Estado Español/Spanish State





Head of State

Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado, Generalisimo Don Francisco Franco y Bahamonde, Cuadillo de España por la Gracia de Dios (1936-1975), Su Majestad Juan Carlos I, Rey de España (from 1975)

Ruling Party

Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista/Spanish Traditionalist Phalanx of the Assemblies of National Syndicalist Offensive (from 1937)

Head of Government

Don Ramon Serrano Suñer (1938-1973), Don Luis Carrero Blanco (1973-1976), Don Adolfo Suarez y Gonzalez (1976-1982), Don Manuel Fraga Iribarne (from 1982)


Spain's Nationalist government had come to power with the assistance of Italy, Germany and Portugal, and was expected to join the Axis immediately. However it took several months of negotiation to persuade Spain to join the Axis war effort. At meetings with Adolf Hitler in October 1940 and with Benito Mussolini in February 1941, Francisco Franco obtained guarantees of territorial gains at the expense of France and Great Britain, and subsequently entered the conflict by invading the British enclave of Gibraltar.

The conquest of Gibralter resolved a long-standing irredentist dispute and turned the Mediterranean into a virtual Axis lake. Spain also took part in the invasion of the USSR, from June 1941, and persuaded the neighbouring Portuguese regime of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar to send forces to the Eastern Front in December 1941.

After the war, Spain was rewarded with the ceding of the French Protectorate of Morocco to Spanish control. This was something of a fait accompli, as Spain had already occupied the French portion of Morocco during May 1941. This was ostensibly to prevent a British invasion, though in reality it was an opportunistic move based on a sense of French weakness: France had conceded temporary control of Tonkin to Japan in September 1940 and of Tunisia, Syria and Lebanon to Italy in March-April 1941, while much of Laos had been irrevocably lost to Thailand by May 1941.

In August 1941 the Spanish authorities had ousted the Moroccan sultan, Mohammed V, and replaced him with a distant relative, Mohammed VI. The ousted sultan was subsequently exiled to Spanish Guinea, along with thousands of his followers. The main cause of his ouster had been his resistance to the Nazi-inspired racial laws imposed by the French and then, in a harsher form, Spanish authorities. Morocco's Jewish population of over 200,000 individuals was subsequently relocated to camps in the Western Saharan desert before being released into German custody.

Toward the end of his life, the Caudillo Franco moved decisively toward the monarchist faction of his government, nominating the Borbon Don Juan Carlos as his heir as head of state and the monarchist Don Luis Carrero Blanco as his successor as head of government.

Subdivisions of the Spanish StateEdit

  • España Uniforme: the Crown Lands of Castille and Leon
  • España Incorporada: the Crown Lands of Aragon, including the Balearic Islands and Rosellon (formerly occupied by France)
  • España Foral: the provinces of Alava, Navarra, Baja Navarra, Labort and Sola and the Principality of Bidache. The Principality of Andorra may also be considered part of Foral Spain
  • España Colonial: those regions ruled directly from Madrid but somewhat distant from the Spanish mainland. These comprise Guinea and the nearby Fernando Po, the Canary Islands and the northern coast of Morocco opposite Spain. Other parts of the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco have also been administered directly from Madrid, but are now under Spanish-Moroccan Condominion. 
  • Marruecos: a nominally sovereign kingdom under Spanish protection. The territory under the nominal control of the Moroccan sultan has expanded to include former Spanish and French colonial territories.
  • Andorra: a nominally sovereign principality under Spanish protection. Arguably Andorra is more akin to the Foral provinces than a distinct unity.