María del Carmen Franco y Polo

Daughter of Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco Dies

Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was known for his reign in Spain at a time when Spain was devoid of a stable government and economy. The internal division had taken place, and the entire country was on the verge of a breakdown.

However, the rule by Franco was unique and saw as many supporters as haters. Initially, Franco was a ruthless dictator, his policies being too harsh for the people because he never really cared about getting support from the masses.

But after a few years, when World War II ended, he transformed into a bearable ruler. He gained the trust of other countries and the united nations. He reformed his policies and became the head of the Spanish state, which, although officially ruled by Prince Juan Carlos, was ultimately under hid complete control.

María del Carmen Franco y Polo and her father

Early life of Carmen

Not much was known about Dictator Francisco Franco’s life, but he had a daughter called Carmen. Thus, it became major news when it came out that the daughter of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies at the age of 91 on 29th December 2017.

María del Carmen Franco y Polo was the only daughter for Francisco Franco, and she passed away on a Friday in her home at Madrid. The cause of her death was terminal cancer. She had one grandson named Luis Alfonso de Borbón. Alfonso announced the demise of his grandmother on Instagram ad it was confirmed by her biographer, Nieves Herrero, who is a journalist by profession.

Naturally, when the daughter of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies, the matter about the entire history comes up, it became sensational news to know about Carmen’s life. Dictator Francisco Franco was married to María del Carmen in 1924, and two years after their marriage, on 18th September 1926, Marìa del Carmen Franco was born in the city of Oviedo.

Although she had taken classes and did her high school clearance exams under the guidance of a personal tutor, she had never taken any exams officially. Franco was always traveling from one military base camp to another in Spain, and thus, the childhood for Carmen was very peripatetic.

Franco as a loving father and husband

There were always assassination threats on Franco’s life, and that was another reason to keep moving. In the Canary Islands, she lived a tranquil life. Carmen’s nickname at home was Nenuca. She was also fondly called Morita.

In 2008, Carmen published her memoir called “my Father,” in which she wrote that he was very loving, caring, and affectionate to her, and she loved and adored him dearly as well.

Franco was a very caring father and husband and always looked out for his family to keep them safe and away from danger. In France, Carmen and his wife stayed under hidden identities, and Carmen was known by the name María Teresa Martínez-Valdés.

However, when the coup staged by Franco became successful, and he became the dictator of Spain, Nenuca became known in public with the name Carmencita.

Traveling and shifting in Spain

When Carmen returned to Spain, she shifted home from one palace to another. At first, she took residence in the Salamanca Palace, and then she moved to the palace in Burgos. Then the family moved to Madrid, where they first stayed in Viñuelas castle.

Finally, they moved to El Prado palace in March 1940, where she remained till 1975, the year in which Franco died. Carmen continued with her life after her father’s demise, and in 1950, she got married to the Marquis of Villaverde, Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú. She and Cristóbal had seven children.

Carmen lived a tranquil life; however, in 2017, she announced that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The National Francisco Franco Foundation

The National Francisco Franco Foundation was made in the honor and praise of the dictator, Franco, for ruling Spain successfully until his death. Carmen was the honorary president of this institution and continued her role until the time she died.

In the vicinity of the people of Madrid, a mass was held in the memory of Franco, and she joined the other participants of the mass to give a fascist salute to the dictator outside the church.

Daughter of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies

On the 40th anniversary of Franco’s death, in November 2015, Carmencita came into media to declare and clear the controversy of Franco’s remains being moved from Valle de Los Caídos that was near Madrid, saying that it was best not to disturb the dead and let them rest in peace.

Her children and grandchildren stayed with her during her last month, and she left a fortune worth more than €500 million after she passed away.

Read more →
Francisco Franco visiting the Catalan front

Francisco Franco’s Dictatorship

Francisco Franco was the dictator of Spain at a time when the country was not at its best. The government was not stable and far away from being secure. The country was utterly exhausted because of the long war in which it had been involved.

The country was impoverished, and internal division had torn the country apart. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship was very varied at different periods. At first, Franco had declared Spain to be completely neutral in the conflict.

However, he changed his decision after France fell in 1940. At that time, Germany was oppressed under the dictatorship of Hitler and Franco approached him, providing his alliance to fight on Germany’s side on the condition that Germany provided Spain with extensive military support and economic assistance.

Franco also demanded that France’s territorial establishments in Northwest Africa should be given to Spain.

Francisco Franco Bahamonde

Franco’s neutrality in the war

Hitler was adamant at not giving in into any of Franco’s demands. After Hitler’s rejection, Franco relatively sided with the Axis Powers but never gave a complete military commitment to them. Because of his neutrality, his realm was able to survive the war, and it did not get destroyed like the other Axis powers.

