Francisco Franco was a monarchist, and his main goal was to protect his country from anti-Spain forces, such as political parties and parliamentary democracy. Franco's overall goal was to maintain power at all costs and to ensure his self-appointed role as protector. His regime was marked by mass executions, banning labor unions, taking political prisoners and opposing political parties, languages other than Spanish and religions other than Catholicism.Continue Reading
After enrolling in the Spanish Infantry Academy, Franco was posted in Morocco from 1912 to 1926. In 1926, at the age of 33, he became the youngest general in Europe. In 1935 he became army chief of staff, but in 1936 he was banished to the Canaries following the election of a leftist coalition. During the Spanish Civil War, he joined the rebel Nationalist government and became the commander-in-chief of its armed forces. When it took over Spain, he became, in effect, an absolute dictator. Though Spain remained neutral during World War II, Franco's sympathies aligned with the Axis powers of Italy and Germany.
In 1947, in keeping with his role as a monarchist, Franco appointed himself lifetime regent and chose Juan Carlos, grandson of King Alfonso XIII, as prince and future king of Spain. He personally supervised Juan Carlos' education, according to Biography.com. However, upon Franco's death, Juan Carlos assumed power and immediately began to make reforms; he legalized free political parties and a system of democratic constitutional monarchy. Biography.com notes that within a few years of Franco's death in 1975, his political influence had been expunged.Learn more about Modern History