The Spanish transition to democracy
was the era when Spain
moved from the dictatorship
of Francisco Franco
to a liberal democratic
state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish Constitution of 1978
, the failure of Antonio Tejero's attempted coup
on 23 February 1981, or the electoral victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
(PSOE) on 28 October 1982.
Political role of Juan Carlos I
The death of Franco elevated Don Juan Carlos de Borbón
to the throne. Until Franco’s death, Juan Carlos had remained in the background and seemed to follow the dictator’s plans of appointing him his successor as head of state with the title of King of Spain
. Once in power as king, Juan Carlos facilitated the development of the current political system, as his father, Don Juan de Borbón
, had advocated since 1946.
The transition was an ambitious plan that counted on ample support both within and outside of Spain. Western
governments, headed by the United States
, now favored a Spanish constitutional monarchy
, as did many Spanish and international capitalists
.<!-- Most of those within Spain who had Franco's regime and many of those who had supported embraced Juan Carlos's plan as a chance for beneficial political and economical change.-->
Nevertheless, the transition proved challenging, as the spectre of the Civil War
(1936–1939) still haunted Spain.......