Francisco Franco
Overview
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde (fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko; 4 December 1892 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 (as a unified nation from 1939 onwards), and de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975. He came to power as a prominent member of the far-right Falange movement, although this was for propaganda reasons as he belonged to no political party before becoming Head of State.
Timeline

1936    Francisco Franco is named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.

1937    Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.

1939    Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to nationalist General Francisco Franco and aided by Italy take Barcelona.

1939    Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquers Madrid.

1939    Generalísimo Francisco Franco of the Spanish State announces the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrender.

1975    Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain's acting head of state, taking over for the country's ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.

1975    Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain, dies after 36 years in power.

1975    Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco.

1982    Spanish Socialist Workers' Party wins elections, leading to first Socialist government in Spain after death of Franco. Felipe Gonzalez becomes Prime Minister-elect.

Quotations

One thing that I am sure of, and which I can answer truthfully, is that whatever the contingencies that may arise here, wherever I am there will be no Communism.

In discussion with Niceto Alcalá-Zamora|Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, as quoted in Francisco Franco : The Times and the Man (1938) by Joaquin Arraras, p. 158

Let us be under no illusion. The Jewish spirit, which was responsible for the alliance of large-scale capital with Karl Marx|Marxism and was the driving force behind so many anti-Spanish revolutionary agreements, will not be got rid of in a day.

Victory speech in Madrid (19 May 1939)

The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Spain can be explained in two words: Masonry and Communism... we have to extirpate these two evils from our land.

Writing under the alias Jakin Boor in the journal Arriba in an article, "Masonry and Communism" (14 December 1946), as quoted in Franco: A Biography by Juan Pablo Fusi Aizpurúạ, p. 71

The defence of internal peace and order constitutes the sacred mission of a nation's armed forces and that is what we have carried out.

As quoted in The Tyrants : 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006) by Clive Foss, p. 143, ISBN 1905204965

Encyclopedia
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde (fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko; 4 December 1892 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 (as a unified nation from 1939 onwards), and de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975. He came to power as a prominent member of the far-right Falange movement, although this was for propaganda reasons as he belonged to no political party before becoming Head of State. As head of state, Franco used the title Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios, meaning Leader of Spain, by the grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

, but also was called formally as His Excellency, The Head Of State.

Franco was from a military family, and although originally intent on entering the Spanish Navy
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

, he instead became a soldier. He participated in the Rif War
Rif War (1920)
The Rif War, also called the Second Moroccan War, was fought between Spain and the Moroccan Rif Berbers.-Rifian forces:...

 in Morocco
Spanish Morocco
The Spanish protectorate of Morocco was the area of Morocco under colonial rule by the Spanish Empire, established by the Treaty of Fez in 1912 and ending in 1956, when both France and Spain recognized Moroccan independence.-Territorial borders:...

, becoming the youngest general in Europe by 1926. After returning to the Spanish mainland, he saw service suppressing an anarchist-led strike in 1934, defending the stability of Alcalá-Zamora
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Torres was a Spanish lawyer and politician who served, briefly, as the first premier minister of the Second Spanish Republic, and then — from 1931 to 1936—as its president....

's conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 government. Following the formation of a Popular Front
Popular Front (Spain)
The Popular Front in Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalition and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organisations, instigated by Manuel Azaña for the purpose of contesting that year's election....

 government, made up of various left-wing factions, instability heightened. Violence between militant groups rose sharply with assassination of conservative parliamentary leader José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo was a Spanish politician prior to and during the Second Spanish Republic...

 in retaliation for the killing of José Castillo
José Castillo (Spanish Civil War)
José del Castillo Sáez de Tejada or José Castillo was a Spanish Police Guardia de Asalto lieutenant during the Second Spanish Republic...

. Franco and his co-conspirators used Calvo's death as their pretext for war, even though they had already initiated the plan for their rebellion.

Franco and the military participated in a coup d'état against the Popular Front government. The coup failed and devolved into the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 during which Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists against the Popular Front government. After winning the civil war with military aid from Italy and Germany — while the Soviet Union and various Internationalists aided the Republicans —, he dissolved the Spanish Parliament. He then established a right-wing authoritarian regime that lasted until 1978, when a new constitution was drafted. During World War II, Franco officially maintained a policy of non-belligerency and later of neutrality, in part because Spain had not recovered from the considerable damage of the civil war. However, he supported the volunteer Blue Division
Blue Division
The Blue Division officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the German Army, was a unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.-Origins:Although Spanish leader Field...

 who fought with the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. He was initially disliked by Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

n Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader who served as the leader of Cuba from 1933 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution....

, who, during World War II, had suggested a joint U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n assault on Spain in order to overthrow Franco's regime.

After the end of World War II, Franco maintained his control in Spain through the implementation of austere measures: the systematic suppression of dissident views through censorship and coercion
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

, the imprisonment of ideologically opposed enemies in concentration camp
Administrative detention
Administrative detention is arrest and detention of individuals by the state without trial, usually for security reasons. A large number of countries, both democratic and undemocratic, resort to administrative detention as a means to combat terrorism, control illegal immigration, or to protect the...

s throughout the country (such as Los Merinales in Seville, San Marcos in León, Castuera in Extremadura, and Miranda de Ebro), the implementation of forced labor in prisons, and the use of the death penalty and heavy prison sentences as deterrents for his ideological enemies. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the United States established a diplomatic and trade alliance with Spain, due to Franco's strong anti-Communist policy. American President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 toasted Franco, and, after Franco's death, stated: "General Franco was a loyal friend and ally of the United States." After his death, Spain gradually began its transition to democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

. Today, pre-constitutional symbols from the Franco regime—such as the national Coat of arms
Coat of arms of Spain
The current coat of arms of Spain, although it has its roots centuries ago, was approved by law in 1981, when the present established replaced the interim version which, in turn, replaced the official arms of Francoist Spain...

 or flag with the Imperial Eagle—are banned by law in Spain.

Early life

Francisco Franco was born at 12:30 on December 4, 1892 at number 108 Calle Frutos Saavedra, Ferrol (currently known as Calle María), in the city's old town
Old Town
Old Town is the typical designation of a historic or original core of a city or town. Although the city may be larger in its present form, many cities have redesignated this part of the city to commemorate its origins after thorough renovations...

. He was baptised on December 17 at the military church of San Francisco with the baptismal names Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo: Francisco for his paternal grandfather, Paulino for his godfather, Hermenegildo for his maternal grandmother and godmother and Teódulo for the saint day
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of his birth.

The Franco family was originally from Andalucia. Since relocating to Galicia they were strongly involved in the Spanish Navy
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

 and over two centuries produced naval officers for six generations uninterrupted, right down to Franco's father Nicolás Franco y Salgado-Araújo (22 November 1855 – 22 February 1942).

Franco's mother was María del Pilar Bahamonde y Pardo de Andrade (1865 – 28 February 1934), and his parents married in 1890. The young Franco spent much of his childhood with his two brothers, Nicolás (Ferrol, 1891–1977), a naval
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

 officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 and diplomat who in time was married to María Isabel Pascual del Pobil y Ravello, and Ramón
Ramón Franco
Ramón Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade , was a Galician pioneer of aviation, a political figure and brother of later dictator Francisco Franco...

 (a pioneering aviator
Aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

 and a member of Esquerra Republicana), and his two sisters, María del Pilar (Ferrol, 1894 – Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, 1989), later wife of Alonso Jaráiz y Jeréz, and María de la Paz (Ferrol, 1899 – Ferrol, 1900).

Rif War and rise through the ranks

Francisco was to follow his father into the Navy but as a result of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 the country lost much of its navy as well as most of its colonies. Not needing more officers, entry into the Naval Academy was closed from 1906 to 1913. To his father's chagrin, he decided to join the Spanish Army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

. In 1907, he entered the Infantry Academy in Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, from which he graduated in 1910. He was commissioned as a lieutenant. Two years later, he obtained a commission to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. Spanish efforts to physically occupy their new African protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 provoked the protracted Rif War
Rif War (1909)
The Second Melillan campaign was a conflict in 1909 and 1910 in Morocco around Melilla. The fighting involved local Rifains and the Spanish Army.- Prelude :...

 (from 1909 to 1927) with native Moroccans. Tactics at the time resulted in heavy losses among Spanish military officers
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

, but also gave the chance of earning promotion through merit. It was said that officers would get either la caja o la faja (a box or a girdle's sash). Franco soon gained a reputation as a good officer. He joined the newly formed regulares
Regulares
The Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas , known simply as the Regulares , were the volunteer infantry and cavalry units of the Spanish Army recruited in Spanish Morocco. They consisted of Moroccans officered by Spaniards...

, colonial native troops with Spanish officers, who acted as shock troops
Shock troops
Shock troops or assault troops are formations created to lead an attack. "Shock troop" is a loose translation of the German word Stoßtrupp...

.

In 1916, at the age of 23 and already a captain, he was badly wounded in a skirmish at El Biutz and possibly lost a testicle
Monorchism
-Causes:This can be due to:* One testicle not descending into the scrotum during normal embryonic or fetal development , also known as: undescended testis or cryptorchidism. In this case the testis is within the abdominal cavity, somewhere along the normal route of descent — most commonly,...

. His survival marked him permanently in the eyes of the native troops as a man of baraka
Baraka
Baraka means blessing in Hebrew, Arabic and Arabic-influenced languages. It may refer to:* Baraka, also berakhah, in Judaism, a blessing usually recited during a ceremony...

(good luck). He was also recommended unsuccessfully for Spain's highest honor for gallantry, the coveted Cruz Laureada de San Fernando. Instead, he was promoted to major field grade officer in the Spanish Army. From 1917 to 1920, he was posted on the Spanish mainland. That last year, Lieutenant Colonel José Millán Astray
José Millán Astray
José Millán-Astray y Terreros was a Spanish soldier, the founder and first commander of the Spanish Foreign Legion, and a major early figure of Francisco Franco's Regime in Spain.- Early life :...

