Land reform and peasant revolution. Evidence from 1930s Spain Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2017

start page

  • 82

end page

  • 103


  • 64

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-4983

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1090-2457


  • We analyze the impact of failed land reform on peasant conflict in Spain before the Civil War using a municipal data set with monthly observations of peasant conflict in Andalusia from April 1931 to July 1936. We find temporary occupations of land were rare and not correlated with either organized reaction to land reform or the existence of a large pool of beneficiaries. Potential beneficiaries of reform struck more often in the period of land reform deployment, especially in towns with a legacy of domination by a noble family and no previous experience of reform. There is some evidence that actual land reform implementation reduced strikes, most prominently in towns that had not been affected by land reform until the 1930s. We argue both sets of evidence suggest that faster re-distribution would have reduced conflict and that the effects of incomplete land reform were stronger in towns with no previous history of land reform.


  • land reform; conflict; revolution; re-distribution; property rights; peasantry; agrarian economies; rural revolt; conflict; polarization; politics; india