Spanish History

Spanish History
  • Prehistory and Protohistory
  • Ancient History
  • From Carthage to Roman Hispania
  • Visigothic Spain
  • Muslim Spain and the Reconquest
  • Lower Middle Ages
  • Imperial Spain
  • Discovery of the Americas
  • 18th Century Spain
  • Effects of the French Revolution
  • The Second Republic and Civil War
  • Restoration to Democratic Rule

Restoration of Democratic Rule

Conflicts between the Republican government and the Naionalsists inreased. The Nationalists, with General Franco as their leader gained support from Nazi-Germany and fascist Italy and succeeded against the Republican block, officially supported only by Russia, although many intellectuals (as Ernest Hemingway) and politically committed from other countries fought in the International Brigades. The Nationalists succeeded.

Neautral again in World War II, the dictatorship Franco had established in Spain led not only to political but to economic isolation as well. The 50's and 60's were two decades during which extensive efforts were made to improve internacional realtions, resulting in consideralle recovvery of the economy, mainly due to industty and tourism. In 1969 Franco proclaimed Juan Carlos de Borbon, the grandson of Alfonso XIII, his successor with the title of king.

Upon Franco's death in 1975, a constitutional monarchy was established. Important political reforms were introduced by President Adolfo Suarex.

When he surprisingly resigned in 1981, a group of militars tried to take the power with a coup, but failed. In 1982 the socialist party won the elections with Felipe Gonzalez stepping up as head of the government. Spain became member of the NATO in 1985 and entered the European Community in 1986. In 1992 it appeared impressively at the world stage: Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games, Seville the world exposition EXPO'92, and Madrid was declared European Cultural Capital.

After 15 years of socialist government, José Maria Aznar of the conservative party was elected president of the government in 1996. A new offer was made to the United Kingdom of joint sovereignty over Gibraltar in January 1997, but was rejected. Both nations decided to reach a fomal agreement regarding the disputed teritory, however the Gibraltarians showed their opposition to any such idea. They rejected all notions of joint sovereignty in a referéndum. In Spain joined many other European membernations in adopting the Euro currency.

During late 20th Century and early 21st Century Spain has been plagued by problems with a Basque separatist terrorist organization that aims to secure independence for the Basque country in northern Spain from Spanish government. This organization is commonly known as ETA (standing for "Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna" meaning "Basque Homeland and Liberty") and has instigated numerous crimes of terrorist nature, especially with exploding bombs, directed above all, at judges and politicians.