, a histrionic but charismatic officer, founded the Spanish Foreign Legion, along similar lines to the French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

. Franco became the Legion's second-in-command and returned to Africa. On 24 July 1921, the poorly commanded and overextended Spanish Army suffered a crushing defeat at Annual
Annual (Morocco)
Annual is a settlement in northeastern Morocco about 60 km west of Melilla. There, during the Rif War or War of Melilla, on July 22, 1921, the Spanish army suffered a grave military defeat against the Rifan Berber army, known as the "Battle of Annual"....

 at the hands of the Rif
Rif
The Rif or Riff is a mainly mountainous region of northern Morocco, with some fertile plains, stretching from Cape Spartel and Tangier in the west to Ras Kebdana and the Melwiyya River in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the river of Wergha in the south.It is part of the...

 tribes led by the Abd el-Krim brothers. The Legion symbolically, if not materially, saved the Spanish enclave of Melilla
Melilla
Melilla is a autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa...

 after a three-day forced march led by Franco. In 1923, already a lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

, he was made commander of the Legion.

The same year, he married María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdès
Carmen Polo
María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás, Grandee of Spain was the wife of Francisco Franco and a member of the Spanish nobility.-Family:...

; they had one child, a daughter, María del Carmen
Carmen Franco y Polo
María del Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco, Grandee of Spain, Dowager Marquise of Villaverde is the only child of Spain's Caudillo, dictator General Francisco Franco and his wife Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdès...

, born in 1926. As a special mark of honor, his best man (padrino) at the wedding was King Alfonso XIII
Alfonso XIII of Spain
Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until 1931. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was appointed regent during his minority...

, a fact that would mark him during the Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 as a monarchical officer. Promoted to colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, Franco led the first wave of troops ashore at Al Hoceima
Al Hoceima
Al Hoceima is a city and port in the north of Morocco and in the center of the Rif Mountains. The Al Hoceima city region has a population of 395.644 and is the capital of the Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate region...

 in 1925. This landing in the heartland of Abd el-Krim's tribe, combined with the French invasion from the south, spelled the beginning of the end for the short-lived Republic of the Rif
Republic of the Rif
The Republic of the Rif , was created in September 1921, when the people of the Rif revolted and declared their independence from Spanish occupation as well as from the Moroccan sultan.Its capital city was Ajdir, its currency the Rif Republic Riffan, its national...

. Becoming the youngest general in Spain in 1926, Franco was appointed in 1928 director of the newly created General Military Academy of Zaragoza, a new college for all Army cadet
Cadet
A cadet is a trainee to become an officer in the military, often a person who is a junior trainee. The term comes from the term "cadet" for younger sons of a noble family.- Military context :...

s, replacing the former separate institutions for young men seeking to become officers in infantry, cavalry, artillery, and other branches of the army.

During the Second Spanish Republic

With the fall of the monarchy in 1932, in keeping with his long-standing apolitical record, Franco did not take any notable stand. But the closing of the Academy, in June, by War Minister Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña Díaz was a Spanish politician. He was the first Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic , and later served again as Prime Minister , and then as the second and last President of the Republic . The Spanish Civil War broke out while he was President...

, provoked his first clash with the Republic. Azaña found Franco's farewell speech to the cadets insulting. For six months, Franco was without a post and under surveillance.

On 5 February 1932, he was given a command in A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

. Franco avoided involvement in José Sanjurjo
José Sanjurjo
General José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 1st Marquis of the Rif was a General in the Spanish Army who was one of the chief conspirators in the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

's attempted coup that year, and even wrote a hostile letter to Sanjurjo expressing his anger over the attempt. As a side result of Azaña's military reform, in January 1933, Franco was relegated from the first to the 24th in the list of Brigadiers; conversely, the same year (17 February), he was given the military command of the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

: a post above his rank.

New elections held in October 1933 resulted in a center-right majority. In opposition to this government, a revolutionary movement broke out 5 October 1934. This uprising was rapidly quelled in most of the country, but gained a stronghold in Asturias
Asturias
The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

, with the support of the miner
Miner
A miner is a person whose work or business is to extract ore or minerals from the earth. Mining is one of the most dangerous trades in the world. In some countries miners lack social guarantees and in case of injury may be left to cope without assistance....

s' unions. Franco, already general of a Division and aide to the war minister, Diego Hidalgo
Diego Hidalgo y Durán
Diego Hidalgo y Durán was a Spanish intellectual entrepreneur, and Minister of War during the Second Spanish Republic .-Biography:...

, was put in command of the operations directed to suppress the insurgency. The forces of the Army in Africa were to carry the brunt of this, with General Eduardo López Ochoa
Eduardo López Ochoa
Eduardo López Ochoa y Portoundo was a Spanish general, Africanist, and prominent freemason. He was known for most of his life as a traditional Republican, and conspired against the government of Miguel Primo de Rivera...

 as commander in the field. After two weeks of heavy fighting (and a death toll estimated between 1,200 and 2,000), the rebellion was suppressed.

The insurgency in Asturias sharpened the antagonism between Left and Right. Franco and López Ochoa—who, prior to the campaign in Asturias, was seen as a left-leaning officer—were marked by the left as enemies. At the start of the Civil War, López Ochoa was assassinated. Some time after these events, Franco was briefly commander-in-chief of the Army of Africa (from 15 February onwards), and from 19 May 1935 on, Chief of the General Staff.

General election of 1936

After the ruling centre-right coalition collapsed amid the Straperlo
Straperlo
Straperlo was a business which tried to introduce in Spain in the 1930s a fraudulent roulette which could be controlled electrically with the push of a button...

 corruption scandal, new elections were scheduled. Two wide coalitions formed: the Popular Front
Popular Front (Spain)
The Popular Front in Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalition and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organisations, instigated by Manuel Azaña for the purpose of contesting that year's election....

 on the left, ranging from Republican Union Party
Republican Union Party
The Republican Union was a Spanish republican party founded in 1934 by Diego Martinez Barrio.It was formed as a result of a merger of several small republican parties, including notably Diego Martinez Barrio's Radical Democratic Party founded in May 1934 by a split from Alejandro Lerroux's Radical...

 to Communists, and the Frente Nacional on the right, ranging from the center radicals
Radicalism (historical)
The term Radical was used during the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement. It later became a general pejorative term for those favoring or seeking political reforms which include dramatic changes to the social order...

 to the conservative Carlists
Carlism
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

. On 16 February 1936, the left won by a narrow margin. Growing political bitterness surfaced again. The government and its supporters, the Popular Front, had launched a campaign against the Opposition whom they accused of plotting against the Republic. According to the right wing opposition, the real enemies of the Republic were not on the Right but on the Left; Spain was in imminent danger of falling under a Communist dictatorship, and therefore by fighting the democratically elected Popular Front they, the opposition, were merely doing their duty in defence of law and order and of the freedom and the fundamental rights of the Spanish people.

The days after the election were marked by near-chaotic circumstances.

On 23 February, Franco was sent to the distant Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 to serve as the islands' military commander, a position in which he had few troops under his command. Meanwhile, a conspiracy led by Emilio Mola
Emilio Mola
Emilio Mola y Vidal, 1st Duke of Mola, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish Nationalist commander during the Spanish Civil War. He is best-known for having coined the term "fifth column".-Early life:...

 was taking shape. In June, Franco was contacted and a secret meeting was held in Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

's La Esperanza Forest to discuss a military coup. (An obelisk commemorating this historic meeting can be found in a clearing at Las Raíces.)

Outwardly, Franco maintained an ambiguous attitude almost up until July. On 23 June 1936, he wrote to the head of the government, Casares Quiroga, offering to quell the discontent in the army, but was not answered. The other rebels were determined to go ahead, con Paquito o sin Paquito (with Franco or without him), as it was put by José Sanjurjo
José Sanjurjo
General José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 1st Marquis of the Rif was a General in the Spanish Army who was one of the chief conspirators in the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

, the honorary leader of the military uprising. After various postponements, 18 July was fixed as the date of the uprising. The situation reached a point of no return and, as presented to Franco by Mola, the coup was unavoidable and he had to choose a side. He decided to join the rebels and was given the task of commanding the Army of Africa. A privately owned DH 89 De Havilland Dragon Rapide
De Havilland Dragon Rapide
The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a British short-haul passenger airliner of the 1930s.-Design and development:Designed by the de Havilland company in late 1933 as a faster and more comfortable successor to the DH.84 Dragon, it was in effect a twin-engined, scaled-down version of the...

, flown by two British MI6 agents, Cecil Bebb
Cecil Bebb
Captain Cecil Bebb was a British MI6 officer and freelance pilot who flew General Francisco Franco from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco in 1936, a journey which was to trigger the onset of the Spanish Civil War.-Events of July 1936:...

 and Hugh Pollard
Hugh Pollard (Major)
Major Hugh Bertie Campbell Pollard was an author, firearms expert, and a British SOE officer. He is chiefly known for his intelligence work during the Irish War of Independence and for the events of July 1936, when he and his SOE colleague Cecil Bebb flew General Francisco Franco from the Canary...

, was chartered in England 11 July to take Franco to Africa.

The assassination of the right-wing opposition leader José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo was a Spanish politician prior to and during the Second Spanish Republic...

 by government police troops, possibly acting on their own in retaliation for the murder of José Castillo
José Castillo (Spanish Civil War)
José del Castillo Sáez de Tejada or José Castillo was a Spanish Police Guardia de Asalto lieutenant during the Second Spanish Republic...

, precipitated the uprising. On 17 July one day earlier than planned, the African Army rebelled, detaining their commanders. On 18 July, Franco published a manifesto and left for Africa, where he arrived the next day to take command.

A week later, the rebels, who soon called themselves the Nationalists, controlled a third of Spain, but most navy units remained under control of the Republican loyalist forces, which left Franco isolated. The coup had failed, but the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 had begun.

From the Spanish Civil War to World War II

The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 and officially ended with Franco's victory in April 1939, leaving 190,000 to 500,000 dead. Despite the Non-Intervention Agreement of August 1936, the war was marked by foreign intervention
Foreign involvement in the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War had large numbers of non-Spanish citizens participating in combat and advisory positions. Foreign governments contributed varying amounts of financial assistance and military aid to Nationalist forces led by Generalísimo Francisco Franco and those fighting on behalf of the...

 on behalf of both sides, leading to international repercussions. The nationalist side was supported by Fascist Italy, which sent the Corpo Truppe Volontarie
Corpo Truppe Volontarie
The Corps of Volunteer Troops was an Italian expeditionary force which was sent to Spain to support General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War...

, and later by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, which assisted with the Condor Legion
Condor Legion
The Condor Legion was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force and from the German Army which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War...

. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 strictly adhered to the arms embargo, provoking dissensions within the French Popular Front
Popular Front (France)
The Popular Front was an alliance of left-wing movements, including the French Communist Party , the French Section of the Workers' International and the Radical and Socialist Party, during the interwar period...

 coalition led by Léon Blum
Léon Blum
André Léon Blum was a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and three times the Prime Minister of France.-First political experiences:...

, but the Republican side was nonetheless supported by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and volunteers fighting in the International Brigades
International Brigades
The International Brigades were military units made up of volunteers from different countries, who traveled to Spain to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939....

 (see for example Ken Loach
Ken Loach
Kenneth "Ken" Loach is a Palme D'Or winning English film and television director.He is known for his naturalistic, social realist directing style and for his socialist beliefs, which are evident in his film treatment of social issues such as homelessness , labour rights and child abuse at the...

's Land and Freedom
Land and Freedom
Land and Freedom is a 1995 film directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. The film narrates the story of David Carr, an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, who decides to fight for the republican side in the Spanish Civil War...

).

Because Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 used the war as a testing ground for modern warfare, some historians, such as Ernst Nolte
Ernst Nolte
Ernst Nolte is a German historian and philosopher. Nolte’s major interest is the comparative studies of Fascism and Communism. He is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the Free University of Berlin, where he taught from 1973 to 1991. He was previously a Professor at the University of Marburg...

, have considered the Spanish Civil War, along with World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, part of a "European Civil War
European Civil War
The European Civil War is a term that is used to characterise both World War I and World War II and the inter-war period as a protracted civil war taking place in Europe. It is used in referring to the repeated confrontations that occurred during the first-half of the 20th century...

" lasting from 1936 to 1945 and characterized mainly as a left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

/right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 ideological conflict. However, this interpretation has not found acceptance among most historians, who consider the Spanish Civil War and Second World War to be two distinct conflicts. Among other things, they point to the political heterogeneity on both sides (See Spanish Civil War: other factions) and criticize a monolithic interpretation which overlooks the local nuances of Spanish history
History of Spain
The history of Spain involves all the other peoples and nations within the Iberian peninsula formerly known as Hispania, and includes still today the nations of Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain...

.

The first months

Despite Franco's having no money, while the state treasury was in Madrid with the government, there was an organized economic lobby in London looking after his financial needs with Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 as their operational base. Eventually, he was to receive important help from his economic and diplomatic boosters abroad.

Following the 18 July 1936, pronunciamiento
Pronunciamiento
A pronunciamiento is a form of military rebellion or coup d'état peculiar to Spain and the Spanish American republics, particularly in the 19th century...

, Franco assumed the leadership of the 30,000 soldiers of the Spanish Army of Africa
Spanish Army of Africa
The Army of Africa was a Spanish field army that garrisoned Spanish Morocco from the early 20th century until Morocco's independence in 1956....

. The first days of the insurgency were marked with a serious need to secure control over the Spanish Moroccan Protectorate
Spanish Morocco
The Spanish protectorate of Morocco was the area of Morocco under colonial rule by the Spanish Empire, established by the Treaty of Fez in 1912 and ending in 1956, when both France and Spain recognized Moroccan independence.-Territorial borders:...

. On one side, Franco managed to win the support of the natives and their (nominal) authorities, and, on the other, to ensure his control over the army. This led to the summary execution of some 200 senior officers loyal to the Republic (one of them his own cousin). Also his loyal bodyguard was shot by a man known as Manuel Blanco. Franco's first problem was how to move his troops to the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, since most units of the Navy had remained in control of the Republic and were blocking the Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq , albeit the Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat or...

. He requested help from Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, who responded with an unconditional offer of arms and planes; in Germany, Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Franz Canaris was a German admiral, head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, from 1935 to 1944 and member of the German Resistance.- Early life and World War I :...

, the head of the Abwehr
Abwehr
The Abwehr was a German military intelligence organisation from 1921 to 1944. The term Abwehr was used as a concession to Allied demands that Germany's post-World War I intelligence activities be for "defensive" purposes only...

military intelligence, persuaded Hitler to also support the Nationalists. From 20 July onward, Franco was able, with a small group of 22 mainly German Junkers Ju 52
Junkers Ju 52
The Junkers Ju 52 was a German transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler...

 airplanes, to initiate an air bridge
Airbridge (logistics)
An airbridge is the route and means of delivering material from one place to another by an airlift.An airbridge is the means by which an airhead is kept supplied by overflying enemy held territory...

 to Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, where his troops helped to ensure the rebel control of the city. Through representatives, he started to negotiate with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy for more military support, and above all for more airplanes. Negotiations were successful with the last two on 25 July and airplanes began to arrive in Tetouan
Tétouan
Tetouan is a city in northern Morocco. The Berber name means literally "the eyes" and figuratively "the water springs". Tetouan is one of the two major ports of Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea. It lies a few miles south of the Strait of Gibraltar, and about 40 mi E.S.E. of Tangier...

 on 2 August. On 5 August Franco was able to break the blockade with the newly arrived air support, successfully deploying a ship convoy with some 2,000 soldiers.

In early August, the situation in western Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

 was stable enough to allow him to organize a column (some 15,000 men at its height), under the command of then Lieutenant-Colonel Juan Yagüe
Juan Yagüe
Juan Yagüe y Blanco, 1st Marquis of San Leonardo de Yagüe was a Spanish army officer during the Spanish Civil War, one of the most important in the National side.-Early life:...

, which would march through Extremadura
Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

 towards Madrid. On 11 August Mérida was taken
Battle of Mérida
The Battle of Mérida saw Republican militia twice fail to halt the Spanish Army of Africa near the historic town of Mérida early in the Spanish Civil War....

, and on 15 August Badajoz
Battle of Badajoz (1936)
The Battle of Badajoz was one of the first major Nationalist victories in the Spanish Civil War. A series of costly assaults won the Nationalists the fortified border city of Badajoz on August 14, 1936, cutting off the Spanish Republic from neighbouring Portugal and linking the northern and...

, thus joining both nationalist-controlled areas. Additionally, Mussolini ordered a voluntary army, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie
Corpo Truppe Volontarie
The Corps of Volunteer Troops was an Italian expeditionary force which was sent to Spain to support General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War...

(CTV) of some 12,000 Italians of fully motorized units to Seville and Hitler added to them a professional squadron from the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 (2JG/88) with about 24 planes. All these planes had the Nationalist Spanish insignia painted on them, but were flown by Italian and German troops. The backbone of Franco's aviation in those days were the Italian SM.79 and SM.81 bombers, the biplane Fiat CR.32 fighter and the German Junkers Ju 52
Junkers Ju 52
The Junkers Ju 52 was a German transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler...

 cargo-bomber and the Heinkel He 51
Heinkel He 51
-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Donald, David, ed. Warplanes of the Luftwaffe. London: Aerospace, 1994. ISBN 1-874023-56-5.* Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "The Cadre Creator...Heinkel's Last Fighting Biplane". Air Enthusiast No. 36, May-August 1988. pp. 11–24. ISSN 0143-5450.*...

 biplane fighter.

On 21 September, with the head of the column at the town of Maqueda
Maqueda
Maqueda is a Spanish town located 80 kilometers from Madrid and 45 kilometers from Toledo. Located within the autonomous community Castilla-La Mancha and the province of Toledo, Maqueda is located in the comarca of Torrijos...

 (some 80 km away from Madrid), Franco ordered a detour to free the besieged garrison at the Alcázar
Siege of the Alcázar
The Siege of the Alcázar was a highly symbolic Nationalist victory in Toledo in the opening stages of the Spanish Civil War. The Alcázar of Toledo was held by a variety of military forces in favor of the Nationalist uprising. Militias of the parties in the Popular Front began their siege on July 21...

 of Toledo, which was achieved 27 September. This controversial decision gave the Popular Front
Popular Front (Spain)
The Popular Front in Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalition and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organisations, instigated by Manuel Azaña for the purpose of contesting that year's election....

 time to strengthen its defenses in Madrid and hold the city that year but was an important morale and propaganda success.

Rise to power

The designated leader of the uprising, Gen. José Sanjurjo
José Sanjurjo
General José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 1st Marquis of the Rif was a General in the Spanish Army who was one of the chief conspirators in the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

 died on 20 July 1936 in an airplane crash. Therefore, in the nationalist zone, "Political life ceased." Initially, only military command mattered; this was divided into regional commands (Emilio Mola
Emilio Mola
Emilio Mola y Vidal, 1st Duke of Mola, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish Nationalist commander during the Spanish Civil War. He is best-known for having coined the term "fifth column".-Early life:...

 in the North, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano
Gonzalo Queipo de Llano y Sierra, 1st Marquis of Queipo de Llano, a title bestowed upon him, to crown his professional career at the service of the "New" Spain forged by Dictator of Spain, 1939 - 1975, General Francisco Franco on 1 April 1950, once he had decided Spain would be again a Kingdom...

 in Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 commanding Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Franco with an independent command and Miguel Cabanellas
Miguel Cabanellas
Miguel Cabanellas Ferrer was a Spanish Army officer during the Spanish Civil War.A cavalry officer, as a major he managed the creation of the African Regular troops . In 1921 he participated in the reconquest of the Rif after the Battle of Annual...

 in Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 commanding Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

). The Spanish Army of Morocco itself was split into two columns, one commanded by General Juan Yagüe
Juan Yagüe
Juan Yagüe y Blanco, 1st Marquis of San Leonardo de Yagüe was a Spanish army officer during the Spanish Civil War, one of the most important in the National side.-Early life:...

 and the other commanded by Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 José Varela
José Enrique Varela
José Enrique Varela Iglesias was a Spanish military officer and Carlist noted for his role as a Nationalist commander in the Spanish Civil War.-Early career:...

.

From 24 July, a coordinating junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

was established, based at Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

. Nominally led by Cabanellas, as the most senior general, it initially included Mola, three other generals, and two colonels; Franco was later added in early August. On 21 September it was decided that Franco was to be commander-in-chief (this unified command was opposed only by Cabanellas), and, after some discussion, with no more than a lukewarm agreement from Queipo de Llano and from Mola, also head of government. He was, doubtlessly, helped to this primacy by the fact that, in late July, Hitler had decided that all of Germany's aid to the nationalists would go to Franco.

