After Franco’s death, Spaniards were gripped by a mixture of uncertainty, great expectations and fear. Although an overwhelming majority hoped that a passage to a modern democratic regime might be managed peacefully, very few dared to predict the country’s political development. Everyone was aware that there existed powerful elements at the extremes of the spectrum who were unlikely to relinquish their maximalist positions. In such a context, the skill, determination and goodwill of both the main opposition leaders and the king and his government were to be crucial in accomplishing a negotiated and relatively tranquil transition. Yet the dismantling of the old Francoist apparatus and the building of a democratic system cannot be seen as purely a piece of engineering from above based on the negotiations between political elites. Important though these factors were, it was the radical cultural and economic transformations of the last fifteen years of the dictatorship which were vital.
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- The Triumph of Democracy, 1975–98
Francisco J. Romero Salvadó
- Macmillan Education UK
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