Traditionalism in Spain: the Second Carlist War 1872-76

Alastair Hennessy draws parallels between Carlist Spain of the nineteenth century and Franco's twentieth century fascist regime.

When we look at Spain’s history for the hundred years before 1939, with its confusing cross-currents, its passionate excesses and intolerance and its numerous bitter civil wars, it stands in marked contrast to the apparent simplicity of Spanish political life today. The rebellion that began in 1936 was the climax to a long and tortuous period of political experiment, while the legacy of this twentieth-century civil war—at least, according to its defenders—is a system that has solved the ever-recurring problem of Spain’s misgovernment. Foreign observers may well be sceptical; but, as the whole conception of General Franco’s regime is based upon an interpretation of national character and of Spain’s peculiar historical development, an intimate knowledge of both is needed to appreciate it.

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