popular front

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popular front

In European politics, any coalition of working-class and middle-class political parties united to defend democracy against an expected fascist assault. The policy of a “united front” against fascism was announced at the communist Third International (1935); it was to include not only communists and socialists but also liberals, moderates, and even conservatives. Popular-front governments were formed in France and Spain in 1936, but the financial consequences of the reforms undertaken by the French government, under Léon Blum, proved its undoing, and the Spanish government was brought down by Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

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