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FRANQUISMO CONTROL OF THE MEDIA UNDER AN AUTHORITARIAN REGIME The political system established in 1939 by Francisco Franco was along with the Salazar regime in neighboring Portugal one of the longest-lasting dictatorships in Western Europe It was the quintessential authoritarian regime Linz 1975 characterized by limited and non-responsible political pluralism political demobilization a leader who exercised power within formally undefined but clearly recognizable limits and the absence of an elaborated ideology While these regime characteristics remained more or less constant an overview of four decades of franquismo must make note of four distinct periods From the victory in the civil war in 1939 until the mid 1940s its totalitarian aspirations its association with Hitler and Mussolini and the recency of the war led to harsh repression the presence of military officials among its governing elite and efforts to establish a powerful quasi-fascist party The regime during the 1950s was quite different totalitarian aspira tions abandoned the party and its ideology were progressively watered down and international isolation stark poverty and an attempt to implement an autarchic economic development strategy had far-reaching effects on society Over the following decade however the complete abandonment of economic autarchy contributed to one of the most rapid and sustained rates of economic growth in the world 73 percent between 1961 and 1973 second only to Japan -Gunther 1980 63 transforming Spain into a relatively modern affluent urban society and forging ever closer social and economic links with the rest of Europe This socioeconomic modernization was accompanied by additional political changes most significantly the virtual disappearance of the official party as a significant political actor and the making of most government decisions by a new technocratic elite These changes notwithstanding the regime remained fully authoritarian throughout all four periods and whatever limited pluralism did exist was restricted to those conservative-to-ultraconservative political factions and to upper-stratum social and economic groups which supported the regime Limited as these changes may have been however
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