The Spanish transition to democracy ((スペイン語:Transición española a la democracia)), or simply the Transition ((スペイン語:La Transición)) refers to the restoration of democracy in Spain after the death of Francisco Franco in 1975. The transition began shortly after Franco's death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish Constitution of 1978, the failure of an attempted coup on 23 February 1981, or the electoral victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) on 28 October 1982. Though faced with political and economic crises〔(AFTER FRANCO'S DEATH, SPAIN RETURNED TO TURMOIL ) by Serge Schmemann, ''The New York Times'', February 24, 1981〕 at the time, the transition to democracy was one of the factors that allowed Spain to join the European Economic Community and NATO.
== Political role of Juan Carlos I ==
Francisco Franco came to power in 1939 following the Spanish Civil War and ruled as a dictator until his death in 1975. In 1969, he designated Prince Juan Carlos, grandson of Spain's former king, Alfonso XIII, as his official successor. For the next six years, Prince Juan Carlos initially remained in the background during public appearances and seemed ready to follow in Franco's footsteps. Once in power as King of Spain, however, he facilitated the development of a constitutional monarchy as his father, Don Juan de Borbón, had advocated since 1946.
The transition was an ambitious plan that counted on ample support both within and outside of Spain. Western governments, headed by the United States, now favored a Spanish constitutional monarchy, as did many Spanish and international liberal capitalists.
Nevertheless, the transition proved challenging, as the spectre of the Civil War (1936–1939) still haunted Spain. Francoists on the far right enjoyed considerable support within the Spanish Army, and people of the left distrusted a king who owed his position to Franco.
The realization of the democratic project required that the leftist opposition restrain its own most radical elements from provocation, and that the army refrain from intervening in the political process on behalf of Francoist elements within the existing government.
King Juan Carlos began his reign as head of state without leaving the confines of Franco's legal system. As such, he swore fidelity to the Principles of the ''Movimiento Nacional'', the sole legal party of the Franco era; took possession of the crown before the Francoist ''Cortes Generales''; and respected the ''Ley Orgánica del Estado'' (Organic Law of the State) for the appointment of his first head of government. Only in his speech before the ''Cortes'' did he indicate his support for a transformation of the Spanish political system.
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