He became the last fascist dictator who had survived World War II, and he became the most hated head of the Western state. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, during this period, received a lot of criticism.

However, the people who supported him were almost as many people who were against his reign. There was a period when the newly formed United Nations entirely excluded Franco and the country of Spain after the end of World War II.

The improving relations of Franco with other nations

However, this ostracism ended when the relationships between the Soviet World and the West worsened. In 1948, Spain’s relations with other countries started proceeding towards a reasonable regularity.

Now Franco was begun to be seen as one of the world’s leading statesman who was an anti-Communist. In 1953, a 10-year military assistance pact was signed by Spain with the United States, and this further advanced Franco’s reign in a positive direction.

Franco was able to some amount of respect from his critics when he liberalized his domestic policies during the 1950s and 60s. His regime continued with creative evolution. His self-confidence marked Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, and he stated that it was his ignorance of all the criticism that he received that he was able to reign successfully for so long.

Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco of Spain meet in Gare d'Hendaye

Why was Franco a successful dictator?

Franco stated that the reason why his regime was successful was that he had support from both moderate liberals and extreme reactionaries. He never participated in any ordinary political conflicts. Instead, his game plan was to let his appointees implement and execute his policies while he sat above all, maintaining the balance between the liberals and extremes.

This was always beneficial to him because if any reaction came back to his policies, the individual ministers had to face all the criticism while he sat back and received and ruled with an upper hand. Franco also provided for his government even after he died. He was the only authoritarian who had made policies and had provided for the continuation of his government after his demise.

The rule of Franco after 1969

The Spanish state was made a monarchy through an official referendum that was passed in 1947. In 1967, a minority of deputies were allowed to stand for open parliamentary elections by Franco. In 1969, he officially designated Prince Juan Carlos, a member of the Spanish Royal Family, as his successor after his death.

He made the perfect move by declaring himself as the head of the state after resigning from the position of the premier of the Spanish state. He became the head of the “Movement” and took over as the in charge of the commander in chief of all the armed forces.

Francisco Franco’s dictatorship was a mix of different periods. He was never really liked as a ruler, and he was never very attached to his subjects. He was never inclined towards gaining support from the masses initially, but later, he relaxed his policies and made the working of his government a little liberal.

This changed his image in front of his people and other rulers from that of a rigorous and ruthless ruler to that of a civilized statesman who worked towards making Spain a state that works with the other powers of the world.

In the late 1960s, Franco’s health began to deteriorate drastically. He believed that his descendant, Prince Juan Carlos, would be able to handle the state affairs correctly because he had left Spain as a stable state whose government was structured according to his policies.

The Valley of the Fallen General Francos tomb

Franco’s death

Franco passed away in 1975, and after his demise, Juan decided to change the system of Spain’s functioning. He stressed upon the fact that all political parties should be revived so that the authoritarian rule under Franco’s rule gets abolished.

The economy of Spain became prosperous, and within three years of Franco’s death, Spain became a democratic constitutional monarchy.

Democratic institutions of Spain gained success and reached great heights just like all the other democracies of the rest of Western Europe. The last two years of Franco’s rule were the best years of his reign because they saw a different side of Franco, and that led to the progress of the economy of Spain.

Read more →
spanish souvenirs for sale

Best Spanish Gift Ideas

Be it around festive season like Christmas or other special days and occasions and anniversaries, the struggle for getting the best gifts for your loved ones has been genuine. The gift should be cool, the other person should have a liking to the present, it should be precious so that it stays in the memory of the receiver, and most of all it should fit the budget of the giver.

When all of these factors come into the picture, the thought of Spanish gift ideas comes to mind. Some of the Spanish gifts that are available in the market are cool, and they are known as sovereign.

However, choosing from the best Spanish gift ideas is a tricky job, and this article will help you to overcome that task.

spanish gift shop

7 of The Best Spanish Gifts

1. Nochevieja

12 is a very significant number in Christian history. Be it the 12 strokes of midnight or the presence of 12 months in a year, 12 has an important significance, and thus shoving 12 seedless grapes into your mouth at 12 in the midnight on New Year’s Eve is an ancient tradition in many cultures.

This is done in the hope that the new year will be lucky and will bring joy and prosperity to people, and this tradition is known as Nochevieja. Thus, gifting a bottle of twelve seedless grapes is considered to be a sweet gesture.

2. Spanish Hams

Spanish hams from Pata negra pigs

A Spanish Christmas table will always have, as one of its delicacies, a Jamón. However, gifting an entire ham leg is not feasible because it is enormous. Thus, one can resort to the Spanish gift idea of giving eleven packs of vacuum-sealed Pata Negra, which are 100g in weight.

