Spain After the World War II

At the end of the World War, the problem of Spain and the Franco regime was taken up again in international debates and lively controversies arose around the only fascist dictatorship left in Europe. In America and England, Franco was accused of having helped the Axis powers during the war. For his part, Franco, who had already dissolved the main institutions of the party and dismissed the most compromised men, declared that Falangism had never been fascism, but rather a typically Spanish form of life. At the end of 1945 there was also talk of an imminent return of the monarchy, which would have allowed a peaceful liquidation of the dictatorial regime. For Spain 1996, please check

The republican government of emigration. – In the meantime, the republican political emigrants who during the world conflict had found themselves dispersed in various countries of Europe and America, were finally able to reunite. At the beginning of 1945 there were the first approaches and after long discussions and lively controversies the 140 surviving deputies of the last republican Cortes were summoned to Mexico City on August 15. The radical Martinez Barrio, who had been the last president of the Cortes, was elected to the presidency of the nominal Spanish republic, and former prime minister José Giral was charged with forming the new government. In early November Giral presented to the Cortes a cabinet of national union, approved by acclamation. In February 1946 the new nominal government, already recognized by four American states, Mexico, Venezuela.

Spain in the new international situation. – On February 27, 1946, the Franco-Spanish border was closed and in early March a declaration was issued by the British Foreign Office, jointly formulated by the British, French and American governments, in which it was agreed that as long as power remained in the hands of Franco and had the Falange not been dissolved, the Spanish people would not have been associated with free democratic nations. After some time, at the request of Poland, the UN Security Council was also referred to the Spanish question, while on the other hand it was decided to withdraw the ambassadors from Madrid, albeit without breaking off diplomatic and commercial relations. The measures adopted, however, were practically ineffective and rather served to strengthen Franco’s position internally.

In the subsequent developments of the international political situation, the Spanish question took a back seat and little by little the heat of the primitive polemics surrounding Franco’s regime was also dying out, since, apart from the credit that many recognized for having kept Spain extraneous to the conflict, it is now evident that General Franco does not stand so much for the support of the people or the army, but rather on the political-strategic interest that Spain represents, in the face of the increasingly bitter contrast between West and East. In February 1948, after about two years, the Franco-Spanish border was reopened and the agreement for air traffic was signed between the two countries in August.

The dynastic problem and the new constitutional law. – The dynastic problem has meanwhile entered a new and perhaps decisive phase, since on March 31, 1947 Franco announced the restoration of the monarchy, temporarily assuming the functions of head of state, assisted by a council of regency. The bill, approved in the Cortes by acclamation, was submitted to a national referendum on 6 July with the following results: 14,145,163 affirmative votes, 722,656 negative, 336,592 abstentions and null votes. From the text of the new law it is clear that Franco will be able to remain head of state for life; by dying or retiring, either a person of royal blood will be found willing to take an oath to the fundamental laws of the nation, or another person can be appointed who satisfies the required conditions. This law did not receive don Juan’s approval, pretender to the throne of Spain, who however on 25 August 1948 met off the Bay of Biscay with General Franco. The subject of the soliloquy was the future education of Don Juan’s ten-year-old son, Juan Carlos and, as agreed, he went to Spain at the end of September to attend a regular course of study. It is therefore to be assumed that, according to a compromise formula to which the mediation of Umberto di Savoia does not seem to have been extraneous, Juan Carlos, upon reaching the age of majority, is designated to ascend the throne of Spain.

Spain After the World War II

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