When Did Spain Switch From a Monarchy to a Democracy?
Unlike many countries which deposed monarchs in favor of democratic forms of government, Spain re-introduced the monarchy by crowning King Juan Carlos I after nearly 40 years without a monarch. The king's government then introduced democratic reform. Spain has been a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government since 1975. Their current constitution, which allows for democratic elections of members of the Spanish parliament, was adopted in 1978. Prior to the establishment of the current form of government, Spain had been under a military dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco since 1936.
1 Earlier Attempts at Democracy
While the 1978 Spanish Constitution formed the nation's longest lasting and most stable democratic government, it was not the first attempt to introduce democratic government in Spain. The First Spanish Republic was declared in 1873 when King Amadeo of Savoy abdicated the Spanish throne. This republic was dissolved in 1875 by a military pronouncement that proclaimed Alphonzo XII King of Spain. The Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed in 1931 when then-king Alphonzo XIII left Spain to avoid a civil war. The Second Republic lasted until General Franco declared martial law in 1936.