."

Modern Spain

"By the end of 1937, Franco had conquered the Basque lands and the Asturias and had also combined the fascist and monarchist political parties to form his Falange Española Tradicionalista while dissolving all others. In January 1939, the Republican stronghold of Barcelona fell to the Nationalists, followed two months later by Madrid. On April 1, 1939, after receiving an unconditional surrender, Francisco Franco announced the end of the Spanish Civil War. Sources vary, but many estimate the number of casualties resulting from the war as high as 500,000, with perhaps as many as 200,000 the result of executions perpetrated by Franco and his forces."

Felix Olmedo - Religious Spanish Man from the 1930s

"Above all this is a religious war, the most religious of all Spanish wars, that is to say, every war there has ever been and every war to come, because the enemies we are fighting now are the greatest the Church has had or can ever have, for, when all is said and done, the Turks, the Moors, the Jews, and the Protestants, whom we had to fight against in former times, all had their religions. But today's enemies are worse than the demons themselves because not only do they have no religion, but they are trying to destroy all our foundations and those of moral and religious order by denying the existence of God."

The amount of land conquered by the Nationalists in the first 4 months of the rebellion

The Spanish Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars of all time, over 200,000 people died, and some say that there were up to 600,000 deaths. Even though this is utterly terrible, it was all part of the process for their plan. Some are willing to kill and die for their beliefs, and that is what keeps everybody living.

Other Perspectives

Cary Nelson on the Spanish Civil War

In a longer historical perspective the Spanish Civil War amounts to the opening battle of World War II, perhaps the only time in living memory when the world confronted—in fascism and Nazism—something like unqualified evil. The men and women who understood this early on and who chose of their own free will to stand against fascism have thus earned a special status in history. Viewed internally, on the other hand, the Spanish Civil War was the culmination of a prolonged period of national political unrest—unrest in a country that was increasingly polarized and repeatedly unable to ameliorate the conditions of terrible poverty in which millions of its citizens lived.

Non-Spanish Fighting in the War

...the non-Spanish who fought in the war. If you were a European or American liberal, you would have probably supported the Republican side of the conflict and there were International Brigades formed by non-Spanish to fight against what they saw as the danger of spreading fascism. Some of those involved included Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell.

(Ernest Hemingway is a famous author and George Orwell writes Animal Farm)

The Nationalists took over most of Spain in a matter of days. Franco proved how he was always one step ahead, similar to Napoleon from Animal Farm. In the book, they also happened to have taken over the farm in a matter of days. After they killed a human, almost nothing could stop them except themselves.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. - Napoleon the pig

The 7th commandment changed as the book went on, it went from "all animals are equal" to "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"


The event and the book are extremely similar. Like every war, as Felix Olmedo claims, both sides fought for their beliefs. Everything that has ever happened in human history has been for one’s beliefs, such as who’s dominant, who gets land, who gains power, it’s all part of what they believe in. This is very strong in both Animal Farm and the Spanish Civil War, fighting for power and overthrowing a previous power.

Works Cited

“Anarchists during the Spanish Civil War.”, Libcom, 20 Feb. 2012,

Brierly, JL. “Bombs and the Law.” Explora, Explora,

“Francisco Franco.”, A&E Networks Television, 10 June 2016,

(, John Simkin. “Spartacus Educational.” Spartacus Educational, Spartacus Educational, Sept. 1997,

Nelson, Cary. “The Spanish Civil War: An Overview--by Cary Nelson.” The Spanish Civil War: An Overview--by Cary Nelson, Modern American Poetry, 2001,

“Perspective:Spanish Civil War.” Perspective, 30 July 2007,

“Spanish Civil War Breaks Out.”, A&E Television Networks, 2010,

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