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Analyse the political and economic changes in the Franco Regime between 1939 and 1975 - Essay Example

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This conflict pitted the Communists against the Fascists and drew in many European countries (and private citizens) on each side. The war laid waste to much of Spain and presaged the…
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Analyse the political and economic changes in the Franco Regime between 1939 and 1975
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Download file to see previous pages While so much of the world changed during these 40 years, fascist Spain remained effectively a backwater with little progress or growth to speak of. However, the process by which Franco secured political and economic control over the country, and the process by which he lost it (and which saw the return of constitutional monarchy in Spain) is a very interesting one, and the subject of this essay.
By 1936, Franco had successfully gained power over Spain, decimating his Communist opponents and leaving as many as half a million of his countrymen dead. The battle between the Fascists and Communists had not been one of arms alone—both sides had unshakeable ideological beliefs that wrought terrible destruction across the countryside. Communists attacked churches and clergymen, disrupting the traditional ways of life, while the Fascists attacked workers and members of unions they suspected of having Communist sympathies. Although Franco had won a victory, Spain was still terribly split between both sides. The violence had opened an almost irreparable wound. A statesmen would have seen this and in the best interests of his country tried to heal the divide between these two sides. But Franco had a much more brutal vision for his country—one where he dominated the cultural, economic, and political life of Spain completely. What followed Franco’s victory was a long period of score-settling, one that would permanently mark the Spanish psyche. The war would continue by other means. As Grugel writes in Franco’s Spain,
[F]ar from relaxing with the end of the war, repression of opponents both intensified and became even more institutionalized. With all of Spain now controlled by Nationalist forces, the number of potential victims expanded enormously. Even if the Francoist authorities had wished to contain the post-war terror, it is doubtful whether their supporter could have been restrained from settling old social and political scores.1
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