Catholicism in Franco's Spain: 1939-1975 Analytical Essay by NCHist

Catholicism in Franco's Spain: 1939-1975
A discussion on the changing relationship between General Franco's government and the Catholic Church in Spain, 1939-1975.
# 153511 | 1,521 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2013 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper relates that in 1939, General Franco established an authoritarian state based on order, stability, and the Roman Catholic Church, in which the church and state would be intertwined. The paper looks at the Concordat of 1953 that was an almost sacred sign of his divine right to rule Spain and relates that after its signing, Catholicism continued to infuse every aspect of society and government. The paper then discusses how the reforms of the Second Vatican Council would lead to the end of church-state integration in Franco's Spain. The paper shows how although Franco established a confessional state in which Catholicism permeated every aspect of life, in the end, the church moved from being a legitimizing force for his regime into a force of opposition.

From the Paper:

"In the 1930s Spain underwent its civil war which pitted the leftist Republicans against the right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco. By 1939 Franco's forces had triumphed and he immediately established an authoritarian state based on order, stability, and the Roman Catholic Church. Under Franco's government, the ancient concept of "throne and altar" was restored, in which Church and State would be intertwined. Contrary to popular belief, the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Franquist State was not without conflict. In its earlier years the Church functioned as a legitimizing force for Franco but steadily became opposed to to the state following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
"The Catholic Church had always been an integral part of Spanish identity. Although practiced by the overwhelming majority of the population, many on the left believed that the Church held too much influence in Spain. Following the election of the leftwing Popular Front in 1936, the Catholic Church underwent a period of repression and persecution. The politicians of the Popular Front held that Catholicism kept Spain from entering the modern world and thus decided to end its hold over Spain. The Popular Front disestablished the Catholic Church, seized its lands, and banned the Jesuit order. However, these measures would appear moderate compared to what occurred during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brassloff, Audrey. Religion and Politics in Spain: The Spanish Church in Transition 1962-96. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998
  • Hills, George. Franco: The Man and His Nation. New York: McMillian, 1967
  • Lannon, Frances. Privilege, Persecution and Prophecy: The Catholic Church in Spain 1875-1975. Oxford: University Press, 1987
  • Payne, Stanley G. Franco's Spain. New York: Crowell, 1967
  • Payne, Stanley G. Spanish Catholicism: A Historical Overview. Wisconsin: University Press, 1984

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Catholicism in Franco's Spain: 1939-1975 (2013, June 08) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Catholicism in Franco's Spain: 1939-1975" 08 June 2013. Web. 09 December. 2023. <>