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Abstract

In 1953, Franco’s dictatorial regime signed a series of three executive agreements, collectively known as the Pact of Madrid, with the United States. The Pact traded military and economic aid for leave for the US to station military bases in Spanish territory. The newfound relationship with the US brought European and global recognition, ending Spain’s decade long political quarantine, and marked Spain’s re-emergence onto the international stage. Scholarship has neglected the motivations for these agreements by the various factions within the governing political right, instead portraying the Franco dictatorship as simply “Franco’s Spain.” In this way, scholarship to-date mistakenly homogenizes the distinct conservative groups instrumental in the Franco regime’s persistence.

Newspapers were the public face of many of the ideologically distinct groups during this period. Therefore, I examine how three prominent groups (Alfonsist monarchist, businessmen, and Franco’s own party) framed this critical moment in their press. By examining these groups’ respective newspapers, this project presents the dissimilar framings of the Pact of Madrid to reveal the differing ideologies of various factions in Spanish society and combats the image of Franco’s Spain as homogenous and monolithically fascist.

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