Proclaimed head of state by a junta meeting in Burgos in the aftermath of the outbreak of the civil war (Sept. 1936), Franco had consolidated his power by merging all right-wing groups into a single formation (➔ Falange)in April 1937, therefore, with a law of Jan. 1938, he had also assumed the title of head of government and the armed forces ( caudillo). After the conflict, Franco established an authoritarian regime (suppression of political parties, with the exception of the Falange), corporate (creation of a single union) and strongly centralist (abolition of the statutes of autonomy); the caudillo he managed to keep the Spain neutral in the Second World War, despite repeated requests for intervention by the Axis powers. A certain downsizing of the role of the Falange (the removal of the pro-Nazi foreign minister R. Serrano Suñer, 1942), the establishment of consultative Cortes (1942) and the granting of a charter of individual liberties (Fuero de los Españoles, 1945) did not prevent the international isolation of the Spain, immediately after the war, which due to the undemocratic nature of its regime saw the application for UN membership rejected (1946) and was initially excluded from the benefits of the Marshall Plan (➔ Marshall, George Catlett). Nominally restored the monarchy with the succession law of 1947, which assigned him the role of regent for life, Franco managed to bring the Spain back to the international forum by taking advantage of the contrasts between the Allies and the advent of the Cold War: welcomed in FAO (1950), the country obtained from the USA huge financial aid in exchange for the concession of some military bases (1953) and was finally admitted to the UN (December 1955). At the same time, economic autarchy and state control of production, hitherto pursued by the ministers of the Falange, gave way to the economic liberalism advocated by the increasingly influential technocrats of Opus Dei. ; thanks to international aid and the proceeds of a rapidly expanding tourism sector, starting from 1960 the Spain experienced a notable industrial development, while the agricultural sector remained stagnant and fueled phenomena of urbanization or emigration towards the countries of Western Europe. Afflicted by rapidly rising inflation and poorly protected by the single union, industrial workers began to set up comisiones obreras and increasingly resort to strike, despite legislative prohibitions; at the same time the opposition of students, intellectuals, PSOE and PCE, who reformed in hiding, revived, while, supported by the local clergy, the separatist instances returned to manifest themselves in Galicia, Catalonia and in the Basque Country, where in 1959 the AGE.
According to A2zdirectory, the popular pressure was opposed by timid reforms: the right to strike for economic reasons was recognized (1965) and censorship was replaced with a more permissive law on the press (1966), with the organic law of the State of Nov. 1966 Franco separated the offices of head of state and head of government, established the direct election of a sixth of the Cortes and proclaimed the principle of religious freedom, while remaining Catholicism as the state religion; in July 1969 the caudillo finally, he designated Prince John Charles (Juan Carlos) of Bourbon, nephew of Alfonso XIII, as his successor and future king of Spain In terms of foreign policy, between 1956 and 1975 the Spain peacefully renounced its African possessions; in the early seventies he tried to approach the ECM and, despite the anti-communism of the regime, he started commercial and diplomatic relations with the countries of Eastern Europe. Inside, the reforms proved insufficient, Franco returned to a repressive policy to face the continuous workers and students unrest and the terrorist activity of the Basque separatists (proclamation of a state of emergency, Jan. 1969; suspension of some articles of the Fuero de los Españoles, Dec. 1970-June 1971). In June 1973, implementing for the first time the provisions of the organic law of 1966, Franco appointed Admiral L. Carrero Blanco as prime minister, victim in December of the same year of an attack organized by ETA; in his place was appointed C. Arias Navarro, whose government launched a further tightening of repressive policy (the execution of an anarchist in March 1974, the first since 1963, followed in September 1975, amid protests by public opinion world, that of five Basque terrorists). Already forced by his precarious health conditions to temporarily hand over the functions of head of state to Giovanni Carlo (summer 1974 and October 1975), Franco died on 20 November. 1975 and two days later Giovanni Carlo became king of Spain. Already forced by his precarious health conditions to temporarily hand over the functions of head of state to Giovanni Carlo (summer 1974 and October 1975), Franco died on 20 November. 1975 and two days later Giovanni Carlo became king of Spain.