The Franco’s regime gave birth to an intransigent and belligerent Spanish nationalism, allergic to difference and deeply conservative, which we used to define as National-Catholicism. However, the repression of any alternative national reality coexisted with the integration of some of the country’s regional peculiarities, interpreted —and often reinterpreted— as complementary peculiarities of a greater Spanish nationalist singularity. These “regionalismos bien entendidos”, as the dictatorship described them, were assumed as centripetal forces that facilitated the construction of the new nation-state, by adding to it traditions, elites, references and trajectories that legitimized and reinforced it.
The chapters from this book review the ambiguities and limits of Franco’s regionalism, with examples that include different geographies: from Aragon to Catalonia, and from Andalusia to Navarra. Its authors, recognized specialists in their respective areas of knowledge, combine approaches that go from cultural history to legal history, passing through politics, urban planning or the arts. This wide range allows a better understanding of the scope and evolution of the regionalist initiatives integrated or tolerated during the period 1939-1975. All this with a look away from apriorisms and open to international comparison, with the aim of enriching our understanding of some regionalist discourses and practices that have shaped the contemporary political-cultural development and reconstruction of Spain.