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The Dictatorship In Spain Essay

1424 words - 6 pages

It is now a widely held academic view, that the dominant occupation of Franco, and his regime, was the nationalistically focused, self-indulgent, reworking of history. Designed to brutally disseminate an idealised vision of a united singular Spanish National identity, under the auspicious guise, of avoiding another civil war and banishing the evils of Marxism. And how he, throughout the years of the dictatorship, outwardly projected this image of unity, in order to gain economic favour with the differing dominate world powers (Preston 1995). The aim of this paper will be to chart how certain cultural artefacts were used to manipulate and romanticise the propaganda perpetuated by Franco during the civil war and the ensuing dictatorship. The essay will look at how these artefacts were used during the thousand day war, in uniting the differing right wing nationalist entities into a singular force; and how this idealised propaganda imbued the Nationalists with a crusade like mentality. The paper will also examine how these ideals, in the aftermath of the civil war, were wielded callously by the Francoist movement. In their heinous endeavour of purging all Republican supporters, and decimate any objectivity as to the real nature of the civil war. The paper will conclude by looking at the cultural artefacts used by the Catholic Church during their relentless march towards, the unified ideals and morals of National Catholicism.
In 1936 the decision was made by the Nationalist rebels to bestow military and political authority on General Franco. Once invested with this power, Franco took steps towards unifying the right wing Nationalist factions, including the Falangist Militia, Carlist Requetes, the Military, the Catholic Church and the Monarchists, into a single party, the Falange Espanola Tradicionalista y de las JONS (F.E.T.). Due to the wide spectrum of right wing factions, Franco realised without unity it would be impossible to define a political agenda and achieve victory over the Republican forces. Aware of the ideological differences in the Nationalist camp, Franco focused on the common denominator across all the different factions, the view, perpetuated by the Catholic Church, that the Civil War was a ‘crusade against the godless enemies of the Spiritual Spanish Nation’. This approach peculated the ideals among the Nationalist, that the war was a battle for Spain’s traditional cultural identity which was being eroded by the modernity of the Republic. The Nationalist forces unleashed, through a variety of media, a propaganda machine designed to disseminate their political and cultural message of a traditional Spain. In the process, they viciously vilified and demonised those who were opposed to their message, labelling them evil and Anti-Spanish. Posters and public notices, designed by Carlos Saenz de Tejada, were an important and divisive tool employed by the Nationalists for stirring up anti-communist sentiment (Esenwein 1995). These propaganda...

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