The failure of Catalanist opposition to Franco (1939-1950)
This thesis accounts for the failure of Catalan opposition to Franco between 1939 and 1950. Catalan opposition was part of a wider external opposition to Franco that developed after the Spanish Civil War, both inside Spain and in exile, and which ultimately had as its aim a degree of self-determination for Catalonia. In 1950, the international community made clear its acceptance of Francoism, dashing the hopes of Catalan both at home and abroad. In the aftermath of the Civil War, many Catalans moved to France, trying to establish an infrastructure of opposition there, only to see it occupied by the Germans. Seeking refuge in the UK, in the USA and Latin America - Mexico in particular - Catalans of all stripes tried to overcome those difficulties imposed by their dispersion, amongst other problems, in order to mount an effective opposition to the dictator. The situation in a newly liberated France in 1944 took centre stage once again. Anticipating that a victorious Allied side would assist in their struggle, Catalan groups instead watched the ambassadors return to Madrid, in November 1950. In previous accounts, it is argued that Catalan opposition to Franco failed, at least in part on account of such factors as lack of resources. Franco's effective establishment and maintenance of control, and a lack of support for the anti-Francoist movement within the international community. Whilst these factors were no doubt important in determining the course of events, it is argued here that the Catalan element of external opposition to the regime was more significant than has generally been acknowledged. In addition to difficulties of communication and economy, the Catalans suffered internal divisions, recurrent clashes of leadership and poor relations with other opposition groups, and failed to establish either a unitary political programme or governmental institutions, at a cost to legitimacy. Therefore, their failure was partly due to their incapacity to organise themselves.