Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Day Franco Restored the Monarchy

It was on this day in 1947 that the Spanish monarchy was technically restored. “Technically” because there was still no King of Spain. What there was amounted to a regency in the person of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. The nationalists, which Franco led to victory over the communists in the last Spanish Civil War, had always included a large number of monarchists and Franco himself said he was a monarchist. However, the problem for Spanish royalists was a lack of unity (haven’t we been down this road before). In fact, there was probably never a time in Spanish history that the republicans ever held a majority of popular support. They were able to take control of the country only because the royalists were feuding with each other and, then as now, many on both sides were prepared to risk a revolutionary republic rather than see the “other side”, Alfonsist or Carlist, take the throne. Therefore, Franco knew the royalists were something of a double-edged sword. He needed their support, indeed he likely could not have won without them, but his restoration of the monarchy in 1947 did not include the restoration of an actual monarch.

To do so would have meant choosing either the Alfonsist or Carlist candidate and thus immediately sacrificing the support of the side passed over. Franco wanted Spain strong and united and was desperate to avoid such an event, even to the point of informally offering the Spanish throne to the recently deceased Archduke Otto von Hapsburg (the Archduke declined of course and recommended Prince Juan Carlos). During his years in power, Franco swayed somewhat, back and forth, from one faction to the other. However, as we know, he ultimately decided on the more established Alfonsists and named as his successor Prince Juan Carlos who became King of Spain after Franco’s death. I would take a moment to point out that there is a lesson here for monarchists to learn from. How many opportunities were lost for the restoration of the ancient monarchy of France due to the vociferous animosity between the competing factions there? In any event, despite what the Spanish government said later about King Juan Carlos owing his position solely to his legal, hereditary right, few would doubt that there would be no Kingdom of Spain today were it not for Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Even King Juan Carlos seems to think so as, despite how politically incorrect Franco has become in the decades since his death, the King does not speak about him in public and even in private will not allow anyone to speak ill of the late Caudillo in his presence.

It may not be socially acceptable to say so, but I cannot be too critical of the Generalissimo either. What happened may not have been ideal, certainly it would have been preferable if a man like Franco had not been necessary at all. However, I maintain that he was necessary. Were it not for him Spain would have remained a communist dominated republic, oppressive, violently anti-clerical and where traditional Spanish culture, including monarchist support, would have been wiped out entirely. Spain would, I believe, have become little more than a Soviet satellite state which would have been disastrous for the entire Free World. All of Western Europe would have been outflanked and in the aftermath of World War II nations like France and Italy would have been scarcely defensible. No, unsavory as some of his actions might have been, I am convinced that Franco did the world a great favor by his victory over the Spanish republic and his transitioning of Spain back to its natural state, that of a monarchy.

I may have said this before, but the way in which so many people today criticize Generalissimo Franco and his regime (and he was a dictator, pure and simple) while never thinking about what life might have been like or how history might have developed had he not held the line against communist aggression, always makes me think of that famous scene in the film “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson. Nicholson, as Marine Lt. Col. Jessup says,

“Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns…I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom…and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall…I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way.”

Franco could say pretty much the same, I think, to his critics today. He was not politically correct, he was not liberal or “pluralistic” but when the specter of communist tyranny was looming on the horizon, we certainly needed him on that wall.

3 comments:

  1. You know usually I don't comment much, but well I completely agree.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. When Franco died so did Spain. Now Spain has abortion,birth control,pornography, and homosexual marriages. None of this could have occured with a fascist dictator like Franco. Only under democracies and communism does this happen.
      The Church until Vatican II strongly supported Catholic fascism and the Franco regime. During the Spanish Civil War, Pope Pius XI and Pius XII opened called the fascist cause in Spain Catholic and said anyone against Fascism in Spain is a bolshevik. Under Pius XI,Cardinal Pacelli urged the German bishops to pubish a pastoral letter urging Chancellor Hitler and the national socialist government to intervene in Spain. Similar urging was directed toward Mussolini. The German and Italian intervention was extremely helpful in acheiving victory in Spain. The 1953 Concordant between the Vatican and Spain represented continuing Church support of Franco's fascist regime.
      It is obvious that a dictatorship is not sinful in itself,otherwise
      the Church would not have supported Franco and given him communion.
      Because Franco and his regime was not perfect(what human is),does not change the fact that Franco's cause was holy, his reign Catholic,and his enemies now and then Satanic.
      It is obvious tha

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