Who was Franco? Francisco Franco (1892-1975) was a Spanish general and dictator who ruled over Spain as a military dictator from 1939 until his death in 1975. He was a leader of the Nationalist forces that defeated the Spanish Republican government during the Spanish Civil War and his regime was known for its authoritarianism and extreme conservatism. After his death, Spain underwent a democratic transition.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish military general who ruled over Spain as a dictator from 1939 until his death in 1975. Born in 1892 in Ferrol, Spain, he was the son of a naval officer. Franco joined the Spanish infantry in 1907 and rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming a general in 1926 at the age of 34. After a failed coup attempt in 1932, he was exiled to the Canary Islands. During the Spanish Civil War, he sided with the Nationalists and eventually became the leader of the movement in 1939. Upon taking power, Franco implemented a fascist-style government and sought to restore order to the country by suppressing any opposition. He also sought to restore traditional values and Roman Catholicism as the state religion. In foreign policy, Franco allied himself with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and it was during this time that he earned his nickname, El Caudillo (the leader).
Franco’s rule was marked by repression and censorship. He was slow to enact any reforms, and it was not until the 1960s that he began to make some concessions to democracy. He also allowed Spain to join the United Nations in 1955. On the international stage, Franco sought to make Spain a major power and worked to improve its economy. Despite his authoritarian policies, Franco is still a controversial figure in Spain. He is credited with bringing stability to the country after the civil war and is remembered as an effective leader. On the other hand, he is also remembered for his suppression of basic rights and his support of fascist regimes.