Tuesday , April 7 2020
Home / Madsen Pirie /When Spain became a democracy post-Franco

When Spain became a democracy post-Franco

Summary:
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was a cause célèbre for left-wingers in the West. Some, like Orwell, fought with the International Brigade for the Republican side, fighting against the Nationalist armies led by General Francisco Franco. After the Francoist victory in 1939, Franco ruled as a dictator until his death in 1975. He kept Spain neutral in World War II, despite expectations that he would join the fascist powers, Germany and Italy. In 1969, Franco designated Prince Juan Carlos, the grandson of Spain's last king, as his chosen successor, skipping a generation. The plan was to restore Spain's status as a constitutional monarchy when Franco died. It was a delicate balancing act for six years as Juan Carlos prepared to succeed. The civil war was still fresh in many minds, with many

Topics:
Madsen Pirie considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

MC01 writes Preparing for the Aftermath: China’s Airlines Try to Exit Crisis, Alitalia is Nationalized, Qantas Plans 21-Hour Direct Flights

Mises Institute writes In March, US Deaths From COVID-19 Totaled Less Than 2 Percent of All Deaths

Tyler Durden writes China’s Tourist Sites Overwhelmed With Crowds After Emerging From Lockdown

Tyler Durden writes ‘Stay-At-Home’ Orders Have Created A “Perfect Storm” For Grifters, Scammers, & Spoofers

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was a cause célèbre for left-wingers in the West. Some, like Orwell, fought with the International Brigade for the Republican side, fighting against the Nationalist armies led by General Francisco Franco. After the Francoist victory in 1939, Franco ruled as a dictator until his death in 1975. He kept Spain neutral in World War II, despite expectations that he would join the fascist powers, Germany and Italy.

In 1969, Franco designated Prince Juan Carlos, the grandson of Spain's last king, as his chosen successor, skipping a generation. The plan was to restore Spain's status as a constitutional monarchy when Franco died. It was a delicate balancing act for six years as Juan Carlos prepared to succeed. The civil war was still fresh in many minds, with many on the Left thinking the King was too close to Franco, while Francoists had support within the army. A significant fact was that Spain's rising prosperity in the 1960s had seen the emergence of an educated urban class that was ready for change, but wanted it to be peaceful.

When Franco died in 1975, Juan Carlos set in motion procedures to restore democracy to Spain, and on December 27th, 1978, he signed the Act that brought the country's new constitution into effect, after it had been approved in a referendum, preparing the ground for elections. The transition was peaceful, with the Left holding back from the demands of its extremists, and the army keeping out of politics.

The King's popularity was enhanced when he was instrumental in foiling an attempted coup by dissident army officers in 1981. Spain had successfully made the transition from a dictatorship to a constitutional democracy, and had done so peaceably. A similar transition was achieved in Portugal and Greece, and later Chile. Three West European countries that were dictatorships in the 1970s became democratic members of the EU.

Spain has faced friction with its ethnic regions, first the Basque country, and then Catalonia, but the likelihood is that any solutions that resolve these frictions will probably be peaceable, settled by compromise and agreement, rather than by military force. Spain is almost evenly divided between left and right, with a series of elections seemingly unable to entrust either side with the authority to enact major changes, but still having them compete at the ballot box instead of on the battlefield as their predecessors did.

It is one of the virtues of constitutional monarchy that it is flexible, able to adapt to changing circumstances and values. Unlike most dictatorships, it incorporates a procedure for peaceful succession. The UK's Queen Elizabeth has overseen a succession of prime ministers, and the transition of her country from head of a post-imperial commonwealth, to membership of the European Union, and now to its coming status as an independent power playing on a global stage, and trading internationally on such terms as it chooses to negotiate.

Queen Victoria is said to have remarked of Spain and Portugal, "I do think constitutions are so unsuitable for these Southern countries." Whether or not this was true then, it is not true now. Constitutions enable disputes to be settled peacefully, and this lay the groundwork for progress.

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call only, 24 hour)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *