While the Civil War and the democratic Transition are the most studied periods of Spain’s history in the twentieth century, the period of the 1960s and early 1970s was also one of momentous change and significance. A relative economic backwater emerged as the ninth most industrialized country in the world. It was a time of such deep transformation that it is now commonly acknowledged that it paved the way for the success of the democratic Transition of the 1970s. Edward Malefakis, speaking of the two decades that preceded Franco’s death, has referred to a period of ‘protodemocratization’ (Palomares 2004: 3). There were two distinct narratives as to why this actually happened. One was the ‘triumphalist’ version presented unrelentingly by the spokesmen for the regime, including Franco himself, according to which the regime had steered Spain for 25 years through a turbulent international context, had solved economic difficulties with the Stabilization plan and, through its Development Plans, was the architect of what became known as the ‘economic miracle’, or developmentalism (desarrollismo).
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