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Fascism in Spain, 1923–1977

Stanley G. Payne

Publication Year: 1999

Fascism in Spain, 1923–1977, by celebrated historian Stanley G. Payne, is the most comprehensive history of Spanish fascism to appear in any language. This authoritative study offers treatment of all the major doctrines, personalities, and defining features of the Spanish fascist movement, from its beginnings until the death of General Francisco Franco in 1977.

Payne describes and analyzes the development of the Falangist party both prior to and during the Spanish Civil War, presenting a detailed analysis of its transformation into the state party of the Franco regime—Falange Española Tradicionalista—as well as its ultimate conversion into the pseudofascist Movimiento Nacional. Payne devotes particular attention to the crucial years 1939–1942, when the Falangists endeavored to expand their influence and convert the Franco regime into a fully Fascist system. Fascism in Spain helps us to understand the personality of Franco, the way in which he handled conflict within the regime, and the reasons for the long survival of his rule. Payne concludes with the first full inquiry into the process of “defascistization,” which began with the fall of Mussolini in 1943 and extended through the Franco regime’s later efforts to transform the party into a more viable political entity.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

In 1961 I published a study of the early history of the Falange that was based on a doctoral dissertation for Columbia University and grounded particularly in extensive research in oral history in Spain during 1958-59. Though it could not, for political reasons, be published in Spain at that time, a translated edition was brought out in Spanish...

I. Nationalism in Spain: Liberal, Authoritarian, Fascist

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1. The Problem of Spanish Nationalism

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pp. 3-15

The political culture of Spain has seemed unique among European countries because of the absence or weakness of Spanish nationalism for much of the modern period. The Spanish crown and state are more than half a millennium old, and for non-Spaniards the identity of Spain has seemed clear enough from the sixteenth century...

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2. Origins of Authoritarian Nationalism in Spain

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pp. 16-50

At the beginning of this century, liberal political culture in Spain was challenged only by the revolutionary extreme left and by the Carlist extreme right, both equally impotent. The generally liberal orientation of the Spanish intelligentsia was accentuated by the philosophical vogue of Krausist pantheism and progressivism...

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3. The Fascism of the Intellectuals

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pp. 51-66

The appeal of fascism in Spain was limited by the weakness of Spanish nationalism, by the country's lack of involvement in World War I, and by the lesser impact there of the cultural crisis of the fin-de-siecle. Radical Catalanism had by the 1920S created the first direct-action nationalism in Spain, but this had not assumed a fascist form...

II. Jose Antonio Primp de Rivera and Falange Espanola, 1933–1936

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4. José Antonio Primo de Rivera and the Founding of the Falange, 1933–1934

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pp. 69-114

Ramiro Ledesma's achievement was to define the program of a Spanish fascism, something that no other sympathizer or would-be Spanish fascist had been able to accomplish. Yet Ledesma was clearly no Duce; though he possessed clarity, intensity, and decisiveness, he lacked charisma. He could define a sort of Spanish fascism...

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5. Jefe Nacional, 1934–1936

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pp. 115-184

By mid-I934 it seemed that Jose Antonio's earlier pessimism had been justified. Whatever initial momentum may have existed had been lost, and the letters to the Madrid office pledging affiliation had declined to the merest trickle. The left expressed its hostility in the most violent manner, the right was critical and disdainful, while the centrist government of the Radicals showed a heavy...

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6. From Clandestinity to Civil War

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pp. 185-208

The victory of the Popular Front was at first not viewed as a total disaster by Falangists, for they could now argue that their tactics had been proven correct and the moderate electoral policy of the CEDA a failure. Some party militants were convinced that their hour was approaching. As the local chief of Seville later...

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7. The Death of José Antonio

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pp. 209-236

During the final weeks before the outbreak of Civil War, several plans were conceived to enable Jose Antonio to escape from prison. What the variants had in common was reliance for the initial passage to freedom on the complicity of some of the prison personnel-a possibility that apparently continued to exist...

III. The Falange Espanola Tradicionalista in the Fascist Era, 1936–1945

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8. Francisco Franco and the Formation of the Falange Española Tradicionalista

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pp. 239-272

On I October I936 Francisco Franco assumed complete power as chief of state of Nationalist Spain. Within a matter of weeks he had moved from being one of the most respected figures in the military hierarchy and youngest of the major generals to holding the most extensive authority of any chief of state in Spanish history, a position that he would occupy for nearly four decades...

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9. The FET during the Civil War, 1937–1939

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pp. 273-309

One of Franco's principal achievements as Caudillo of the Nationalists in the Civil War was to avoid the political conflict and disunity that often weakened the Republican zone. He accomplished this in part through the creation of the nominally unified partido unico, and negatively through simply banning all ordinary political...

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10. The FET during the Climax of European Fascism, 1939–1941

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pp. 310-362

Franco's total victory in the Civil War determined two issues. The first was the complete defeat of liberalism and the left, whether in the form of the largely democratic Republic of 1931-I936 or the revolutionary regime of I936-I939. The second was the certification of the personal power and authority of Franco himself...

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11. The First Phase of a Long Defascistization, 1941–1945

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pp. 363-398

The FET had been designed as a hybrid fascist-type state party, combining the Falange with the Carlists and to some extent with other rightist forces. For at least four years after the unification, the camisas viejas had expected to predominate, brushing aside Carlists and others. They had designed the crisis of May 1941 to force this issue...

IV. The Movimiento Nacional during the Postfascist Era , 1945–1977

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12. Partial Eclipse and Frustrated Resurgence, 1945–1958

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pp. 401-430

As the war drew to a close, Franco developed a fairly clear design for the future course of his regime. Calling a meeting of the Junta Politica del Movimiento early in May 1945, he explained, as one camisa vieja remembers it, that "when a ship tries to stay on course, if it is necessary to lower some of the sails, they are temporarily...

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13. The Last Phase of the Movimiento, 1959–1977

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pp. 431-468

The success of the liberalized economic policy of the "technocrats" at first relieved the buildup of political pressure from the opposition, though in the long run it may have had the opposite effect. Franco came to support the new economic program more fully after he had the opportunity to observe its productive consequences...


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pp. 469-482


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pp. 483-564


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pp. 565-601

E-ISBN-13: 9780299165635
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299165642

Publication Year: 1999

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Francoism.
  • Falange Española -- History.
  • Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas Ofensivas Nacional-Sindicalistas -- History.
  • Spain -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Fascism -- Spain -- History -- 20th century.
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