Mola considered Franco as unfit and not part of the initial rebel group. But Mola himself had been somewhat discredited as the main planner of the attempted coup that had now degenerated into a civil war, and was strongly identified with the Carlists
Carlism
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

 monarchists and not at all with the Falange
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

, a party with Fascist leanings and connections ("phalanx", a far-right Spanish political party founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera), nor did he have good relations with Germany; Queipo de Llano and Cabanellas had both previously rebelled against the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, 2nd Marquis of Estella, 22nd Count of Sobremonte, Knight of Calatrava was a Spanish dictator, aristocrat, and a military official who was appointed Prime Minister by the King and who for seven years was a dictator, ending the turno system of alternating...

 and were therefore discredited in some nationalist circles; and Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Duke of Primo de Rivera, 3rd Marquis of Estella , was a Spanish lawyer, nobleman, politician, and founder of the Falange Española...

 was in prison in Alicante (he would be executed a few months later) and the desire to keep a place open for him prevented any other falangist leader from emerging as a possible head of state. Franco's previous aloofness from politics meant that he had few active enemies in any of the factions that needed to be placated, and had cooperated in recent months with both Germany and Italy.

On 1 October 1936, in Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

, Franco was publicly proclaimed as Generalísimo of the National army and Jefe del Estado (Head of State
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

). When Mola was killed in another air accident a year later (which some believe was an assassination) (2 June 1937), no military leader was left from those who organized the conspiracy against the Republic between 1933 and 1935.

Military command

From that time until the end of the war, Franco personally guided military operations. After the failed assault on Madrid in November 1936, Franco settled to a piecemeal approach to winning the war, rather than bold maneuvering. As with his decision to relieve the garrison
Siege of the Alcázar
The Siege of the Alcázar was a highly symbolic Nationalist victory in Toledo in the opening stages of the Spanish Civil War. The Alcázar of Toledo was held by a variety of military forces in favor of the Nationalist uprising. Militias of the parties in the Popular Front began their siege on July 21...

 at Toledo, this approach has been subject of some debate; some of his decisions, such as, in June 1938, when he preferred to head for Valencia instead of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, remain particularly controversial from a military viewpoint. It was however, in Valencia, Castellon and Alicante where the last troops were defeated by Franco.

Although both Germany and Italy provided military support to Franco, the degree of influence of both powers on his direction of the war seems to have been very limited. Nevertheless, the Italian troops, despite not being always effective
Battle of Guadalajara
The Battle of Guadalajara saw the Republican People's Army defeat Italian and Nationalist forces attempting to encircle Madrid during the Spanish Civil War...

, were present in most of the large operations in big numbers, while the CTV helped the Nationalist air force dominate the skies for most of the war. António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar, GColIH, GCTE, GCSE served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo , the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal...

's Portugal
Estado Novo
There have been two regimes known as Estado Novo :*Estado Novo , the period from 1937 to 1945, under the leadership of Getúlio Vargas...

 also openly assisted the Nationalists from the start, contributing some 20,000 troops.

It is said that Franco's direction of the German and Italian forces was limited, particularly in the direction of the Condor Legion
Condor Legion
The Condor Legion was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force and from the German Army which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War...

, however, he was officially, by default, their supreme commander and they rarely made decisions on their own. For reasons of prestige, it was decided to continue assisting Franco until the end of the war, and Italian and German troops paraded on the day of the final victory in Madrid.

Political command

In April 1938, Franco managed to fuse the ideologically incompatible national-syndicalist Falange
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

 ("phalanx", a far-right Spanish political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Duke of Primo de Rivera, 3rd Marquis of Estella , was a Spanish lawyer, nobleman, politician, and founder of the Falange Española...

) and the Carlist
Carlism
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

 monarchist parties under a single-party under his rule, dubbed Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS), which became the only legal party in 1939. The Falangists' hymn, Cara al Sol
Cara al Sol
Cara al Sol is the anthem of the Falange party. The lyrics were written in December 1935 and are usually credited to the then leader of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera. The music was composed by Juan de Tellería and Juan R. Buendia....

, became the semi-national anthem of Franco's not yet established regime.

This new political formation appeased the pro-Nazi Falangists while tempering them with the anti-German Carlists. Franco's brother-in-law Ramón Serrano Súñer
Ramón Serrano Súñer
Ramón Serrano Súñer , was a Spanish politician during the first stages of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, the Spanish State, between 1938 and 1942, when he held the posts of President of the Political Junta Política of Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS , and Interior and...

, who was his main political advisor, was able to turn the various parties under Franco against each other to absorb a series of political confrontations against Franco himself. At a certain moment he even expelled the original leading members of both the Carlists (Manuel Fal Conde
Manuel Fal Condé
Manuel José Fal Condé, Duke of Quintillo, Grandee of Spain was the political leader of the Carlist movement in Spain in the 1930s and during the Spanish Civil War. Condé was born in Seville, Spain and was a lawyer by profession...

) and the Falangists (Manuel Hedilla
Manuel Hedilla
Manuel Hedilla Larrey was a Spanish political figure who was a leading member of the Falange and an early rival for power towards Francisco Franco. By profession he was a mechanic....

) to secure Franco's political future. Franco also appeased the Carlists by exploiting the Republicans' anti-clericalism
Anti-clericalism
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

 in his propaganda, in particular concerning the "Martyrs of the war
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War is the name given by the Catholic Church to the people who were killed by Republicans during the war because of their faith. As of July 2008, almost one thousand Spanish martyrs have been beatified or canonized...

". While the loyalist forces presented the war as a struggle to defend the Republic against Fascism, Franco depicted himself as the defender of "Catholic Spain
History of Spain
The history of Spain involves all the other peoples and nations within the Iberian peninsula formerly known as Hispania, and includes still today the nations of Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain...

" against "atheist Communism."

The end of the Civil War

Before the fall of Catalonia in February 1939, the Prime Minister of Spain Juan Negrín
Juan Negrín
Juan Negrín y López was a Spanish politician and physician.-Early years:Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Negrín came from a religious middle-class family...

 unsuccessfully proposed, in the meeting of the Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 in Figueres
Figueres
Figueres is the capital of the comarca of Alt Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The town is the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí, and houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself which attracts many visitors...

, capitulation
Capitulation (surrender)
Capitulation , an agreement in time of war for the surrender to a hostile armed force of a particular body of troops, a town or a territory....

 with the sole condition of respecting the lives of the vanquished. Negrín was ultimately deposed by Colonel Segismundo Casado
Segismundo Casado
Segismundo Casado López was a Spanish Army officer in the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

, later joined by José Miaja
José Miaja
José Miaja Menant was a Spanish Army Officer in the Second Spanish Republic.-Early life:He entered the Infantry Academy at Toledo in 1896. His first post was in Asturias...

.

Thereafter, only Madrid (see History of Madrid
History of Madrid
Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, and there are archeological remains of a small Visigoth village near the modern location, the first historical data from the city comes from the 9th century, when Muhammad I of Córdoba ordered the construction of a...

) and a few other areas remained under control of the government forces. On 27 February Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 and Daladier
Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier was a French Radical politician and the Prime Minister of France at the start of the Second World War.-Career:Daladier was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse. Later, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined...

's governments recognized the Franco regime, before the official end of the war. The PCE (the Spanish Communist Party) attempted a mutiny in Madrid with the aim of re-establishing Negrín's leadership, but José Miaja retained control. Finally, on 28 March 1939, with the help of pro-Franco forces inside the city (the "fifth column
Fifth column
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.-Origin:The term originated with a 1936 radio address by Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General during the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War...

" General Mola had mentioned in propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 broadcasts in 1936), Madrid fell to the Nationalists. The next day, Valencia, which had held out under the guns of the Nationalists for close to two years, also surrendered. Victory was proclaimed on 1 April 1939, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered. On this very date, Franco placed his sword upon the altar in a church and in a vow, promised that he would never again take up his sword unless Spain itself was threatened with invasion.

At least 50,000 people were executed during the civil war. Franco's victory was followed by thousands of summary execution
Summary execution
A summary execution is a variety of execution in which a person is killed on the spot without trial or after a show trial. Summary executions have been practiced by the police, military, and paramilitary organizations and are associated with guerrilla warfare, counter-insurgency, terrorism, and...

s (from 15,000 to 25,000 people) and imprisonments, while many were put to forced labour, building railways, drying out swamps, digging canals (La Corchuela, the Canal of the Bajo Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir
The Guadalquivir is the fifth longest river in the Iberian peninsula and the second longest river to be its whole length in Spain. The Guadalquivir is 657 kilometers long and drains an area of about 58,000 square kilometers...

), construction of the Valle de los Caídos monument, etc. The 1940 shooting of the president of the Catalan government
Generalitat de Catalunya
The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....

, Lluís Companys, was one of the most notable cases of this early suppression of opponents and dissenters. According to Gabriel Jackson, the number of victims of the "White Terror" (executions and hunger or illness in prisons) only between 1939 and 1943 was 200,000.

Although leftists suffered from an important death-toll, the Spanish intelligentsia
Intelligentsia
The intelligentsia is a social class of people engaged in complex, mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them...

, atheists and military and government figures who had remained loyal to the Madrid government during the war were also targeted for oppression.

In his recent, updated history of the Spanish Civil War, Antony Beevor
Antony Beevor
Antony James Beevor, FRSL is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous military historian John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for five years before resigning his commission...

 "reckons Franco's ensuing 'white terror
White Terror (Spain)
In Spain, White Terror refers to acts of politically motivated violence committed by the Nationalist movement during the Spanish Civil War and during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

' claimed 200,000 lives. The 'red terror
Red Terror (Spain)
The Red Terror in Spain is the name given by historians to various acts committed "by sections of nearly all the leftist groups" such as the killing of tens of thousands of people , as well as attacks on landowners, industrialists, and politicians, and the...

' had already killed 38,000." Julius Ruiz concludes that "although the figures remain disputed, a minimum of 37,843 executions were carried out in the Republican zone with a maximum of 150,000 executions (including 50,000 after the war) in Nationalist Spain." In Checas de Madrid, César Vidal comes to a nationwide total of 110,965 victims of Republican violence; 11,705 people being killed in Madrid alone.

Despite the official end of the war, guerrilla resistance
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 to Franco (known as "the maquis
Spanish Maquis
The Spanish Maquis were Spanish guerrillas exiled in France after the Spanish Civil War who continued to fight against the Franco regime until the early 1960s, carrying out sabotage, robberies , occupations of the Spanish Embassy in France and assassinations of Francoists, as well as contributing...

