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The Experience of Spain and Portugal in the European Union: Lessons for Latin America. Working Paper Series, Vol. 2 No. 2, March 2002

Royo, Sebastián. (2002) The Experience of Spain and Portugal in the European Union: Lessons for Latin America. Working Paper Series, Vol. 2 No. 2, March 2002. [Working Paper]

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    (From the introduction). The pattern of Spanish and Portuguese histories has been described, crudely, as a graph shaped like an upside-down V: “The graph rises bumpily at times, through 600 years under the Romans, 700 years or partly under the moors, and a century of empire-buildingto the peak of Spanish and Portuguese power in the 16th Century. After that it is downhill almost all the way. The riches of the American and African colonies were squandered in wars. A vast empire was gradually lost, leaving Portugal and Spain poor and powerless. Spain suffered 43 coup d’état between 1814 and 1923, an horrendous civil war between 1936 and 1939, followed by 36 years of dictatorship under Generalísimo Franco.”1 In Portugal the years following the assassination of the king in 1908 and the subsequent overturn of the monarchy was a period of political chaos, which led to 40 years of authoritarian rule under Salazar and Caetano. After Franco’s death in 1975 and the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, the graph has turned upward again. In Spain, King Juan Carlos, Franco’s heir, supported the return of democracy to the country. A transition period, which has been labeled as a model for other countries, paved the way for the elaboration of a new Constitution, followed by the first free elections in almost forty years. In Portugal the democratic transition was more turbulent and included a revolutionary period (1974-76), but it culminated, as in Spain, with the establishment of a parliamentary democracy. These developments were followed by the progressive return of both Iberian countries to the international arenafrom which they had been relatively isolated during the dictatorship. The following decade also brought the electoral victory of the Socialist Party in both countries (in 1975 in Portugal and 1982 in Spain), bringing a new aura of modernity to these countries. The 1980s also witnessed Spain’s integration in NATO (1982).

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Latin America
    Countries > Spain
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Countries > Portugal
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Working Paper Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2008
    Page Range: p. 43
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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