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