Francisco Franco

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Franco, Francisco

(fränthēs`kō fräng`kō), 1892–1975, Spanish general and caudillo [leader]. He became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco. During the next 10 years he enhanced his military reputation in a variety of commands and became identified politically with the conservative nationalist position. In 1934 he was appointed chief of the general staff by the rightist government, and he suppressed the uprising of the miners in Asturias. When the Popular Front came to power (Feb., 1936), he was made military governor of the Canary Islands, a significant demotion. In July, 1936, Franco joined the military uprising that precipitated the Spanish civil warSpanish civil war,
1936–39, conflict in which the conservative and traditionalist forces in Spain rose against and finally overthrew the second Spanish republic. The Second Republic
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. He flew to Morocco, took command of the most powerful segment of the Spanish army, and led it back to Spain. He became head of the Insurgent government in Oct., 1936. In 1937 he merged all the other Nationalist political parties with the FalangeFalange
[Span.,=phalanx], Spanish political party, founded in 1933 as Falange Española by José António Primo de Rivera, son of the former Spanish dictator.
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, assuming leadership of the new party. With German and Italian help he ended the civil war with victory for the Nationalists in Mar., 1939. Franco dealt ruthlessly with his opposition and established a firmly controlled corporative state. Although close to the AxisAxis,
coalition of countries headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, 1936–45 (see World War II). The expression "Rome-Berlin axis" originated in Oct., 1936, with an accord reached by Hitler and Mussolini. The Axis was solidified by an Italo-German alliance in May, 1939.
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 powers and despite their pressure, Franco kept Spain a nonbelligerent in World War II. He dismissed (1942) his vigorously pro-Axis minister and principal collaborator, Ramón Serrano SúñerSerrano Súñer, Ramón
, 1901–2003, Spanish politician. A conservative member of the Cortes (1933–36), he joined his brother-in-law, Francisco Franco, early in the Spanish civil war (1936–39) and became Nationalist minister of the interior
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. After the war Franco maneuvered to establish favorable relations with the United States and its allies. He further reduced the power of the Falange and erected the facade of a liberalized regime. The law of succession (1947) promulgated by Franco declared Spain a kingdom, with himself as regent pending the choice of a king. Diplomatic relations were established with the United States and other members of the United Nations in 1950, and as the cold war continued Franco secured massive U.S. economic aid in return for military bases in Spain. From 1959 onward, Franco presided over governments that were increasingly concerned with technological change and economic development. Very successful in these fields, the regime was forced to grant even greater social and political liberties, except in the Basque provinces, where a fierce struggle against separatists raged. The greater de facto freedom allowed growing vocal opposition to Franco's regime, even from the Falange, whose exclusion from power was increased after the appointment of Luis Carrero BlancoCarrero Blanco, Luis
, 1903–73, Spanish statesman and naval officer. Following the Spanish civil war, during which he served in the Nationalist navy, he became chief of naval operations on the admiralty staff and one of Francisco Franco's intimate collaborators.
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 as vice premier. Franco, however, firmly maintained his position of power, even after the assassination of Carrero Blanco in 1973. In 1969, Franco named as his successor the Bourbon prince, Juan CarlosJuan Carlos I
, 1938–, king of Spain (1975–2014), b. Rome. The grandson of Alfonso XIII, he was educated in Switzerland and in Spain. Placed by his father, Don Juan de Borbón, under the care of Francisco Franco as a possible successor, he graduated from
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.

Bibliography

See biographies by B. Crozier (1968), G. Hills (1968), and J. W. Trythall (1970).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Franco, Francisco

 

(Francisco Franco y Bahamonde). Born Dec. 4, 1892, in El Ferrol; died Nov. 20, 1975, in Madrid. Dictator of Spain.

Franco graduated from the Infantry Academy in Toledo. He fought in the Spanish colonial wars in Africa. In 1936, Franco led a military fascist revolt against the Spanish republic, with the help and later the open intervention of fascist Germany and Italy. In 1939, after the fall of the republic, he was declared the supreme leader (caudillo) of the Spanish state by a military junta. Franco simultaneously was the leader of the Spanish Falange party, premier (a post he relinquished in 1973), and commander in chief of the armed forces. In 1947 he passed a law on the succession to the throne, in accordance with which Spain “in conformity with tradition” was declared a kingdom, but the restoration of royal power was delayed until Franco’s departure from political life. In accordance with a decree on July 22, 1969, Prince Juan Carlos was proclaimed the next king of Spain.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(62) In the progressive press, this middle-class woman symbolized the remnants of Francoism, embodied in the person of Franco's widow, Carmen Polo, but also in the nameless women in black pictured at a mass for the assassinated Carrero Blanco (Franco's chosen successor, assassinated in 1973), or identified in stories about Francoist gatherings or the Alianza Popular (the right-wing party linked with Francoist supporters).
The truth, as the leftist historian Paul Preston writes, is that Francoism "inadvertently created the social and economic conditions for the regime's ultimate transition to democracy," and within what Preston calls the "antiquated political straitjacket of Francoist Spain, there began to grow a new, dynamic modern society." A new consensus on both left and right existed that led to the creation of democracy and eventually to the formation of a Socialist government.
She also reminds us that Francoism implemented cultural patterns and habits of consumption that underpinned one of the regime's notable legacies: consumerist capitalism.
The Catholic religion was elevated to the rank of state ideology and the status of a central ingredient of Francoism. Church dignitaries sat as full members in the highest organs of the state: in the government, the Cortes, the Regency Council.
Since it approximated more to a reform from above than to a |ruptura democratica'--a radical break with Francoism in which a provisional government would have presided over the preparation of elections--the transition did involve vital inter-elite collaboration, and political parties and their leaders were the central actors during the transition years.
L pez describes the creation and development of the idea that art and politics are the same, and analyzes the inevitable processes of negotiation that it entailed among art critics, artists, and cultural agents during Late Francoism 1959-75.
But the erasure of women's issues was accompanied, under Francoism, by the erasure of national issues that were not understood as strictly and self-evidently "Spanish." Undeniable as it is that the works of Burgos suffered a generalized figurative erasure, often masked in (masculinist) terms of quality and value, it is also undeniable that the works of Aurora Bertrana and other writers of the Spanish State who wrote in languages other than Spanish suffered an erasure in which terms of quality and value, inflated to encompass entire linguistic cultures, hardly figured at all.
films, television programs, exhibits, and documentaries about hitherto less broadly publicized aspects of the Civil War and Francoism" (206).