") was widespread in many mountainous regions, and continued well into the 1950s. In 1944, a group of republican veterans, which also fought in the French resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 against the Nazis, invaded the Val d'Aran
Val d'Aran
The Val d'Aran is a valley in the Pyrenees mountains and a comarca in the northwestern part of the province of Lleida, in Catalonia, northern Spain. Most of the valley constitutes the only part of Spain, and of Catalonia, on the north face of the Pyrenees, hence the only part of Catalonia whose...

 in northwest Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, but they were quickly defeated.

The end of the war led to hundreds of thousands of exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

es, mostly to France (but also Mexico, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Cuba, the USA and so on.). On the other side of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

, refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s were confined in internment camps
Concentration camps in France
There were internment camps and concentration camps in France before, during and after World War II. Beside the camps created during World War I to intern German, Austrian and Ottoman civilian prisoners, the Third Republic opened various internment camps for the Spanish refugees fleeing the...

 of the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

, such as Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs was an internment and refugee camp constructed by the French government in 1939. The camp was originally set up in southwestern France after the fall of Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War to control those who fled Spain out of fear of retaliation from Francisco Franco's regime...

 or Camp Vernet
Camp Vernet
Le Vernet Internment Camp, or Camp Vernet, was a concentration camp in Le Vernet, Ariège, near Pamiers, in the French Pyrenees. It was originally built in June 1918 to house French colonial troops serving in World War I but when hostilities ceased it was used to hold German and Austrian prisoners...

, where 12,000 Republicans were housed in squalid conditions (mostly soldiers from the Durruti Division). The 17,000 refugees housed in Gurs were divided into four categories (Brigadists, pilots, Gudaris
Euzko Gudarostea
Euzko Gudarostea was the name of the army commanded by the Basque Government during the Spanish civil war. It was formed by Basque nationalists, socialists and communists under the direction of lendakari José Antonio Aguirre and coordinating with the army of the Second Spanish Republic...

and ordinary 'Spaniards'). The Gudaris (Basques) and the pilots easily found local backers and jobs, and were allowed to quit the camp, but the farmers and ordinary people, who could not find relations in France, were encouraged by the Third Republic, in agreement with the Francoist government, to return to Spain. The great majority did so and were turned over to the Francoist authorities in Irún
Irun
Irun is a town of the Bidasoa-Txingudi region in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain...

. From there they were transferred to the Miranda de Ebro
Miranda de Ebro
Miranda de Ebro is a city on the Ebro river in the province of Burgos in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. It is located in the north-eastern part of the province, on the border with the province of Álava and the autonomous community of La Rioja...

 camp for "purification" according to the Law of Political Responsibilities
Law of Political Responsibilities
The Law of Political Responsibilities was a law issued by the Francoist dictatorship on February 1939, two months before the end of Spanish Civil War...

.

After the proclamation by Marshal Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

 of the Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 regime, the refugees became political prisoners, and the French police attempted to round-up those who had been liberated from the camp. Along with other "undesirables", they were sent to the Drancy internment camp
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

 before being deported to Nazi Germany. 5,000 Spaniards thus died in Mauthausen concentration camp. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda....

, who had been named by the Chilean President Pedro Aguirre Cerda
Pedro Aguirre Cerda
Pedro Aguirre Cerda was a Chilean political figure. A member of the Radical Party, he was chosen as the Popular Front's candidate for the 1938 presidential election, and was triumphally elected. He governed Chile until his death in 1941...

 special consul for immigration in Paris, was given responsibility for what he called "the noblest mission I have ever undertaken": shipping more than 2,000 Spanish refugees, who had been housed by the French in squalid camps, to Chile on an old cargo ship, the Winnipeg.

World War II

In September 1939, World War II broke out in Europe, and although Hitler met Franco once in Hendaye
Hendaye
Hendaye is the most south-westerly town and commune in France, lying in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department and located in the traditional province Lapurdi of the French Basque Country...

, France (23 October 1940), to discuss Spanish entry on the side of the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

, Franco's demands (food, military equipment, Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, French North Africa etc.) proved too much and no agreement was reached. (An oft-cited remark attributed to Hitler is that the German leader would rather have some teeth extracted than to have to deal further with Franco). Franco's tactics received important support from Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 during the civil war. He remained emphatically neutral in the Second World War, but nonetheless offered various kinds of support to Italy and Germany. He allowed Spanish soldiers to volunteer to fight in the German Army against the USSR (the Blue Division
Blue Division
The Blue Division officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the German Army, was a unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.-Origins:Although Spanish leader Field...

), but forbade Spaniards to fight in the West against the democracies. Franco's common ground with Hitler was particularly weakened by Hitler's propagation of Nazi mysticism
Nazi mysticism
Speculation about Nazism and occultism has become part of popular culture since 1959. Aside from several popular documentaries, there are numerous books on the topic, most notably The Morning of the Magicians and The Spear of Destiny ....

 and his attempts to manipulate Christianity
Positive Christianity
Positive Christianity was a slogan of Nazi propaganda adopted at the NSDAP congress 1920 to express a worldview which is Christian, non-confessional, vigorously opposed to the spirit of "Jewish Materialism", and oriented to the principle of voluntary association of those with a common...

, which went against Franco's fervent commitment to defending Christianity and Catholicism. Contributing to the disagreement was an ongoing dispute over German mining rights in Spain. Some historians argue that Franco made demands that he knew Hitler would not accede to in order to stay out of the war. Other historians argue that he, as leader of a destroyed country in chaos, simply had nothing to offer the Germans and their military.

Yet, after the collapse of France in June 1940, Spain did adopt a pro-Axis non-belligerency stance (for example, he offered Spanish naval facilities to German ships) until returning to complete neutrality in 1943 when the tide of the war had turned decisively against Germany and its allies
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

. Franco did also consider blocking allied access to the Mediterrean Sea by invading the British-controlled Gilbraltar, but abandoned the idea after learning that the plan would have likely failed and would have given the British an excellent opportunity to take both the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 and Spanish Morocco
Spanish Morocco
The Spanish protectorate of Morocco was the area of Morocco under colonial rule by the Spanish Empire, established by the Treaty of Fez in 1912 and ending in 1956, when both France and Spain recognized Moroccan independence.-Territorial borders:...

. Some volunteer Spanish troops (the División Azul
Blue Division
The Blue Division officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the German Army, was a unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.-Origins:Although Spanish leader Field...

, or "Blue Division")—not given official state sanction by Franco—went to fight on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

 under German command from 1941–1943. Some historians have argued that not all of the Blue Division were true volunteers and that Franco expended relatively small but significant resources to aid the Axis powers' battle against the Soviet Union.

According to the recent discovery of a World War II Document, Franco ordered his provincial governors to compile a list of Jews while he negotiated an alliance with the Axis powers. Franco supplied Heinrich Himmler with a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain, for the Nazi's "Final Solution". It is true that Franco built no concentration camps on Spanish territory, nor did he voluntarily hand Jews over to Germany. Plans for alliance fell through and Spain never carried out the Nazis' plans. During the entire war, especially after 1942, the Spanish borders were more or less kept open for Jewish refugees from Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 and Nazi-occupied territories in Europe. Spanish diplomats, acting outside of Franco's authority, extended their diplomatic protection over Jews in Hungary, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 and the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. Spain was a safe haven for all Jewish refugees and antisemitism was not official policy under the Franco regime. In 1940 alone, roughly 40,000 Jewish refugees found safe haven in Spain. Overall, per some estimates, during World War II, Franco's policies saved the lives of almost 200,000 European Jews.

On 14 June 1940, the Spanish forces in Morocco occupied Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

 (a city under the rule of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

) and did not leave it until 1945.

Spain under Franco

Franco was recognized as the Spanish head of state by Britain and France in February 1945, two months before the war officially ended. Already proclaimed Generalísimo of the Nationalists and Jefe del Estado (Head of State
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

) in October 1936, he thereafter assumed the official title of "Su Excelencia el Jefe de Estado" ("His Excellency the Head of State"). However, he was also referred to in state and official documents as "Caudillo
Caudillo
Caudillo is a Spanish word for "leader" and usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic...

 de España
" ("the Leader of Spain"), and sometimes called "el Caudillo de la Última Cruzada y de la Hispanidad" ("the Leader of the Last Crusade and of the Hispanic heritage") and "el Caudillo de la Guerra de Liberación contra el Comunismo y sus Cómplices" ("the Leader of the War of Liberation Against Communism and Its Accomplices").

In 1947, Franco proclaimed Spain a monarchy, but did not designate a monarch. This gesture was largely done to appease the Movimiento Nacional
Movimiento Nacional
The Movimiento Nacional was the name given to the nationalist inspired mechanism during Francoist rule in Spain, which purported to be the only channel of participation to Spanish public life...

(Carlists
Carlism
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

 and Alfonsists). Although a self-proclaimed monarchist himself, Franco had no particular desire to proclaim himself King of Spain, nor have a King to rule the country yet, and as such, he left the throne vacant, with himself as a de facto Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

. He wore the uniform of a Captain General
Captain General
Captain general is a high military rank and a gubernatorial title.-History:This term Captain General started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning of commander in chief of an army in the field, probably the first usage of the term General in military settings...

 (a rank traditionally reserved for the King) and resided in the El Pardo Palace
El Pardo
The Royal Palace of El Pardo is a historical building near Madrid, Spain, in the present-day district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency, the palace began as a hunting lodge.-Overview:...

. In addition, he appropriated the royal privilege of walking beneath a canopy
Baldachin
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

, and his portrait appeared on most Spanish coins and postage stamps. He also added "by the grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

", a phrase usually part of the styles of monarchs, to his style.

Franco initially sought support from various groups. He initially garnered support from the fascist elements of the Falange
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

, but distanced himself from fascist ideology after the defeat of the Axis in World War II. Franco's administration marginalized fascist ideologues in favor of technocrats
Technocracy (bureaucratic)
Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Economists, engineers, scientists, health professionals, and those who have knowledge, expertise or skills would compose the governing body...

, many of whom were linked with Opus Dei
Opus Dei
Opus Dei, formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei , is an organization of the Catholic Church that teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its membership are lay people, with secular priests under the...

, who promoted the economic modernization under Franco.