The Jamón in this form is deboned and sliced up in a uniform and gentle manner, which looks very presentable and makes a perfect gift.

3. Mantecados

Gifting ten boxes of Mantecados is another way to go when it comes to giving gifts to your loved ones. Many Spanish sweets are mouth-watering and delicious, and they take over the grocery and bakery stores during festive seasons.

The most preferred treats among all the delicacies are mantecados and polvorones, which have Lard as their base. These are fun, novelty sweets and are full of fatty, creamy goodness. If you want to buy a present for the females of the family or female friends, abanicos are the way the go.

Women love the painting of nine dancing ladies on beautiful fans called abanicos, and thus these make a perfect gift. Classy ladies love having these beautiful fans, and they and light in weight and can be carried around easily.

4. Spices

Another fantastic Spanish gift idea is gifting a family eight sachets of spices. Spices symbolize flavor in life and the incoming of prosperity. Spain is one of those countries where a wide range of spices are produced, be it paprika or saffron.

This is an advantage because it makes the gift cheaper and affordable if you are running on a tight budget and want to make a Spanish food gift basket. It is a more affordable option than going for expensive wine or olive oil.

These gifts are also featured on a German site that I found online the other day. You can visit the website at to have a look for yourself.

Music is also an essential part of their culture, and many people love dancing to the catchy tunes of Spanish music. Thus, gifting a collection of seven music CDs is an excellent Spanish gift idea if you are deciding a gift for a music fan.

You can go for wither classical Spanish songs or make your compilation of pop tunes that go well with the season of celebration.

5. Belénes

Museo de Belenes

Spanish nativity scenes that are depicted by six ceramic nativity figurines rule the store shelves as soon as the season for Christmas sets in. These are also known as Belénes, and they are displayed in shop windows, school foyers, and on the streets to bring in the joy and happiness of the incoming of Christmas.

Thus, gifting belénes also counts as a fantastic gesture, and these nativity scenes can depict anything, the most basic one for your loved ones being the Holy Family, the ox, the cow, and the caganer, which is the cheeky man pooping at the corner.

Olive oil production business is preeminent in Spain, and it comes as a very thoughtful gift for a person who loves to cook. Olive oil is also known as liquid gold, and gifting five liters of olive oil symbolizes your care and love for the receiver.

This has the added advantage of being available in fancy and beautiful packing and wrapping.

6. Rope-soled Esparto Shoes

Rope-soled Esparto shoes is a gift I found on a website called Party Wedding. I was looking for a great present to give to a befriended couple that was going to marry very soon. It’s an excellent choice to give away.

Rope-soled Esparto shoes are the most fashionable as well as comfortable shoes available in Spain, and they can make up for a fantastic gift. These shoes can be gifted to both men and women, and they are handmade shoes that are incredibly durable, having the quality that can last for many seasons and become a memorable gift.

Spanish wine hampers are a delight to gift and receive during the holiday season. They are a bit more expensive than the other gifts, but if you have a good enough budget, gifting three bottles of Spanish wine is one of the best Spanish gift ideas.

The only difficulty is in carrying them as they are heavy, but if you can manage that, there is no better way to celebrate than drinking the delicious Spanish wine.

7. El Gordo Lottery

El Gordo is a grand lottery event in which people buy décimas or lottery tickets that cost €20 a piece. As they are expensive, people buy these in groups so that in case they win the lottery, the entire winning sum can be divided equally amongst the group, and even if they don’t win, not a lot of money is lost.

As the children of San Ildefonso School sing out the lottery numbers on the day of the announcement, crowds huddle up inside bars to see if their luck had turned up and if they had won the whopping sum of €4 million.

you don’t want to settle for just one of the gifts mentioned above, many Spanish hampers are also available in the market, and their prices start from €30. These Spanish hampers are the best Spanish gift ideas as they include a vast collection of gourmet products such as wine, cheese, preserves, and meat products.

All of these, when put in on one wicker basket and cover with fancy decorative cellophane, make the most fantastic gift for festivals.

Read more →
Práxedes Mariano Mateo Sagasta y Escolar

Spain in the American Revolution

Spain’s contribution to the American Revolution was pretty significant. Not all history books talk about the part Spain played in the American Revolution. The main reason why Spain took part in the American Revolution was to get back their land from the British.

Britain had gained power over many parts of the world; Spain is one of them. Spain decided that they won’t be a bystander and that there would be a contribution by Spain in the American Revolution, and the reason why they would take part was to gain the lands that had been snatched away by Britain, just like the other countries.

