Francoist Spain: Dictatorship, Memory, and History

Classified in History

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Franco’s Dictatorship

1. Franco: Caudillo of Spain

He had all the power. He was Head of State, Head of Government, and the Supreme General of the Armed Forces. There was no division of power in Spain.

2. NO-DO

Noticiarios y documentales (NO-DO) was a state-controlled series of cinema newsreels in Spain (1943-1981). The NO-DO was watched by all citizens at the cinema, and it was full of one-sided (national) propaganda.

3. Sección Femenina

Sección Femenina was the female branch of the Falange, which guided the life of women.

4. Propaganda

Propaganda was strongly used by the National side, and thanks to the one used for the Referendum of 1947 (regarding the law of succession), Franco got power for life. Apart from that, he was given the right to choose his successor.

5. The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church supported Franco, and there was no separation between the Church and the State. The Church was an institution that controlled education, social life, and all moral issues.

6. The Guide of the Good Wife

Sección Femenina was in charge of this book/guide, which focused on providing women with a set of rules and pieces of advice regarding their behavior at home once they got married.

Memory and History

Individual Memory

Individual memory is what a person remembers about a certain event. It's influenced by self-identity, feelings, and life-experiences.

Historical Memory

Historical memory is what and how a society remembers the past. Objects, monuments, museums


The science that researches, records, and explains significant past events.

Francoist Dictatorship

1939-1959: Autarchy and Isolation

  • 1939, April 1: Franco ended the war. Spain remained neutral in World War II.
  • 1946: UN condemned Spain.
  • 1952: End of rationing.
  • 1953: Military and economic agreements between the United States and Spain.
  • 1955: Spain became a member of the UN.

1959-1975: Development and Opening

  • 1959: Stabilization plan, the precedent of the development plans that made possible remarkable growth in industry and consumption. Founding of ETA.
  • 1966: Press Law; the government maintained censorship but with a more flexible appearance.
  • 1969: Franco appointed Prince Juan Carlos as his successor.
  • 1970: Burgos Trial against 16 ETA members.
  • 1973: ETA killed the President of the Government, Carrero Blanco.
  • 1975: Last executions ordered by Franco: Juan Paredes "Txiki" and Anjel Otaegi (ETA members) and Jose Humberto Baena, Jose Lui Sanchez Brabo, and Ramon Garcia Sanz (FRAP members).
  • 1975, November 20: Franco's death.


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