Although Franco and Spain under his rule adopted some trappings of fascism, he, and Spain under his rule, are not generally considered to be fascist; among the distinctions, fascism entails a revolutionary aim to transform society, where Franco and Franco's Spain did not seek to do so, and, to the contrary, although authoritarian, were conservative and traditional. Stanley Payne notes: "scarcely any of the serious historians and analysts of Franco consider the generalissimo to be a core fascist". The consistent points in Franco's long rule, along with the Moroccan Moorish Guard, included above all authoritarianism, nationalism, ethnic cleansing of Jews, the defense of Catholicism and the family, anti-Freemasonry, and anti-Communism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

.

The aftermath of the Civil War was socially bleak: many of those who had supported the Republic fled into exile. Spain lost thousands of doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, judges, professors, businessmen, artists, etc. Many of those who had to stay lost their jobs or lost their rank. Sometimes those jobs were given to unskilled and even untrained personnel. This deprived the country of many of its brightest minds, and also of a very capable workforce. However, this was done to keep Spain's citizens consistent with the ideals sought by the Nationalists and Franco.

With the end of World War II, Spain suffered from the economic consequences of its isolation from the international community. This situation ended in part when, due to Spain's strategic location in light of Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 tensions, the United States entered into a trade and military alliance with Spain. This historic alliance commenced with United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

's visit in 1953 which resulted in the Pact of Madrid
Pact of Madrid
The Pact of Madrid, signed in 1953 by Spain and the United States, ended a period of virtual isolation for Spain, although the other victorious allies of World War II and much of the rest of the world remained hostile to what they regarded as a fascist regime sympathetic to the Nazi cause and...

. Spain was then admitted to the UN in 1955.

In 1952, a syndicate from Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

, including Jack Crichton
Jack Crichton (Texas businessman)
John Alston Crichton, known as Jack Crichton , was an oil and natural gas industrialist from Dallas, Texas, who was among the first of his ranks to recognize the importance of petroleum reserves in the Middle East. In 1964, he carried the Republican banner in a fruitless campaign against the...

, Everette Lee DeGolyer
Everette Lee DeGolyer
Everette Lee DeGolyer . was a prominent oilman, geophysicist and philanthropist in Dallas...

, and Clint Murchison sought drilling rights to petroleum in Spain. The operation was handled by Delta Drilling Company.

Political oppression

* Personal Standard Franco as Head of State
Royal Bend of Castile
The Royal Bend of Castile , was the positional ensign, “guión” of the Castilian monarch. It was created in 1332 by Alfonso XI, King of Castile and León, he also instituted the Knights of the Band, a military order...

.
* Coat of arms of Franco as Head of State
Royal Bend of Castile
The Royal Bend of Castile , was the positional ensign, “guión” of the Castilian monarch. It was created in 1332 by Alfonso XI, King of Castile and León, he also instituted the Knights of the Band, a military order...

.
* The Victor, another emblem used by Franco.

The first decade of Franco's rule in the 1940s following the end of the Civil War in 1939 saw continued oppression and the killing of an undetermined number of political opponents. Estimation is difficult and controversial, but the number of people killed probably lies somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000 (see above, The end of the Civil War).

Subsequently, Franco's state became less violent, but during his rule non-government trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s and all political opponents across the political spectrum
Political spectrum
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions....

, from communist and anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 organizations to liberal democrats
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 and Catalan
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

 or Basque
Basque nationalism
Basque nationalism is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or, chiefly, full independence of the Basque Country in the wider sense...

 separatists, were either suppressed or tightly controlled by all means, up to and including violent police repression. The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo is a Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions affiliated with the International Workers Association . When working with the latter group it is also known as CNT-AIT...

(CNT) and the Unión General de Trabajadores
Unión General de Trabajadores
The Unión General de Trabajadores is a major Spanish trade union, historically affiliated with the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party .-History:...

(UGT) trade-unions were outlawed, and replaced in 1940 by the corporatist Sindicato Vertical. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

 and the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya
The Republican Left of Catalonia is a left wing Catalan independentist political party in Spain. It is also the main sponsor of the independence movement from France and Spain in the territories known among Catalan nationalists as Països Catalans...

(ERC) were banned in 1939, while the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) went underground. The Basque Nationalist Party
Basque Nationalist Party
The Basque National Party is the largest and oldest Basque nationalist party. It is currently the largest political party in the Basque Autonomous Community also with a minor presence in Navarre and a marginal one in the French Basque Country...

 (PNV) went into exile, and in 1959, the ETA
ETA
ETA , an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization. The group was founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country...

 armed group was created to wage a low-intensity war against Franco.

Franco's Spanish nationalism promoted a unitary national identity by repressing Spain's cultural diversity. Bullfighting
Bullfighting
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...

 and flamenco
Flamenco
Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which has its foundation in Andalusian music and dance and in whose evolution Andalusian Gypsies played an important part....

 were promoted as national traditions while those traditions not considered "Spanish" were suppressed. Franco's view of Spanish tradition was somewhat artificial and arbitrary: while some regional traditions were suppressed, Flamenco, an Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

n tradition, was considered part of a larger, national identity. All cultural activities were subject to censorship, and many, such as the Sardana, the national dance of Catalunya,were plainly forbidden (often in an erratic manner). This cultural policy relaxed with time, most notably in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Franco also used language politics
Language politics in Spain under Franco
Language politics in Francoist Spain centered on attempts in Spain under Franco to increase the dominance of the Spanish language over the other languages of Spain.The regime of Francisco Franco had Spanish nationalism as one of its bases....

 in an attempt to establish national homogeneity. He promoted the use of Castilian Spanish and suppressed other languages such as Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

, Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, and Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

. The legal usage of languages other than Castilian was forbidden. All government, notarial, legal and commercial documents were to be drawn up exclusively in Castilian and any written in other languages were deemed null and void. The usage of any other language was forbidden in schools, in advertising, and on road and shop signs. Citizens continued to speak these languages in private. This was the situation throughout the 1940s and, to a lesser extent, during the 1950s, but after 1960 the non-Castilian Spanish languages were freely spoken and written and reached bookshops and stages, although they never received official status.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church was upheld as the established church of the Spanish State, and regained many of the traditional privileges it had lost under the Republic. Civil servants had to be Catholic, and some official jobs even required a "good behavior" statement by a priest. Civil marriages which had taken place under Republican Spain were declared null and void unless confirmed by the Catholic Church, a difficult if not impossible requirement considering civil marriages were only possible after the couple made a public renunciation of the Catholic faith. Divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 was forbidden, and also contraceptives and abortion.

Francoism professed a devotion to the traditional role of women in society, that is: loving child to her parents and brothers, faithful to her husband, residing with her family. Official propaganda confined her role to family care and motherhood. Immediately after the war, most progressive laws passed by the Republic aimed at equality between the sexes were made void. Women could not become judges, or testify in trial. They could not become university professors. Their affairs and economy had to be managed by their father or by their husbands. Even in the 1970s a woman fleeing from an abusive husband could be arrested and imprisoned for "abandoning the home" (abandono del hogar). Until the 1970s a woman could not have a bank account without a co-sign by her father or husband. In the 1960s and 1970s the situation was somewhat relieved, but it was not until after Franco's death that a more egalitarian view of the sexes was adopted.
The enforcement by public authorities of traditional Catholic values was a stated intent of the regime, mainly by using a law (the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes, Vagrancy Act) enacted by Azaña
Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña Díaz was a Spanish politician. He was the first Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic , and later served again as Prime Minister , and then as the second and last President of the Republic . The Spanish Civil War broke out while he was President...

. The remaining nomads of Spain (Gitanos and Mercheros like El Lute
Eleuterio Sánchez
Eleuterio Sánchez Rodríguez , known as El Lute, was at one time listed as Spain's "Most Wanted" criminal. He was a legendary Spanish outlaw who escaped several times from prison after being convicted and sentenced at age 23 to 30 years for murder...

) were especially affected. In 1954, homosexuality, pedophilia
Pedophilia
As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children...

, and prostitution were, through this law, made criminal offenses, although its application was seldom consistent.

Most country towns, and rural areas, were patrolled by pairs of Guardia Civil, a military police for civilians, which functioned as his chief means of social control. Larger cities, and capitals, were mostly under the Policia Armada, or grises ("greys") as they were called. Franco, like others at the time, evidenced a concern about a possible Masonic
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

 conspiracy against his regime. Some non-Spanish authors have described it as being an "obsession".

Student revolts, at universities in the late 1960s and early 1970s, were violently repressed by the heavily armed Policía Armada (Armed Police). Plainclothes secret police worked inside Spanish universities. In May 1972, an American student was arrested by university secret police in Barcelona and charged and imprisoned under martial law for the crime of wearing an old Spanish Army jacket. Although the US State Department, through its consulate in Barcelona, was notified, it elected not to intervene.

Franco continued to personally sign all death warrants until just a few months before he died, despite international campaigns requesting him to desist.

Spanish colonial empire and decolonisation

Spain attempted to retain control of its colonial empire throughout Franco's rule. During the Algerian War (1954–62), Madrid became the base of the Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS) right-wing French Army group which sought to preserve French Algeria
French rule in Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

. Despite this, Franco was forced to make some concessions. When French Morocco
French Morocco
French Protectorate of Morocco was a French protectorate in Morocco, established by the Treaty of Fez. French Morocco did not include the north of the country, which was a Spanish protectorate...

 became independent in 1956, he surrendered Spanish Morocco
Spanish Morocco
The Spanish protectorate of Morocco was the area of Morocco under colonial rule by the Spanish Empire, established by the Treaty of Fez in 1912 and ending in 1956, when both France and Spain recognized Moroccan independence.-Territorial borders:...

 to Mohammed V
Mohammed V of Morocco
Mohammed V was Sultan of Morocco from 1927–53, exiled from 1953–55, where he was again recognized as Sultan upon his return, and King from 1957 to 1961. His full name was Sidi Mohammed ben Yusef, or Son of Yusef, upon whose death he succeeded to the throne...

, retaining only a few enclaves (the Plazas de soberanía
Plazas de soberanía
The plazas de soberanía or sovereign territories, referred to in English as Spanish North Africa or simply Spanish Africa, are the current Spanish territories in continental North Africa bordering Morocco, except the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.After the Reconquista, forces of the...

