Talk One - Spain under Franco

• Francisco Franco Bahamonde, El Ferrol. 4th Dec. 1892. 
• Died 20th November 1975 aged 82. 

World Franco was born into
• Population of Spain 19 million.  Life expectancy 34.  64% illiteracy. 70% peasants.  King was Alfonso XIII.   “Mirage” democracy.   Average length of government 5 months. 
• 1898 “El Desastre” loss of Cuba and Phillipines to America.   
• Conflict in society .  1909 Semana Trágica. 
• 1917 general strike - appalling inflation and extreme poverty. 
• Growth in communism and anarchism. 
• Franco enters military academy aged 14. 
• Early military career in Morocco - reputation for ruthlessness.
• At 24 he commands troops to suppress riots in Asturias.
• 1923 military coup by General Miguel Primo de Rivera, supported by the king who remains in power.
• 1926 Franco made brigadier General at age of 33.
• 1929 failure of dictatorship.  Primo de Rivera goes into exile. 

1931 - 36  Second republic
• Republican wins in local elections. Alfonso XIII exiled. 
• Social reforms.  Promise of new era.  Cuts to army. 
• 1932 Violent repression of anarchists. Attempted coup 1932.
•  Modern Liberal constitution.  Secular state. Women’s vote.
•  Elections 1933 Right wing victory.  Polarisation.
• 1935 – Asturian uprising crushed by Franco. 
• 1936 victory of left-wing Popular Front in elections.
Civil War 1936 to 39
• Plot of generals to liberate Spain and restore law and order.
• Took Sevilla and other Andalucian capitals. Pamplona taken.
• Resistence of Madrid, Barcelona.  Castilla and Galicia fall. 
• Franco made leader.  Support of church.
• Help for Franco from Hitler and Mussolini. 
• Support for republicans from Russia.
• International Brigade – volunteers from 60 countries.
• Madrid last to fall.  Opponents shot, imprisoned or exiled.
• Bloodbath of revenge.  Deaths from TB and typhoid.
• At least one million died on both sides.

Fascism 1939 to 45
• Ideology of Falange party ofJosé Antonio Primo de Rivera.
• Franco takes name of “El Caudillo”.  Fascist salute.
• Use of bull rings and football stadiums to keep 300,000 prisoners.  50 concentration camps. 40,000 tried and shot.
• Country in ruins, destroyed, poverty, hunger, desperation. 
• Loss of artists, scientists, intellectuals.
• Totalitarianism, centralisation, repression.
• Franco declares Spain neutral in 2nd world war but sends volunteer Blue Division to Russian front.
• No help for opposition.  Guerrilla resistance crushed.

Isolation 1945 to 1955
• Only fascist survivor in Europe.  UN relations broken. 
• Huge rally to demonstrate support to rest of world. 
• Dream of economic self-sufficiency.
• Sección Femenina.  Loss of women’s rights.
• Segregated education by church.
• Rebuilding by prisoners in enforced labour camps.

Legitimisation 1955 onward 
• Cold war.  Franco “anti-communist”. In 1955 enters UN. 
• US treaty – 4 military bases and one naval base in Spain.
• Confrontations in universities.  Closures and arrests.
• Introduction of “technocrats” into government.
• 1959 Valle de los Caídos inauguration.  Mass burial ground.
• 1959 Eisenhower visits Spain to huge welcome in Madrid. 

1960s Years of Development
• Industrial “miracle” 7% growth.   Rise in consumer goods.
• Internal migration of 3 million to cities. 
• Over 1 million emigrate to Europe - boosts economy. 
• Influence of foreign tourism in economy and general unrest. 
• 1962 miners strike in Asturias and Basque country.
• Exiled opposition leaders in Munich to discuss joining EC. 
• Leading communist and others shot to international outrage.
• Franco accuses Church of communist infiltration. 
• 1969 Juan Carlos named as Franco’s successor. 
• 1973 Appoints Carrero Blanco as leader of government.
• Carrero Blanco assassinated by ETA.   Economic recession.
• Franco appoints Arias Navarro.  Increased unrest.
• Franco dies 20th November 1975. 

