Francisco Franco Bahamonde, was born on December 4, 1892 in Ferrol (Galicia), Spain. He graduated from the Academy of Infantry in 1910. In 1923 he was appointed commander of the Spanish Foreign Legion. Suppressed several revolts in Morocco, later achieving the rank of Brigadier General.
In October 29, 1933 he founded the Spanish Falange, long before the national uprising led by José Antonio Primo de Rivera. In February 1934, the Falange is merged with JONS (spanish for Unions of the National-Syndicalist Offensive), giving place to the JONS's Spanish Falange.
In 1935, Franco became Commander in Chief of the Army. In February 1936, in order to keep him from the national political sphere, the leftist government of the Spanish Republic appoints Francisco Franco General Commander of Canary Islands. Rather than harm him, that decision benefited him because in July joined other right-wing officers in a revolt against the government. All of them were part of the Falangist uprising and other political movements (Carlists, CEDA, Radical Party).
By the Decree of Unification of April 19, 1937 (issued by Francisco Franco), La Falange merges with the Requetés (Carlist militias) forming the Traditionalist Spanish Falange (FET) of the JONS.
During those years of struggle against leftist regime, Franco proved to be a competent and careful leader but proved unimaginative though.
Once he was well prepared, invaded Spain from Africa, leading his forces slowly but steadily and safe to victory in April 1939. It was supported by Germany and Italy who lent military assistance by the Condor Legion. After the victory, "The Leader" as it was also known, began a purge with tens of thousands of executions, but ensured political stability with an authoritarian regime.
Franco kept Spain out of the World War II, but was a passive ally of Germany. However, it also discreetly supported the training of the Blue Division of Spanish volunteers, who had an outstanding participation in the Eastern Front. After the war, the United Nations isolated Spain, but due to the Cold War and to the Francos irreducibly anti-Soviet opposition, the isolation was slowly softening.
In 1953, Spain signed a treaty with the United States beginning therefore Spain's return to the international community after a relentless isolation. In the decade of the 50s, the government became more liberal, balancing the supporters of the extreme left and the extreme right. From the 60, regained political stability and economic growth began in the country.
In 1947, Franco declared the establishment of the monarchy in the country, with himself as regent. In 1969 appointed Juan Carlos grandson of King Alfonso XIII as his successor.
After the death of Franco on November 20, 1975, Juan Carlos became king.