). The year after, Mohammed V invaded Spanish Sahara
Spanish Sahara
Spanish Sahara was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was ruled as a territory by Spain between 1884 and 1975...

 during the Ifni War
Ifni War
The Ifni War, sometimes called the Forgotten War in Spain , was a series of armed incursions into Spanish West Africa by Moroccan insurgents and Sahrawi rebels that began in October 1957 and culminated with the abortive siege of Sidi Ifni.The war, which may be seen as part of the general movement...

 (known as the "Forgotten War" in Spain). Only in 1975, with the Green March
Green March
The Green March was a strategic mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, to force Spain to hand over the disputed, autonomous semi-metropolitan Spanish Province of Sahara to Morocco.-Background:...

, did Morocco take control of all of the former Spanish territories in the Sahara.

In 1968, under United Nations pressure, Franco granted Spain's colony of Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 its independence, and the next year, ceded the exclave of Ifni
Ifni
Ifni was a Spanish province on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, south of Agadir and across from the Canary Islands.It had a total area of 1,502 km² , and a population of 51,517 in 1964. The main industry was fishing....

 to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. Under Franco, Spain also pursued a campaign to force a negotiation on the British overseas territory of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, and closed its border with that territory
Disputed status of Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, near the southernmost tip of the Iberian peninsula, which is the subject of a disputed irredentist claim by Spain....

 in 1969. The border would not be fully reopened until 1985.

Economic policy

The Civil War had ravaged the Spanish economy. Infrastructure had been damaged, workers killed, and daily business severely hampered. For more than a decade after Franco's victory, the devestated economy recovered very slowly. Franco initially pursued a policy of autarky
Autarky
Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic policies. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance. Autarky is not necessarily economic. For example, a military autarky...

, cutting off almost all international trade. The policy had devastating effects, and the economy stagnated. Only black marketeers could enjoy an evident affluence.

On the brink of bankruptcy, a combination of pressure from the USA, the IMF and, most importantly, the technocrats from Opus Dei
Opus Dei
Opus Dei, formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei , is an organization of the Catholic Church that teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its membership are lay people, with secular priests under the...

, managed to convince the regime to adopt a freer market economy. Many of the the old guard in charge of the economy were replaced by "technocrata", despite some initial opposition from Franco. From the mid 1950s there was a modest pick up in economic activity after some minor reforms and a freeing up of controls. But the growth proved too much for the economy, with shortages and inflation breaking out towards the end of the 1950s.

When Franco replaced his ideological ministers with the apolitical technocrats, the regime implemented several development policies that included deep economic reforms. After a recession, growth took off from 1959, creating an economic boom that lasted until 1974, and became known as the "Spanish Miracle
Spanish miracle
The Spanish miracle was the name given to a broadly based economic boom in Spain from 1959 to 1974. The international oil and stagflation crises of the 1970s ended the boom.- The pre-boom situation :...

".

Concurrent with the absence of social reforms, and the economic power shift, a tide of mass emmigration commenced to other European countries, and to a lesser extent, to South America. Emmigration helped the regime in two ways. The country got rid of populations it would not have been able to keep in employment, and the emmigrants supplied the country with much needed monetary remittances.

During the 1960s, the wealthy classes of Francoist Spain experienced further increases in wealth, particularly those who remained politically faithful, while a burgeoning middle class became visible as the "economic miracle" progressed. International firms established factories in Spain where salaries were low, company taxes very low, strikes forbidden and workers' health or state protections almost unheard of. State owned firms like the car manufaturer SEAT, truck builder Pegaso and oil refiner INH, massively expanded production. Furthermore, Spain was virtually a new mass market. Spain became the second-fastest growing economy in the world during the 1959-1973 period, just behind Japan. By the time of Franco's death in 1975, Spain still lagged behind most of Western Europe, but the gap between its per capita GDP and that of the leading Western European countries had narrowed greatly and the country had developed a large industrialised economy.

Regions

Franco was reluctant to enact any form of administrative and legislative decentralisation and kept a fully centralised government with a similar administrative structure to that established by the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 and General Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja. Such structures were both based on the model of the French centralised State. The main drawback of this kind of management is that government attention and initiatives were irregular, and often depended more on the goodwill of regional Government representatives than on regional needs. Thus, inequalities in schooling, health care or transport facilities among regions were patent: classically affluent regions like Madrid, Catalonia, or the Basque Country fared much better than Extremadura, Galicia or Andalusia. Some regions, like Extremadura or La Mancha did not have a university.

The Basque Country and Catalonia were among the regions that offered the strongest resistance to Franco in the Civil War. Franco dissolved the autonomy granted by the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 to these two regions and to Galicia. Franco abolished the centuries-old fiscal privileges and autonomy (the fueros) in two of the three Basque provinces: Guipuzcoa and Biscay
Biscay
Biscay is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Biscay. Its capital city is Bilbao...

, but kept them for Alava
Álava
Álava is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Álava. Its capital city is Vitoria-Gasteiz which is also the capital of the autonomous community...

 which had sided with the nationalists in the civil war.

Among Franco's greatest area of support during the civil war was Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

, also a Basque speaking region in its north half. Navarre remained a separate region from the Basque Country and Franco decided to preserve its also centuries' old fiscal privileges and autonomy, the so-called Fueros of Navarre
Fueros of Navarre
The Fueros of Navarre were the medieval laws of the Kingdom of Navarre. They were a sort of constitution which defined the position of the king, the nobility, and the judicial procedures...

. The regional privileges for Alava and Navarre were kept because Alava and Navarre had participated in the initial coup d'État against the Republican government on 18 July 1936.

Franco abolished the official statute and recognition for the Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

, Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, and Catalan language
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

s that the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 had granted for the first time in the history of Spain. He returned to Castilian as the only official language of the State and education. The Franco era corresponded with the popularisation of the compulsory national educational system and the development of modern mass media, both controlled by the State and in the Castilian language, and heavily reduced the number of speakers of Basque, Catalan and Galician, as happened during the second half of the twentieth century with other European minority languages which were not officially protected such as Scottish Gaelic or French Breton
Breton language
Breton is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany , France. Breton is a Brythonic language, descended from the Celtic British language brought from Great Britain to Armorica by migrating Britons during the Early Middle Ages. Like the other Brythonic languages, Welsh and Cornish, it is classified as...

. By the 1970s the majority of the population in the urban areas could not speak the minority language
Minority language
A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities.-International politics:...

 or, as in some Catalan towns, their use had been abandoned. The most endangered case was the Basque language. By the 1970s Basque had reached the point where the language was close to extinction and it is now recognised that the language would have disappeared in a few decades. This was the main reason that drove the Francoist provincial government of Alava
Álava
Álava is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Álava. Its capital city is Vitoria-Gasteiz which is also the capital of the autonomous community...

 to create a network of Basque medium schools (Ikastola
Ikastola
An Ikastola is a type of primary and secondary school in the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre and the French Basque Country in which pupils are taught either entirely or predominantly in the Basque language...

) in 1973 which were State-financed.

Franco's death and funeral

In 1969, Franco designated Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

, who had been educated by him in Spain, with the new title of King of Spain, as his successor. This designation came as a surprise for the Carlist
Carlism
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

 pretender to the throne, as well as for Juan Carlos's father, Don Juan, the Count of Barcelona, who technically had a superior right to the throne. By 1973, Franco had surrendered the function of prime minister (Presidente del Gobierno), remaining only as head of state and commander in chief of the military.

As his final years progressed, tension within the various factions of the Movimiento would consume Spanish political life, as varying groups jockeyed for position to control the country's future. On 19 July 1974, the aged Franco fell ill from various health problems, and Juan Carlos took over as Head of State. Franco soon recovered on 2 September and resumed his duties as Head of State, but one year later he fell ill once again from more health problems including a long battle with Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

. On 30 October 1975, he fell into a coma and was put on life support. Franco died just after midnight on 20 November 1975, at the age of 82, just two weeks before his 83rd birthday – the same date as the death of José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Duke of Primo de Rivera, 3rd Marquis of Estella , was a Spanish lawyer, nobleman, politician, and founder of the Falange Española...

, founder of the Falange
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

. However, the historian Ricardo de la Cierva claims that on 19 November around 6 pm, he was told that Franco had already died. After Franco's death, Prince Juan Carlos decided to bury him at Valle de los Caídos, a colossal memorial that nominally honors all the casualties of the Spanish Civil War, but designed by Franco and with a distinctly nationalist tone. Chilean dictator and self-proclaimed president General Augusto Pinochet
Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

, who revered Franco and modeled himself in his image, attended his funeral, as did Bolivia's dictator General Hugo Banzer
Hugo Banzer
Hugo Banzer Suárez was a politician, military general, dictator and President of Bolivia. He held the Bolivian presidency twice: from August 22, 1971 to July 21, 1978, as a dictator; and then again from August 6, 1997 to August 7, 2001, as constitutional President.-Military and ideological...

.

Franco's legacy

In Spain and abroad, the legacy of Franco remains controversial. The length of his rule, the suppression of opposition, and the effective propaganda sustained through the years has made a detached evaluation impossible. For 40 years, Spaniards, and particularly children at school were told that Divine Providence
Divine Providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

 had sent him to save Spain from chaos and poverty. With time, the regime evolved and the ferocious oppression of the early 40's was reduced over the years. The economic success of the latter part of his regime won support from many citizens, who found the dramatic rise in the everyday standard of living more significant than his regime's human rights abuses, although strong anti-Francoist views are held by large numbers of Spaniards to this day.
In 2006, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that Maciej Giertych
Maciej Giertych
Maciej Marian Giertych is a Polish dendrologist and social conservative politician of the League of Polish Families . He favours state intervention in the economy. He was a member of the Sejm and a Polish member of the European Parliament...

, an MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 of the League of Polish Families
League of Polish Families
The League of Polish Families is a right-wing political party in Poland. It was represented in the Polish parliament, forming part of the cabinet of Jarosław Kaczyński, until the latter dissolved in September 2007....

, had expressed admiration for Franco, stating that he "guaranteed the maintenance of traditional values in Europe".

Many Spaniards, particularly those who suffered under Franco's rule, have sought to remove official recognition of his regime. Most government buildings and street names that were named after him during his long rule, have been renamed to their original names. Several statues of Franco and other public Francoist symbols have been removed, with reportedly the last statue in Santander having been removed in 2008. Curiously, the city of Melilla
Melilla
Melilla is a autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa...

, an autonomous city of Spain located in North Africa, has the distinction of being the only place in Spain where a statue of Franco is still visible on a public street. In 2002, José Maria Aznar
José María Aznar
José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

's conservative government had voted against proposals to remove street names, statues and other symbols of the Franco era.

