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Spanish Imperial Destiny

The Concept of Empire during Early Francoism

Zira Box

The aim of this article is to analyze the meaning of the concept of empire during the first years of the Francoist regime and try to clarify the different meanings that the various political and ideological groups that were part of the dictatorship gave to this concept. As will be explained, it is possible to find two main meanings for the concept of empire. The first one was linked to the notion of Hispanidad and was developed by the Catholic and counter-revolutionary groups; in this case, empire was defined through the Catholic religion and the missionary role that Spain had played in the discovery of America, the moment that marked the beginning of the Spanish Empire. The second meaning was developed inside the Falangist party. It contained fascist values and was linked to an ideal of expansionism that would support specific policies. The aim here is to differentiate these meanings by paying attention to the different contexts in which they were produced.