Spain in the 20th Century

A financial crisis of the early 1920s led the country to the brink of civil war, and General Primo de Ribera established a military dictatorship, which lasted until 1930. Elections in 1931 showed all the large towns of Spain supported the Republicans. The size of the Republican's vote in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona was massive. However in the rural districts the Monarchists gained enough seats to secure for them a majority in the nation as a whole. But on the day following the elections, crowds gathered in the streets of Madrid. The king's advisors urged him to leave the capital immediately, to prevent bloodshed. Alfonso XIII left Spain and the Second Republic was established.

This did not solve the basic split in the country, and for the next five years, the country became split more and more into irreconcilable sides. Amid a climate of increeasing violence there was in a military rising on July 18th 1936 which led to into a bloody civil war over the next three years.

On October 1st, 1936, General Franco took over as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The feud between the two sides degenerated into cival war, which lasted for 3 years. General Franco, received support from nazi Germany and fascist Italy and eventually won the war. The next 40 years saw Franco established as a dictator. Political life of the country was characterized by the illegality of all the political parties with the exception Franco's National Movement.

Spain was neutral during World War II. During the 1950s and 60s the country's economy gradually recovered. In 1969 Franco proclaimed Juan Carlos de Borbon, the grandson of Alphonse XIII., his successor with the title of king.

Franco died in 1975, bringing to an end a period of Spanish history and opening the way to the restoration of the monarchy with a new King of Spain, Juan Carlos I de Borbon y Borbon.

In 1981 a coup was attempted by an element of the army, but failed. Spain became member of the NATO in 1985 and entered the European Community in 1986. And in 1999 Spain adopted the Euro as its currency.


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