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Franco's Spain

Page Title

Map of Spain

The title, Franco's Spain,what are the implications of this description?

Franciso Franco

Franco's Spain:Unity through religion
To be "Spanish"=To be Catholic

      The description of Spain during the years of 1939-1975 is usually referred to as "Franco's Spain."  During these thirty six years Spain was controlled by the dictator Francisco Franco. For some Spaniards this time in history was the best thing that happened to Spain, for others the worst. After the civil war in Spain(1936-1939) Franco took over as dictator. His dictatorship held close relations with the Catholic Church. Catholicism in Spain was nothing new at this time. If one is to take a look at the history of Catholicism concerning Spain in the late fifteenth century, one would find great similarities between the two. Isabel and Fernando, known as the catholic monarchs “los reyes catholicos,” reigned from 1474-1516. They had undertaken the reconquest of Spain, the conquest of the new world, and the inquisition. These three elements all include Catholicism. The reconquest was the retaking of Muslim Spain to Catholic Spain. In the new world Spain incorporated Christianity, and the inquisition mainly expelled or converted the Jews. Unity was the goal among the monarchs, unity by religion. This theme of unity is the same theme that coincides with the reign of Francisco Franco during middle twentieth century Spain. When Franco took power he converted Spain into the past. He outlawed anything that did not agree with catholic beliefs; this included contraceptives, homosexuality, practice of any other religion, prostitution, and divorce(all are presently legal). Franco even went as far has outlawing any other language than Spanish and took away all rights given to the autonomous regions of Spain. At this time church and state of Spain were one body and it was the responsibility of both to enforce the change towards unity. All forms of education and censorship were directed by the church.  Franco was given the power from the Vatican to elect church officials, a rare privilege given by the Vatican. Isolation was another concept that described Spain. Franco did not want outside ideas to influence the society of Spain. Not until the late 1950’s did he become more open to the rest of the world by making a military agreement with the United States. Tourism began in 1960, which created a positive economical boom for Spain. Germans, British, and Scandinavian cultures began to influence the Spaniards. The year of 1975, the year of Franco’s death, set the stage for the reconstruction of Spain yet again. Soon enough Spain seems to invert itself while joining the rest of the world. Spain created its constitution in 1978 and all rights and liberties taken from Franco were returned. Autonomies were returned to the Basque countries and Catalan. The joining of the European Union in 1986 aided Spain into its relations with Europe. In 1992 the Olympics were held in Barcelona, These examples support the trend of Spain into the nineteenth century. If you ask me, a trend that is quite opposite to Franco’s liking.

Timeline of Spain from 1936-2006

Isabel and Fernando "Los reyes catolicos"

The dictator of Spain 1936-1975
In Spanish Franco was called "el caudillo," in English "the leader/boss."


News article-Spain's Progress(2000)

After Franco

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Biography of Franco