What you need to know about the Spanish transition
to democracy

In his book Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know, published by Oxford University Press, the British journalist William Chislett answers thirteen key questions about the Spanish transition to democracy, concerning the political process, the protagonists, the role of King Juan Carlos, the media and the social mobilization, the economics of the transition and the new constitution.

  1. What happened when Franco died?
  2. Who is King Juan Carlos?
  3. How was the transition to democracy achieved?
  4. Who is Adolfo Suárez?
  5. How important was grassroots mobilization and strike action in pressurizing the regime to change?
  6. What role did the Spanish media play in the transition to democracy?
  7. What were the main economic problems?
  8. What were the 1977 Moncloa Pacts?
  9. What form did the 1978 Constitution take?
  10. How and why was the system of regional autonomy created?
  11. How different are the regions?
  12. Why did the ETA continue its violent campaign for an independent Basque state?
  13. Why was there an attempted coup in 1981?


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William Chislett
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