Source E Dionisio Ridruejo in 1938 Francos propaganda chief interviewed by Ronald Fraser in the 1970s

The charter had very concrete origins: the Italians demanded it, maintaining that it was necessary to give the new state a more progressive social outlook and to remove suspicion that it was simply a reactionary regime. It was one of the very few times that the Italians intervened in the internal politics of the new regime, unlike the Germans.

The latter's main concern was repayment of their aid. I heard Serrano Suner relate privately how German pressure became so great at one time that Franco said he would renounce German aid entirely and, if need be, fight the war as a guerrilla operation. 'We shall win the war in whatever way we can, for I am not prepared to sell any part of the national territory.'


1. How far does the language and tone of Source A (i) suggest that Franco's priority was a broad basis of support for the Unification Decree? (4)

2. In what senses does Source D suggest that the Labour Charter could be seen as the Unification Decree's economic and social equivalent? (4)

*3. Assess the value of Source B as evidence for the composition of Franco's cabinets. (8)

4. 'The new Spanish State will be a true democracy in which all citizens will participate in the government by means of their professional activity and their specific function' (Franco, July 1937). On the basis of your own research, how adequate a portrayal do you think these sources provide of Nationalist Spain during the Civil War? (9)

Worked answer

*3. [Lock in to the key word 'assess' - critical evaluation is needed. The challenge is to balance the table's strengths with its weaknesses.] The time-scale of Source B is twenty-four years, during which time Franco presided over six cabinets. Source B begs the question: how consistent was the representation of each listed group, and in what posts? Even so, the source does point up the eclecticism of Franco's cabinets, the regime's 'elite pluralism' (Juan J. Linz). It also shows which groups were and were not strongly represented numerically. Those that were are likely to have had more than one seat on more than one cabinet. In fact, cabinets ranged from thirteen to nineteen members during this period, with an average size of fifteen. Source B also shows the military having the highest percentage as a group but that in terms of background it was diverse. We can also see that the highest percentage within the army (24 per cent) has no particular identity beyond loyalty to Franco. On the other hand, Source B demonstrates that the Falange, with a military and non-military combined total of 29.5 per cent, had the highest proportion in cabinet of those with a political profile beyond their 'Francoism'. There were actually three Falangists in the first cabinet to August 1939; doubling to six in the second to May 1941; and reducing to four in the third to July 1945. There remained a nominally Falangist component through to 1962 and beyond.

Source B also shows evidence of continuity with the pre-Franco era, including monarchists, ex-CEDA and ex-ministers of the Miguel Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-30). One of the latter, the aged but ruthless General Martínez Anido, died in 1938 while in office - the sort of 'change within a cabinet' concealed by Source B. Nor does Source B tell us anything of the formative Nationalist juntas (1936-7) or governments post-July 1962, a period of increasing dissent. Some of the terminology requires explanation, for example, Acción Española (an extreme monarchist group) and Opus Dei (Roman Catholic modernizers). And we are not told when Opus Dei acquired a significant voice for change. However, Source B does suggest strongly that Franco's cabinets combined breadth with concentration and that they were a coalition of talents and traditions serving Franco's will. Some caution is necessary concerning the military: it never made up more than 50 per cent of any cabinet and a military monopoly was precluded by the broad spectrum of interests that Franco sought to keep on board. On the other hand, the military's influence reached beyond cabinet, as did that of the Falange.

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