In March 2006, the Permanent Commission of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 unanimously adopted a resolution "firmly" condemning the "multiple and serious violations" of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 committed in Spain under the Francoist regime from 1939 to 1975. The resolution was at the initiative of the MEP Leo Brincat and of the historian Luis María de Puig, and is the first international official condemnation of the repression enacted by Franco's regime. The resolution also urged to provide public access to historians (professional and amateurs) to the various archive
Archive
An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of an organization...

s of the Francoist regime, including those of the private Fundación Francisco Franco which, as well as other Francoist archives, remain as of 2006 inaccessible to the public. The Fundación Francisco Franco received various archives from the El Pardo Palace, and is alleged to have sold some of them to private individuals. Furthermore, it urged the Spanish authorities to set up an underground exhibition
Art exhibition
Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or...

 in the Valle de los Caidos monument, in order to explain the "terrible" conditions in which it was built. Finally, it proposes the construction of monuments to commemorate Franco's victims in Madrid and other important cities.

In Spain, a commission to repair the dignity and restore the memory of the victims of Francoism (Comisión para reparar la dignidad y restituir la memoria de las víctimas del franquismo) was approved in the summer of 2004, and is directed by the socialist vice-president María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, LLD is a Spanish Valencian Socialist politician. From 18 April 2004 to 20 October 2010, she was the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidency and Cabinet Spokesperson in the government of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero...

.

Recently the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory
Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory
The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory is a Spanish organization that collects the oral and written testimonies about the victims of the regime of Francisco Franco and excavates and identifies their bodies that were often dumped in mass graves.Emilio Silva and Santiago Macias...

 (ARHM) initiated a systematic search for mass graves of people executed during Franco's regime, which has been supported since the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

`s (PSOE) victory during the 2004 elections by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

's government. A Ley de la memoria histórica de España (Law on the Historical Memory of Spain) was approved on 28 July 2006 by the Council of Ministers
Council of Ministers of Spain (8th Legislature)
The following is a list of the Council of Ministers of the 8th legislature of Spain:*President of the Government**José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero*First Vice President, Minister of Presidency and Minister-Speaker of the Cabinet...

, but it took until 31 October 2007 for the Congress of Deputies to approve an amended version as "The Bill to recognise and extend rights and to establish measures in favour of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the Dictatorship" (in common parlance still known as Law of Historical Memory). The Senate
Spanish Senate
The Senate of Spain is the upper house of Spain's parliament, the . It is made up of 264 members: 208 elected by popular vote, and 56 appointed by the regional legislatures. All senators serve four-year terms, though regional legislatures may recall their appointees at any time.The last election...

 approved the bill on 10 December 2007. Among other things, the law is supposed to enforce an official recognition of the crimes committed against civilians during the Francoist rule and organize under state supervision the search for mass graves.

The accumulated wealth of Franco's family (including much real estate inherited from Franco, such as the Pazo de Meirás, the Canto del Pico in Torrelodones
Torrelodones
Torrelodones is a municipality in the northwest of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain. It is situated 29 kilometers northwest from the city of Madrid...

 or the Cornide Palace in the Coruña) has also been discussed. Estimates of the family's wealth have ranged from 350 million to 600 million euros. When Franco was sick, the Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 voted a pension for his wife, Carmen Polo
Carmen Polo
María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés, 1st Lady of Meirás, Grandee of Spain was the wife of Francisco Franco and a member of the Spanish nobility.-Family:...

. At the time of her death in 1988, Carmen Polo was receiving more than 12.5 million pesetas (four million more than Felipe González
Felipe González
Felipe González Márquez is a Spanish socialist politician. He was the General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party from 1974 to 1997. To date, he remains the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain, after having served four successive mandates from 1982 to 1996.-Early life:Felipe was...

, then head of the government).

Owing to Franco's human rights record, in 2007, the Spanish government banned all public references to the Franco regime and removed any statues, street names, memorials and symbols associated with the regime. Churches which retain plaques commemorating Franco and the victims
Red Terror (Spain)
The Red Terror in Spain is the name given by historians to various acts committed "by sections of nearly all the leftist groups" such as the killing of tens of thousands of people , as well as attacks on landowners, industrialists, and politicians, and the...

 of his Republican opponents may lose state aid. The national anthem of Spain, the Marcha Real
Marcha Real
is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of the few national anthems in the world to have no official lyrics ....

, is no longer accompanied by the lyrics introduced by Franco.

Ancestors

In popular media

  • Raza
    Raza (film)
    Raza is a 1942 Spanish semi-autobiographical war film directed by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia. It is based on a novel by Francisco Franco under the pseudonym of "Jaime de Andrade."The film won the Prize of the National Syndicate of Spectacle....

    or Espíritu de una Raza (Spirit of a Race) (1941), based on a script by "Jaime de Andrade" (Franco himself), is the semi-autobiographical story of a military officer played by Alfredo Mayo
    Alfredo Mayo
    Alfredo Mayo was a Spanish actor.- Biography :After leaving his studies of medicine in 1929, Mayo debuts at theatre with the company of Ernesto Vilches...

    .
  • Franco, ese hombre
    Franco, ese hombre
    Franco, ese hombre, translated into English as Franco, that man, is a 1964 documentary film by Spanish director José Luis Sáenz de Heredia. It follows the military and political career of Francisco Franco until the 25th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War...

    (That man, Franco) (1964) is a pro-Franco documentary film directed by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia
    José Luis Sáenz de Heredia
    José Luis Sáenz de Heredia was a Spanish film director. His film Ten Ready Rifles was entered into the 9th Berlin International Film Festival.-Filmography:* Patricio miró a una estrella...

  • Argentine actor José "Pepe" Soriano played both Franco and his double in Espérame en el cielo (Wait for Me in Heaven) (1988).
  • Ramon Fontserè played him in ¡Buen Viaje, Excelencia! (Bon Voyage, Your Excellency!) (2003).
  • The movie Dragon Rapide (1986) deal about the events previous to the Spanish Civil War, with the actor Juan Diego performing Franco
  • Manuel Alexandre
    Manuel Alexandre
    Manuel Alexandre Abarca was a Spanish film and television actor.-Career:He was a popular supporting actor. He won a Goya Award in 2003 for his career achievemnts.-Filmography in cinema:1947...

     played the ultimate Franco in the TV Movie 20-N: Los ultimos dias de Franco (20-N: The Last Days of Franco) (2008)
  • The Goya Winner Juan Echanove
    Juan Echanove
    -Selected filmography:*Manolete *Alatriste .*Bienvenido a casa *Morir en San Hilario .*Los Reyes Magos - voz - .*Sin noticias de Dios...

     played the dictator in the surrealistic movie MadreGilda (MotherGilda) (1993).
  • The comic actor Xavier Deltell played Franco in the movie Operacion Gonada (Operation Gonad) (2000)
  • ...Y al tercer año resucitó (...And On the Third Year He Rose Again) (1980) describes what would happen if Franco rose from the dead.
  • Juan Viadas played Franco in the Álex de La Iglesia
    Álex de la Iglesia
    Alejandro "Álex" de la Iglesia Mendoza is a Spanish film director, screenwriter, film producer and former comic book artist.Most of De La Iglesia's films reached cult status due to their weird sense of humour.- Biography :...

    's movie Balada Triste de Trompeta (The Last Circus) (2010)
  • The Swedish film Together
    Together (2000 film)
    Together is a 2000 comedy/drama film. It is Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's second full length film. Set in a Stockholm commune called "Tillsammans" in 1975, it is a satirical view at socialist values and a bittersweet comedy....

     depicts a celebration triggered by the radio announcement of Franco's death.
  • Franco was a running gag during the first two seasons of Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

    , where Weekend Update
    Weekend Update
    Weekend Update is a Saturday Night Live sketch that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show's longest running recurring sketch, having been on since the show's first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance...

     anchor Chevy Chase
    Chevy Chase
    Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

     would frequently report that "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead
    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
    "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" is a catchphrase mocking the weeks-long media reports of the Spanish dictator's impending death that originated in 1975 during the first season of NBC's Saturday Night...

    ".
  • Franco is featured in the novel Triage
    Triage (novel)
    This article is about the novel by Scott Anderson, for the article is about the concept of triage as it occurs in medical emergencies and disasters see Triage. For the article about the film version of this novel see Triage . For other uses, see Triage .Triage is a 1998 novel by Scott Anderson...

    by Scott Anderson
    Scott Anderson (novelist)
    Scott Anderson is an American novelist, journalist and a veteran war correspondent. He wrote novels Triage, Moonlight Hotel, The Man Who tried to Save the World, and War Zones...

    .

See also

  • Luis Carrero Blanco
    Luis Carrero Blanco
    Don Luis Carrero Blanco, 1st Duke of Carrero Blanco, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish admiral and long-time confidant of dictator Francisco Franco.- Biography :...

  • Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
    "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" is a catchphrase mocking the weeks-long media reports of the Spanish dictator's impending death that originated in 1975 during the first season of NBC's Saturday Night...

  • History of Spain
    History of Spain
    The history of Spain involves all the other peoples and nations within the Iberian peninsula formerly known as Hispania, and includes still today the nations of Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain...

  • Language politics in Francoist Spain
  • Spanish Legion
    Spanish Legion
    The Spanish Legion , formerly Spanish Foreign Legion, is an elite unit of the Spanish Army and Spain's Rapid Reaction Force. Founded as the Tercio de Extranjeros , it was originally intended as a Spanish equivalent of the French Foreign Legion, but in practice it recruited almost exclusively...

  • Movimiento Nacional
    Movimiento Nacional
    The Movimiento Nacional was the name given to the nationalist inspired mechanism during Francoist rule in Spain, which purported to be the only channel of participation to Spanish public life...

  • Emilio Mola
    Emilio Mola
    Emilio Mola y Vidal, 1st Duke of Mola, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish Nationalist commander during the Spanish Civil War. He is best-known for having coined the term "fifth column".-Early life:...

  • Spain under Franco
  • Ramón Serrano Súñer
    Ramón Serrano Súñer
    Ramón Serrano Súñer , was a Spanish politician during the first stages of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, the Spanish State, between 1938 and 1942, when he held the posts of President of the Political Junta Política of Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS , and Interior and...


External links

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