Alternate History

Spain 1945: A Coup d'État for democracy

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Did you know that in 1945, just six years after the Dictatorship of General Franco had been established, there was a try of what we would call a pacific coup d'Etat for overthrowing the totalitarian regime of the military genius from Galicia? Yes, you heard me right, but maybe due to a mishandling of the plan, the coup did not emerge victorious, so its responsible person, Juan ( the successor of Alfonso XIII in the dynastic line) was, as a result, barred from the succession line to the throne by Franco himself subverting a centuries old order, the coup had, though the result of an internal democratization of the regime, with the famous "Entrismo" ( Entering) policy, dominating the next 30 years till the death of the dictator the Spanish political panorama: The single party, the National Movement, was not anymore a party for the loyal people to the Fascist regime only, it was open to everybody of any ideology, and you could defend whatever your ideology was; but just don't say anything about which is your ideology, just act.

But what if, the coup had succeeded and Spain would have been a Democracy since 1945?

And therefore, will be at the same pace of the rest of European Countries when it comes to the matters of development, politics, way of life, and justice?

Here is how in my opinion will have been:

1. Lausanne Manifesto: A call for a pacific overthrowing of Francoism.

Since don Juan assumed his legitimate royal rights and duties after the death in Rome of his father, Alfonso XII, he became quite worried about the political direction Spain was taking. While the monarchy supported by obvious reasons the national side in the war, they were not supportive of a dictatorship, but of a classical, to-be -developed, British style parliamentary monarchy.

Following consultation with the most important monarchists in Spain, some of them with posts in the new Spanish administrations, for see who supported him, the bets looked quite good so he decided to start the operation.

2. Publication of the manifesto:

When the manifesto arrived into Spain, as it was made in a totally open way (i.e there was no intention of hiding it from the authorities, Franco read it, but unlike in OTL, everyone who supported the manifesto was decided to act.

By then, all the important authorities which supported the coup moved themselves to send the manifesto to the press, both at home and, in the case of the Duke of Alba, Ambassador in the United Kingdom, in Britain, where it was published in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express, the Morning Star, and the Daily Mail.

The text was the following:

It was published in the five languages of Spain, that is; Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque, and Occitan and very fast attracted the support of very diverse sectors of the Spanish society, detailed in the following list:

-The Duke of Alba

- The Monarchist General Alfredo Kindelán

- The pre-francoist, non totalitarian, sectors of the National Movement (IE the Joseantonan sectors of the Falange)

- The Queen Mother Victoria Eugene von Battenberg.

- the Democratic Right wingers in Spain

- The Armed Forces

- The Civil Governments of Catalonia, Basque Country, Navarra, Madrid, and the Balearic Islands

- The Liberals which didn't support the regime but thought that acting from inside it was a good way of overthrowing it.

-Democratic Left (Social-Democrats, PSOE, POUM)

- The Carlists

3-Renovation or Death

The army, in a ultra-secret operation, had been prepared by the ones in charge who supported the coup, to intervene. Plus, the Curfew was declared at 19:00 in the afternoon in the regions in which the civil government ( ( the equivalent in Francoism of the OTL autonomous communities) had supported the coup by its supportive army.

When the news arrived to the Spanish people by radio, the situation was the one we could name as "optimist scepticism" and, when confirmed, the people rose to the streets for celebrating the pro-democratic coup d'etat, which impeled every civil government and all the armed forces to support the coup.

Don Juan then telephoned Franco and said to him that "My General, you know, everybody supports me now, and specially, I have the support of the people, which is the most important one to me. Either you resign pacifically or you may face dead(sic) end consequences"

Franco accepted and resigned exiling himself to Ireland, where he will live a normal life as a military assessor of the joint British-Irish council ( taking into account that militarily he was a genius and that both of that countries were among the first of supporting the pro-democracy coup of don Juan), he became fluent in Irish Gaelic language and repented sincerely of the policy against Basque, Catalan, and Galician ( being a Galician himself), while in the 1974 General Elections he standed in elections for the Partido Carlista (National-Conservatives)

on the same day: at 21.30, an address by the just arrived king in exile Juan, adressed the expectant nation outlining his pro-democracy plan.


-Spain enters the UN in 1948 and the EU in 1957

-Northern Catalonia goes back to Spain in 1949

- Alguer is ceded to Spain in 1965 so the whole Catalan speaking territories are united

- No francoist 40-year-long dictatorship

- Europeanization of Spain (returning to the the London time zone which geographically is the one to which Spain belongs but was taken out in 1940 by Franco in OTL)

-Keeping of the Spanish Sahara after a referendum in which the people of the land were offered either the provincial status quo of every colony of Spain after 1963, either independence, or Either a protectorate in which the first option won. Same with Sidi Ifini and Guinea.

- No minorization of Catalan, Basque, Gallicia, and Occitan, multilingual Swiss-Alike country.

- Radical descentralization of the country in Home Nations with total internal self government and common defense, currency, and foreign affairs.

-International neutrality of the Country

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