In 1779, Spain promised Americans to help them win the war. John Jay was the American commissioner representative for Spain, who went there to gather support for the common cause of fighting against Britain.

Political cartoon during the American Revolution

Why Spain participated in the American Revolution?

Complete restoration of their lost lands was promised to Spain by the Americans, and thus, the Spanish decided to commit towards helping the Americans in the Revolution. The reason why Spain in the American Revolution is not known majorly for their contribution is that Spain did not provide military support or troops for fighting.

However, the help that Spain provided was extensive because the kings of France and Spain gave large sums of money and loans as part of the contribution to the American Revolution. The Roderique Hortalez and Company was the private company that Spain used to launder the money and war material to the Americans directly.

Many foreign military officers such as Augustus von Steuben, Casimir Pulaski, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko were brought in with the help of the money the Americans received from Spain.

There were many forts that Spain lost to the Americans. When Don Bernardo de Gàlvez was the Governor of Spain, which is from the year 1779 to 1782, Spain led multiple military campaigns against the British.

These military actions were taken by Spain to get back the possession of their forts, and success was seen in the Mississippi River Valley, at Baton Rouge, Natchez, Mobile, and Pensacola. Spain also succeeded in taking back the Bahamas from Britain. Another substantial way in which Spain took part in the Revolution was by providing Naval Support.

Satirical etching by James Gillray about the Treaty of Paris

How did the Spanish contribute to the American Revolution?

Spain helped in providing support to other European countries who were fighting against the British. These European competitors of Britain planned on tying up the naval resources of Britain. The marine resources were made to engage elsewhere so that Americans could win the war against the British.

Spain played an important part in tying up the British ships by sending a fleet into the English Channel. Spain opted this way to fight against Gibraltar and Minorca, and this helped to menace the coast of Britain.

The trade between Britain and America was interrupted by Spain, which was one of the major European maritime powers. All of these European countries came together, and unitedly fought against the British.

The concentration of the military force on America deviated, and soon it became ineffective. The British navy was outmatched when both the French and Spanish attacked together. A complete naval blockade was launched against the British Army.

In 1781, at Yorktown, General Cornwallis’s resupply by the British navy was prevented entirely and blocked, and thus, the General had to surrender.

Read more →

Rebellion Broke Out By Spanish Zone Of Morocco And Canary Islands

One of a serious revolt broke out by the armed forces of Spain, which includes an area of Morocco and Canary Islands. However, there was not any repercussion on the first part of revolt on the mainland that is outside Seville. A revolt broke out for left Republican Government that took their office when general elections in march got held. They established some form of Rightwing Dictatorship at their places. Spanish people have no interest in democratic general elections, so they decided to do the Spanish right of rebellion. Because it was a common problem of people that is the reason most people took part in this Rebellion.

Problems Faced By Government Of Spain

During the first elections in 1932, there was a republican Constitution and the army was growing actually under General Sanjurjo. However, after Conservation Victory during 1933, two primary outbreaks came out in which one was Syndicates and others were Socialists. Then a remarkable swing of electoral on Left causes expectation of revolt from Right.

The present Government is facing hazardous political problems and also economic problems from the day they took their office. They are facing issues like numerous strikes, Burning of Churches, Shooting affrays, significant and immediate deterioration of industry as well as of trades, and Political assassinations.

One of the attempts made by the Government has also become worse was the introduction of land reform because it got misunderstood by illegal seizure by peasants of estates. They also proposed vascularisation about education that aroused resistance for Church. Even the unemployment problem got aroused because people start leaving their jobs before the election, and it caused a big issue over the Government.

Then in 1936, the Spanish revolution has caused by workers that are social revolution during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war. It resulted in the implementation of anarchist and socialist organization principals in Spin. Mainly, the economy was working with workers like hotels, restaurants, shops, and industries were working with workers. The workers were facing many problems, and they get to consider nothing in society. Even, another leading cause of revolution is growing of Libertarian Socialists economy in Spain.

Goals of the Revolution

They caused a big revolution in society because their revolt contains some general goals for people of Spain like the elimination of institutional state power, control of workers on Industrial production, and elimination of social influence that got caused by the Catholic Church. It also contains goals of the international spreading of revolution to neighboring areas and implementation of the libertarian economy of socialists. They struggled for ten months to get their goals in their hands.

They revolutionalized in many areas like primary Madrid, Catalonia, Anarchist, Andalusia, Aragon, and some parts of Levante of Spain. They used some of the methods to protest like collectivization at workplaces and the assassination process of Political matters. Even several people got killed while Spanish right to the Rebellion process. Not all victims got killed while revolution, but some of them died during assassination, execution, and bombardment.

Read more →