By Sumeet Khosa
General Francisco Franco

After years of revolutions and internal conflict, Spain, just like most of Europe was deteriorating from the super nations they once were. 1934 saw widespread labor issues created a bloody uprising by miners in Asturias that was suppressed by Nationalist troops led by General Francisco Franco. By July 1936 a military uprising took control of many areas of mainland Spain, Spanish Morocco, the Canary Islands, and parts of the Balearic Islands and the Ebro River. Looking at his military background and style, General Franco and the Republicans were given help to gain control of Spain by the fascist governments of Germany and Italy. One of the biggest examples is the bombing of Guernica on April 26, 1936, where German and Italian planes dropped bombs over the city. This caused a massacre that instantly killed thousands of innocent civilians, including many women and children. With the extra help, the Republican forces had put down the uprising in other areas, except for some of the larger Andalusian cities, including Sevilla, Granada, and Córdoba.

In October of 1936, the Nationalists and General Franco took control of Spain and named him head of state. By 1938 Republican armies were forced to exile leading to 250,000 Republican soldiers and another quarter million civilians left Spain, and opened the door to a civil war in Madrid for ultimate power between communist and anticommunist factions. On March 28 all of the Republican armies had begun to disband and surrender, and Nationalist forces entered Madrid on that day. The Nationalists would hold on the control of Spain and force out any other political opponents.

Picasso Guernica
Picasso Guernica

Pablo Picasso's Guernica, showing the gore and brutality of the Civil War bombing caused by Franco's Nazi allies from Germany on the residents of Guernica, Spain.

From 1939 until his death in 1975, General Franco would control the proud nation of Spain, placing authoritarian policies that would effect almost everyday aspects of his citizens lives. During World War II, Franco was approached by Adolf Hitler to join the Axis of power after they provided him help in gaining power in Spain. After his demands could not be met, Franco decided to stay out of the war, instead helping refugees, including many Jews from France and Central European nations. Although his regime forced Castellano upon its citizens, anti-communism and heavily promoting Catholicism, Franco did not place any antisemitic laws. There was however, a large oppression of opposing political opponents, which seized to created a movement or rebellion during his dictatorship. His dictatorship removed all languages outside of Castellano from the public light, removing them from places such as government forums, road signs, and being taught in schools.

Links to other Pages
Post-Franco Languages

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Co-Official Languages of Spain
Flamenco of Southern Spain
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" Spanish Civil War." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 Nov. 2009 <>.
Payne, Stanley Fascism in Spain, 1923–1977, p. 347, 476 1999 Univ. of Wisconsin Press
Laqueur, Walter Fascism: Past, Present, Future, p. 13, 1997 Oxford University Press US

Photo Source
"Guernica (Painting)." Wikipedia. 2009.<>.
"General Francisco Franco" Wikipedia. 2009 <>