|Spanish peaceful transition of power from a dictatorships to a democracy is as fascinating as any revolution. The same monumental revolutionary tasks were achieved in Spain by gradual shifts of power within the legal landscape.|
|There are 2 aspects of peaceful transition of power from Franco to King Juan Carlos and eventual return to democracy in Spain.
One aspect is a political eventuality that moved Spain from rigidity of a tyranny to a more tolerant state. Another aspect is a Law of Succession that created a legal structure for transfer of power. Let’s examine how both of these themes paved a way for a democracy in Spain.
|1936-07-19||Military uprising in Barcelona – start of the Spanish Civil War|
|1939-03-28||Victorious Nationalists entered Madrid in triumph – the Spanish Civil War came to an end|
|1947-03-28||The first draft of Law of Succession (Ley de Sucesión en la Jefatura del Estado) declares Spain as a kiddom, and Franco has a right to name his royal successor.|
|1948-11-08||Franco did not want to deal with the legitimate heir Don Juan. He requested that Don Juan’s son – Juan Carlos would travel to Spain and be educated under Franco’s watchful eye.
By an agreement with Franco, 10 year old Juan Carlos (son of Don Juan) traveled from Lisbon to Madrid on a train to be educated and nurtured as a proper Spanish heir after Franco’s death.
|1960-07-15||Franco proposes to Cortes Juan Carlos a Franco’s successor with a title of King. Juan Carlos father – Don Juan – a legitimate heir to the throne lives in Lisbon and very displeased with the announcement. The proposal was adopted at the Cortes on July 22 with 491 for, 19 against and 9 abstentions. In the meanwhile, Juan Carlos is now Prince of Spain.|
|1974-04-25||Peaceful Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, end of Caetano Government, end of Salazar’s era, and start of Portuguese eventual transition to democracy.|
|1974-07-05||Franco fells seriously ill and enters a hospital on July 9. Prime Minister Arias Navarro and President of the Cortes Rodríguez de Valcárcel to prepare a decree permitting Juan Carlos to take over as an interim Head of State while Franco is undergoing a life-threatening operation. Franco’s son in law tries to prevent signing of the decree. Finally, on July 19 Franco sing the decree. Now Juan Carlos would have to take responsibility for not his Government and not his Prime Minister.|
|1974-09-02||Franco resumes his powers|
|1974-12-16||Although political parties were banned since 1939, a new law allowing political associations was approved (Estatuto de Asociaciones Políticas)|
|Franco is planning to|
|1975-10-01||Franco’s last public appearance.|
|1975-10-15||After experiencing symptoms of influenza Franco had a first hard attack|
|1975-10-20||Second heart attack of Franco. It is time to enact Article 11 of Ley de Sucesión, but Juan Carlos is hesitant. He doesn’t want another interim transition of power in the face of potential humanitarian crisis in Western Sahara. Morocco’s King Hassan prepares a 50,000 civilian march to overtake last Spanish possession in Africa – Western Sahara and army would have to shoot and kill civilians.|
|1975-10-30||Franco displays sign of peritonitis. The doctors tell Juan Carlos that Franco has no chance of recovery. Franco requests implementation of Article 11 of Law of Succession. Juan Carlos becomes head of State for the second time.|
|1975-10-31||Juan Carlos chairs his first the cabinet meeting. The situation is most tense in Western Sahara, where 50000 civilians from Morocco advancing on Spanish troops and bloodshed seems inevitable. Juan Carlos travels to El-Aaiún near Moroccan border and calms the situation: we will have an organized withdrawal according to negotiated terms. The step consolidates military support to the Prince. Back in Madrid, a carefully orchestrated call from King Hassan II come in right during the cabinet meeting. This new Head of State firmly takes control into his hands.|
|1975-11 03-06||Franco goes through a series of extreme health episodes and more operations. The Franco’s family insisting on keeping Franco on life support. But questions on the political radar – who will be next Prime Minister and who will be lead the Cortes. The Prince communicates with active players, displays sound political skills and pursue his own political will.|
|1975-11-20||Franco dies in Madrid. King Juan Carlos becomes the Head of State. Few ministers are replaced, but Prime Minister and key Army ministers are kept from previous cabinet|
|1976-07-05||King Juan Carlos requests resignation of Franco’s Prime Minister Carlos Arias Navarro. New Prime Minister becomes In a surprise move, King’s selects as a new Prime Minister a personal friend and a successful functionary Adolfo Suárez who at that moment was secretary-general of the only legal political organization – National Movement. Both King and new Prime Minister begin to work on Political Reform Act that would legally change the political landscape on Spain.|
|1976-11-19||Old Cortes Generales largely appointed by Franco voted for general elections next year which means legally voted itself out of existence (for – 425, against – 59, abstained – 13).|
|1981-02-23||18:23 Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero with 200 soldiers enters the Parliament where deputies are in process of approving new prime minister Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo. The whole operation are|
|1982-10-28||General elections for the 2nd Cortes Generales – all 350 seats in Congress of Deputies and 208 of 254 seats in the Senate.
Socialist party of Felipe González gained 48% of popular votes and 202 seats in Congress of Deputies.
|1982-12-02||Felipe González – Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) becomes the first opposition leader to become a Prime Minister of Spain.|
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