What are some positive aspects of the rule of the Francisco Franco over Spain?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,427
The Spanish Civil War was not really about Fascism or Communism. Foreign power intervened and brought those ideologies. There are many roots in Spanish history. However, the main issue was Spain went from absolute monarchy to universal suffrage democracy in a short period of time. Workers voted for extreme Socialist and Anarchist parties. People had long felt oppressed by the monarchy, aristocracy, and Church.

Military officers, representing the petty aristocracy and upper middle class attempted a coup and then rebelled. The Nationalists were aided by Germany and Italy. They were also strongly supported by the Catholic Church. The Anarchists were killing priests, destroying churches and so on. The radical Republicans were opposed the religion, private business, and aristocracy, so those elements in Spain or abroad generally favored the Nationalists. Mostly US international corporations and high class foreign diplomats also unofficially supported the nationalists.

The Soviet Union and Mexico were the only countries that supported the Spanish Republic. Catholics had recently been defeated in a Mexican rebellion / civil war. The Soviets gave large amounts of aid to the Republic, partly in exchange for the Spanish gold reserve from the treasure fleets, still the 3rd most valuable in the world at the time. The Soviets mostly took control of the Spanish Republic. The Soviets under Stalin executed Anarchists etc on their own side. Both sides were busy shooting adherents of the other side as traitors anyway.

Spain was not invited to join NATO due to its connections with the Axis, etc. However the US and Spain made a bilateral agreement with the US giving military aid in exchange for bases. The US was lining up every anti Communist government it could find and found common ground with conservative powers such as the dictatorships in Spain and Portugal.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,634
Republika Srpska
@Maki the plan to remove president Alcala Zamora was the plan of socialist party. Both Caballero and Prieto were leaders of this party one of its left and one of its right wing. President was removed in a very controversial way. Probably unconstitutional, but Popular Front did not want that court would decide about it because they wanted total domination.

More here:

As I said, the Socialists used the Constitution to remove Zamora. The Constitution allowed the Cortes to remove the President if he had used his powers to dissolve the Cortes twice. And the right wing did not really oppose this. Their main criticism of the new government was not that they removed Zamora, but that they let the country slip into disorder.
 
Sep 2019
310
Slovenia
@Maki it is not so easy. President was also the head of army. Zamora simply granted a wish to Popular Front and dissolved the Cortes then after this they accused him he should do it before. It is clear that constitutional court should decide this issue but Popular Front blocked that move. Generals knew Zamora would likely not make a purge in the army however Azana was very different.
 
Sep 2019
310
Slovenia
@johnincornwall

Yes And one should really doubt also that before the military coup the important forces of Popular Front were really thinking about respecting the constitution. When socialist and anarhist militias took over the most of the country in 1936. Contrary to Spanish constitution both political and personal freedoms and private property were abolished. They were clearly not fighting for constitutional order from 1931.

The economic changes that followed the military insurrection were no less dramatic than the political. In those provinces where the revolt had failed the workers of the two trade union federations, the Socialist UGT and the Anarchosyndicalist CNT, took into their hands a vast portion of the economy. Landed properties were seized; some were collectivized, others were distributed among the peasants, and notarial archives as well as registers of property were burnt in countless towns and villages. Railways, tramcars and buses, taxicabs and shipping, electric light and power companies, gasworks and waterworks, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines and cement works, textile mills and paper factories, electrical and chemical concerns, glass bottle factories and perfumeries, food-processing plants and breweries, as well as a host of other enterprises, were confiscated or controlled by workmen's committees, either term possessing for the owners almost equal significance in practice. Motion-picture theatres and legitimate theatres, newspapers and printing shops, department stores and bars, were likewise sequestered or controlled as were the headquarters of business and professional associations and thousands of dwellings owned by the upper class.

 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,634
Republika Srpska
@Maki it is not so easy. President was also the head of army. Zamora simply granted a wish to Popular Front and dissolved the Cortes then after this they accused him he should do it before. It is clear that constitutional court should decide this issue but Popular Front blocked that move. Generals knew Zamora would likely not make a purge in the army however Azana was very different.
This implies that the army rebelled because of Zamora's removal. However, there are problems with this:

1. the right wing also despised Zamora
2. the opponents of the Republic were already planning an uprising in February after the Popular Front won the election. The Union Militar Espanola, a committee formed in 1933, signaled to general Fanjul that they were ready to act but Franco blocked that at the time. So, the conservative, anti-Republican elements in the army were ready to revolt as soon as the Popular Front came to power, before they removed Zamora.
 
Sep 2019
310
Slovenia
Yes they also despised him he made big favours for popular Front but Front deposed him because he was not radical enough for them. However indeed his deposition was connected with preparations for coup. Preparations for a possible coup started in 1934 already with support of Mussolini.

In 1934, the Alfonsists, along with the Carlists, met with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to gain support for an uprising against the republic, in which Mussolini promised to provide money and arms for such a rising.
From 1934 to 1936, the charismatic Alfonsist leader Joe Calvo Sotelo spoke of the need for the "conquest of the state" as the only means to secure the establishment of an ideal authoritarian, corporatist state. Sotelo made passionate speeches in support of violent counterrevolution and emphasized the need for a military insurrection against the republic to counter the threats of communism and separatism that he blamed as being caused by the republic.



Yet even Sotelo was not sure if the coup will really happen. Conditions should be right.

After the victory of the leftist Popular Front in the February 1936, José Calvo Sotelo became the leading speaker of the anti-republican forces in the Parliament, preparing the mood of anti-republican supporters for a coup d'état. Sotelo was aware that there was a planned rebellion within the army and while he would welcome such a development, believing only an authoritarian regime would solve Spain's problems, he was not part of the conspiracy and was not sure when the planned rebellion would happen or if it even would, thus he continued his normal political and personal life. Later Sotelo was killed by revolutionaries. Generals preparing the coup used this assasination for launching the coup.


The real master behind planning the coup was general Mola. He worked with elements of the Spanish military union and by the end of April 1936 was acknowledged as its leader in north-central Spain. Then his activities increased. So that was just after Alcala Zamora was deposed as president of Spanish republic and head of army and Azana was named as president with this Popular Front taking full political control of power also upon the army. Preparations for the coup were speeded up.

 
May 2017
1,186
France
In fact,there was four leaders:general Mola (north) killed in an accident of plane,general Sanjurjo (west) killed in an acident of plane,general Cabanellas (east) killed in an accident of paella,and Franco (south:Canaries and Marocco).
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,427
In fact,there was four leaders:general Mola (north) killed in an accident of plane,general Sanjurjo (west) killed in an acident of plane,general Cabanellas (east) killed in an accident of paella,and Franco (south:Canaries and Marocco).
I think one Nationalist leader was captured by the Republicans and shot. Some people thought Franco rose to the top by eliminating the competition.

There is a story / joke that when Franco was dying a priest asked him to forgive his enemies and Franco replied, " I don't have any enemies. I killed them all." Presumably, it referred to those Nationalist leaders as well as Republicans executed.