Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of History

Committee Chair

Olavi Arens

Committee Member 1

Allison Belzer

Committee Member 2

James Todesca


The Spanish Civil War took place in Spain from 1936-1939, when the conservative Spanish Army generals rebelled against the democratically-elected government. Dozens of countries signed a Non-Intervention Pact and the United States declared itself neutral. However, thousands of international volunteers from over fifty countries poured over the borders into Spain to help the government fight the rebels. In the 1930s, the rise of Hitler and Mussolini generated a general fear for European democracies like France and England, providing a motivation for European volunteers. This thesis focuses on the motivations of the American volunteers in the war. The objective is to examine the reasons why nearly 3,000 Americans from different backgrounds and experiences risked their lives to fight as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against General Franco’s forces. The paper will also investigate the volunteers’ emotions as they experienced the war to determine whether their convictions changed or not, and what the volunteers encountered upon their return to the United States.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material