Talk Two – From Dictatorship to Democracy

• Franco dies 20th November 1975
• Juan Carlos proclaimed king 22nd November.
• Demonstrations calling for political amnesty.
• King works in secret with Torcuato Fernandez-Miranda.
• Carlos Arias Navarro stays as leader of government.

• March 1976 killing of Basque strikers.  Waves of protest.
• Presentation of “La Platajunta” united anti-franquist groups.
• Pro-franquist backlash on streets.
• King refers to Arias Navarro as “an unmitigated disaster”.
• Arias Navarro resigns.  King appoints Adolfo Suarez.
• Suarez appointed 5th June 1979 against public opinion.
• King and cabinet announce general political amnesty.

• Law of Political Reform passed 18th November 1976.
• Government dissolves itself.  Referendum called.
• 94.2% support, only 2% rejection of political reform.
• Communist party leader Carrillo arrested and released.
• December 1976 kidnap by GRAPO of two high level officials.
• January 1977 murder of 5 lawyers working for communists.
• La Semana Negra – bloodiest week since transition.

• 9th April 1977 Communist party legalised. Return of exiles. 
• Exiled father of King Juan Carlos renounces dynastic rights.
• Elections called for 15th June 1977.
• Confusing process.  600 parties.  In-word is “consensus”.
• Huge support for Communist in campaign but not in votes.
• Emergence of Felipe Gonzalez as young leader of PSOE.

• 18 ½ million people vote.  Suarez centre party wins.
• PSOE forms opposition.  Communists and right wing last.
• 22nd July 1977 first session of democratic parliament.
• September 1977 move towards autonomy for Cataluña
• October 1977 Pactos de Moncloa – economic reforms.
• 6th Dec.1978 Spanish Constitution signed by all parties.
• 1st March 1979.  Elections.  Narrow victory of centre party.
• Rise of PSOE as second force in local elections.
• 1979 to 1982 statutes of autonomous regions created.
• ETA very active.  100 murders in 1980.  Aimed at military.
• 29th Jan 1981 Suarez resigns and appoints Calvo Sotelo.
• 23rd Feb 1981 parliament gathered for investiture of Sotelo.
• Guardia Civil led by Antonio Tejero stage coup attempt.
• Tanks on streets of Madrid and Valencia.  TV station taken.
• 1 a.m. king televises rejection of coup attempt.
• 24th Feb members of parliament released.  Plotters arrested.

• May 1982 Spain enters NATO.
• PSOE wins general election of October 1982.
• 1980 period of cultural explosion.  La Movida Madrileña.
• Removal of censorship – el destape.  Divorce laws.
• 12th June 1985 Spain enters EEC.
• 1986 PSOE returned to power.  Period of economic growth.
• 14th December 1988 general strike.  Trade Union demands.
• September 1989 Aznar takes over AP, changes name to PP.

• October 1989 PSOE wins third victory. 
• 1992  Olympic Games Barcelona.  Expo Sevilla.
• Accusations of PSOE corruption and abuse of privilege.
• GAL (anti-terrorist death squads) exposed by El Mundo.
• June 1993 PSOE win without absolute majority.

• March 1996 PP win with small margin, pact with nationalists.
• 1997 Aznar leads Spain into Euro zone.
• March 2000 Aznar increases PP majority.
• 2001 abolition of military service, strengthening of army.
• Euro becomes currency in 2002.
• November 2002 Prestige catastrophe off shores of Galicia.
• 2003 Aznar supports US invasion of Iraq.  Mass protest.
• 11th March 2004. Al Qaeda train bombs in Madrid. 192 killed.
• 12th and 13th March PP accused of deceiving country.
• 14th March 2004.  PSOE wins election with Zapatero.

Some recommended reading in English

Non fiction
The New Spaniards. John Hooper.  Penguin Books.
Ghosts of Spain. Giles Tremlett.  Faber and Faber.
Spain – an Amazingly Short History. Bob Fowke. Travelbrief Publications.
A Traveller’s History of Spain. Juan Lalaguna.  The Windrush Press.
A History of Spain. Simon Barton. Palgrave Macmillan

The Return.  Victoria Hislop.  Headline Publishing Group
Winter in Madrid.  C.J. Sansom.  Penguin Books

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