Civil War, 1936-1939 Spain 1959-1975

Spain, 1949-1959

Foreign Policy. Spain was not included in the list of countries to benefit from the Marshall Aid programme, and when NATO was founded in 1949, Spain was left outside. The country had pariah status.
In the late 1940es the Cold War escalated and the US foreign office came to look at Spain as a potential ally in the struggle with communism. In 1950 Pres. Truman approved a loan of 62.5 million Dollars to Spain; in the same year the UN took back her request calling on member nations to withdraw ambassadors from Spain. In 1953, Spain and the Vaticano signed a CONCORDAT; a military agreement was signed with the US, permitting the US airforce to use airbases in Spain. In 1955 Spain was admitted to the UN.
Staunchly anti-communist, Spain provided a haven for political refugees from the Soviet world, such as Prince Simeon of Bulgaria and a Croatian (Ustasa) exile government.
When FRENCH MOROCCO was released into independence in 1957, Spain withdrew from her parts of Morocco (the Rif and Cabo Jubi) but held on to Ifni (until 1968), Ceuta, Melilla and Penon de Velez - outposts Spain had held since the time of the late Reconquista.

Domestic Policy. The concordat of 1953 and the 1947 plebiscite were concessions by Franco to widen his support base. The concordat restored Catholicism as state religion, abolished civil marriages; the only legal religious education was to be Catholic. In 1957 a new political group called OPUS DEI (the work of God) came to dominate the cabinet, technocrats who intended to modernize Spain's economy.

The Economy. After the war, Spain's economy continued growing at an extraordinarily poor rate. The lack of Marshall Plan aid was a disadvantage; yet the continuation of a bureaucracy run by military men with little understanding of economics was the bigger problem. Food shortage continued into the 1950es. In the course of the 1950es, inflation escalated; the formation of a cabinet dominated by Opus Dei members was an attempt to kickstart a sluggish economy. In 1958, Spain joined the OECD and the IMF.

Intellectual Life. The Franco dictatorship provided the populace with distraction by promoting sports. In the 1950es, REAL MADRID, with FERENC PUSKAS, won the European champions' trophy five times in a row.
Spain was home to two of the world's most celebrated painters, PABLO PICASSO and SALVADOR DALI, the former, a communist, spending most of his time in Paris. Spanish filmmaker LUIS BUNUEL moved to Mexico; many of his films were banned in Spain.

Biography of Luis Bunuel, from 1worldfilms
Biography of Pablo Picasso, from showgate
Ferenc Puskas, from World Cup Legends; from Real Madrid, detailed, in Spanish
Spain : Foreign Policy under Franco, from
L'Espanya Franquista 1939-1975, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
CASCON Case MOS : Morocco-Spain 1956-1975, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Images from Chronik 2000 Bilddatenbank : Franco and Salazar, 1949
Military Facilities in Spain: Agreement Between the United States and Spain, September 26, 1953 , from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
REFERENCE Peter Pierson, Dictatorship, 1939-1975, in : P. Pierson, The History of Spain, London : Greenwood 1999 KMLA Lib. Call Sign 946 P624t
Francisco J. Romero Salvado, Twentieth Century Spain, Politics and Society in Spain 1898-1998, NY : St. Martin's, 1999, 219 pp.; KMLA Lib. Call Sign 946.08 S182t
Joseph Harrison, The Spanish Economy : From the Civil War to the European Community, Cambridge UP 1996; KMLA Lib. Call Sign 330.946 H318s
B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics, Europe 1750-1988, N.Y. : Stockton Press, 1992 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.639-640, 1951 pp.645-646, 1952 pp.647-648, 1953 pp.656-657, 1954 pp.659-660, 1955 pp.707-709, 1956 pp.645-646, 1957 pp.707-708, 1958 pp.649-651, 1959 pp.648-650, 1960 pp.650-651 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.397-399 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.727-729 (on events of 1956) [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 19th 2007

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