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Francisco Franco

Generalísimo Francisco Franco, more fully Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teodulo Franco y Bahamonde (December 4, 1892 - November 20, 1975) was the dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975.


General Franco

Franco graduated from the military academy in Toledo. Because of his performance in the Morocco war, at the age of 23 he became the youngest major in the Spanish army, thanks to King Alfonso XIII. He was made general in 1926, and from 1933 onwards he was Commander of the Spanish Army.

The leftist Government of the Second Spanish Republic suspected him of subversion and sent him to Canary Islands. But on July 17, 1936, he flew to Spanish Morocco[?] where he made the Spanish troops in Northern Africa rise against the Republic. This began the Spanish Civil War and accompanying revolution. During the war, he achieved the supreme command of the Nacional army. He also managed to fuse the Falange[?] and the Carlist[?] parties under his rule. The war ended with his conquest of Madrid on March 28, 1939. After this he was the dictator of Spain until his death in 1975. Like all dictators, Franco took absolute personal control.

Interestingly, though the head of a republican government, Franco never assumed the title of "President." He was referred to only as the "Generalissimo" or the "Head of State." This move, along with his panache for "royal" uniforms, allowed him to court Spain's large pro-monarchy demographic.

Adolf Hitler sought to bring Spain into World War II, but Franco's demands (Gibraltar, French North Africa[?],...) were unacceptable, and Spain remained neutral during the war. Franco sent voluntary troops (División Azul) against the Soviet Union and gave facilities to German ships. In 1947 he proclaimed Spain a monarchy. In 1969 he designated Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón with the new title of Prince of Spain as his successor. This was a surprise for the Carlist[?] pretender to the throne. By 1973 Franco gave up the function of Prime Minister, remaining only as head of the country and as chief commander of the military forces.

Franco didn't have a strong ideology. He initially sought support from Fascism (nacionalsindicalismo) and the Catholic Church (nacionalcatolicismo). In the 1960s, he allied the United States in Cold War and launched the so called "Spanish Miracle[?]" developing Spain from autarchy[?] into capitalism. During his rule trade unions and all other political opponents (right across the spectrum, from communist and anarchist organisations to those who advocated liberal democracy, and nationalists, especially Basque[?] and Catalan[?]) were suppressed. A Freemasonry conspiracy was a constant obsession for him.

See also: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
Preceded by Alfonso XIII of Spain
and the Second Spanish Republic
Spanish heads of state Succeeded by:
Juan Carlos I of Spain



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