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SPAIN, 1898-1931 At the end of the 19th century, Spain lost its last colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In the early 20th century, some parts of Spain experienced industrial growth. There were many social uprisings, such as the revolt in Barcelona in 1909. In 1923, during the reign of Alfonso XIII, General Primo de Rivera established a dictatorship, but maintained the monarchy.

THE SECOND REPUBLIC In 1930, Primo de Rivera´s dictatorship came to the end, and elections were organized. In 1931, Republican candidates won local elections, and Alfonso XIII left Spain and went to Rome. The Second Republic was established, and a Constitution was approved. The first president of the 2nd Republic was Alcalá-Zamora. Azaña followed him. Many reforms were introduced: -Land was distributed among the peasants. -The first Statutes of Autonomy were declared. -New state schools were built. -Women were given the right to vote. Disagreement between the different political parties produced internal problems. Conflicts became violent, and some people, including politicians, were assassinated. Part of the army rebelled against the democratic government and a civil war began.

THE CIVIL WAR (1936-1939)

The Civil War began in 1936. Spanish people fought against each other because of their ideological differences. -The Republicans, who supported the Republic, controlled much of the north, centre and east of Spain. They also held most of the big cities. - The Nationalists, who supported General Franco, initially controlled many rural areas in the south and north-west of Spain. However, they won a series of victories, and gradually occupied most of Spain. Barcelona fell in January 1939,and Madrid in March 1939.The war ended on 1 April 1939.


General Franco now controlled all of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. He was head of state, head of the government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Franco named himself ¨The Caudillo¨. During his dictatorship: - Political parties and trade unions were illegal. - There was only one political party and one trade union, controlled by the government. - Many individual liberties , such as freedom of expression, were restricted.

Spain did not participate in the Second World War that took place in Europe, Asia, and North America between1939 and 1944. Initially, Spain was isolated politically, economically and culturally. Many workers migrated to other countries. Beginning in the 1960s,there was economic growth, including the development of the tourist industry. Franco died in 1975, and the transition to democracy began.


In 1975, Juan Carlos I, Alfonso XIII´s grandson, was designated king of Spain. In 1977, democratic elections took place for the first time in over forty years. Unión de Centro Demacrático (UCD) won the most votes, and Adolfo Suárez became the first democratic President after the dictatorship. The Spanish Constitution was approved in a referendum on the 6th December 1978. It states that all Spanish people are free, equal under the law, and have equal rights. Since then, we have general elections every four years in Spain. All Spanish citizens over the age of 18 can vote.


Since 1982, both the Spanish Socialist Party and the Popular Party have governed Spain. There have been many political, social, economic and cultural changes. Two changes are especially important: - Spain became a member of the European Union. - The Spanish State was organized into 17 Autonomous Communities and 2 Autonomous Cities. Spain has become a modern, prosperous country.

CULTURE AND SOCIETY LITERATURE: poets such as Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti and Jorge Guillén formed part of the ¨Generation of 27¨ Later, the writers Vicente Aleixandre and Camilo José Cela won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

ARCHITECTURE: Antonio Gaudí designed original buildings, such as the cathedral of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

PAINTING AND SCULPTURE: Pablo Picasso together with Juan Gris, he was one of the founders of the artistic style Cubism. Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí were also great painters and sculptors, who were best known for their surrealist works.

CINEMA: the film director Luis BuĂąuel became famous worldwide.The directors Jose Luis Garci, Fernando Trueba and Pedro Almodovar have won Oscars.

SOCIETY Under the dictatorship - Divorced was not permitted - Most women did not study or work. -Married women could not work, own property or even travel without their husband´s permission. -For many years, Spain had little contact with other countries. However, in the 1960s many tourists started to come to Spain.

Since the dictatorship - Divorced is legal - Many women study at University and work. -They can own property, and Can be totally independent. -Spain is open to the world. Many inmigrants returned to Spain after the dictatorship, and today there are immigrants from many parts of the world.

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