The Third Spanish Republic was the democratic republican regime that existed in Spain between 1949 and 1953 when the communists seized power in a coup d'état.
After World War II and allied occupation
After the end of World War II, Spain was ruled by dictator Francisco Franco. During the Potsdam Conference in 1945, Joseph Stalin pressured Harry Truman and Winston Churchill to back an Allied invasion of Spain in revenge for the country's participation in Operation Barbarossa. The other allied leaders agreed and an invasion took place in november 1945. In less then four weeks spanish forces were defeated and Franco went on exile to Peron's Argentina as allied occupation of the country began.
Self rule and revolution
In early 1949, the allied powers began a gradual withdrawal from the country as free elections took place for the first time in 13 years. Miguel Maura, leader of the conservative Party of the Republican Right, was elected President of the Third Spanish Republic and named moderate socialist Julián Besteiro as Prime Minister. He began a series of reforms like administrative decentralisation which were well received by some groups. In 1953, an early election was called and resulted in a plurality of seats of parliament for the Communist Party. Maura decided to overrule the election results and instead nominated conservative José María Gil-Robles for PM. Supporters of the Communist Party took the streets in violent protest, which culminated in the takeover of the Palace of Villamejor, seat of the government. Gil-Robles and Maura, along with most of the members of the cabinet, fled the country to Portugal. Dolores Ibárruri, a popular leader during the Civil War and chairwoman of the communist party became President. The former leader of the Unified Socialist Youths, Santiago Carrillo, became Prime Minister.