Spain 1949-1959 Spain since 1975

Spain, 1959-1975

Foreign Policy. Pope John XXIII.'s encyclicals MATER ET MAGISTRA (1961) and PACEM IN TERRIS (1963) were interpreted as strong criticism of conditions in Spain, at a time when Franco believed to have greatly improved relations with the Catholic church by having made considerable concessions (Concordat of 1953). GIBRALTAR had been occupied by the British since 1704 and formally ceded by Spain to Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht 1713. The Franco administration, in the era of decolonization, claimed the return of Gibraltar; when Britain denied such claims, Franco had the borders to Gibraltar closed (1969).
The EEC, established in 1957, was very successful, and the Spanish government would like to have applied for membership. However, they were made to understand that this was out of the question as long as Franco would be in power, as long as Spain would not be a full parliamentary democracy, as long as human rights were seriously violated in the country. Spanish politicians from all sides of the political spectrum agreed on the necessity of Spanish integration into Europe, and immediately following Franco's death (1975) Spain applied for full membership in both NATO and EC.
In 1968, Fernando Poo and Spanish Guinea, under the name GUINEA EQUATORIAL, were released into independence.

Domestic Policy. The suppression of both the left and of secessionist organizations continued. While Amnesty International branded Spain as a notorious violator of human rights, the Basque ETA militar (founded 1959) began a campaign for an independent Basque country, using methods such as assassination and the explosion of bombs (1968 ff). Government repression only strengthened the ETA. In Catalonia, public sentiment tended toward political autonomy. Not permitted to express itself in public, the rivalry between the soccer clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona came to represent Castilian Spain and want-to-be autonomous Catalonia.
In 1969 Franco appointed Prince JUAN CARLOS as his heir, hoping for a continuation of an authoritarian administration. In the late 1960es Spain pursued a policy of limited liberalization; trade unions were granted more freedom to act, press censorship was somewhat relaxed. In internal power struggles, the hardline military lost influence to OPUS DEI.
Political opposition organized in the trade unions; in 1969 strikes were held the demands of which went beyond economic objectives. MARTIAL LAW was declared, leaders arrested and sentenced to harsh prison terms. The universities, which had experienced rising student numbers, were another source of unrest. Here the state also reacted with often brutal repression.
In 1973 Prime Minister CARRERO BLANCO, the man Franco hoped to continue Spain's authoritarian administration after his death, was assassinated. His successor CARLOS ARIAS NAVARRO proclaimed a policy of opening the country (toward full democracy); Franco was too ill to interfere.

The Economy. In the 1960es, the Spanish tourism industry expanded greatly. MALLORCA and the COSTA DEL SOL, at the peak season, had a non-Spanish population majority. From 1960 onward, Spain experienced strong economic growth; the country changed from a primarily agricultural to an industrial society. Migration from the countryside to the cities set in. In addition, Spaniards migrated to countries like France, Germany, Switzerland in search for jobs (which were better paying than those in Spain).

Intellectual Life. While the situation in Spain proper was still characterized by censorship and suppression of dissent. Spanish intellectuals opposing the Spanish dictatorship were living in exile, some in France, JOSE ORTEGA Y GASSET and many others in (Spanish speaking) Mexico, some, such as La Passionara DOLORES IBARRURI, in Moscow. Painter PABLO PICASSO died in France in 1973, age 91.

Spain : Foreign Policy under Franco, from
Biography of Luis Carrero Blanco, from infoplease
El Atentato contra Carrero Blanco, from El Boleto, illustrated, in Spanish
L'Espanya Franquista 1939-1975, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
El Nacionalisme Basc dins l'Estat Espanyol, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
CASCON Case GIB : Gibraltar 1963-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
CASCON Case MOS : Morocco-Spain 1956-1975, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
CASCON Case SPB : Spain - Basque 1968-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Mater et Magistra, from Vatican
Pacem in Terris, from Vatican
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]
Chapter 10 : The Iberian Peninsula, pp.123-140 in : John Gunther, Inside Europe Today, NY : Harper & Bros. 1961 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1961 pp.651-652, 1962 pp.644-645, 1963 pp.758-760, 1964 pp.769-771, 1965 pp.756-757, 1966 pp.702-704, 1967 pp.696-698, 1968 pp.705-706, 1969 pp.686-688, 1970 pp.696-697, 1971 pp.678-680, 1972 pp.637-638, 1973 pp.623-624, 1974 pp.626-627, 1975 pp.633-635, 1976 pp.628-629 [G]
Article : Spain, in : A mericana Annual 1961 pp.705-707, 1962 pp.714-716, 1963 pp.621-622, 1964 pp.618-620, 1965 pp.646-647, 1967 pp.632-634, 1968 pp.620-622, 1969 pp.624-626, 1970 pp.627-629, 1971 pp.618-619, 1972 pp.613-614, 1973 pp.614-615, 1974 pp.532-533, 1976 pp.498-499 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp. 1309-1320, 1975-1976 pp. 1315-1326 [G]
Article : Spain, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1961 pp.314-315 [G]

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

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