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Nationalism Under Franco

             After the Civil War the Franco regime took control of the Spanish government, "Franco vowed to reunify the erstwhile nation." The new government's focus was on nation-building, Spanish national unity was promoted through the obliteration of any non-Castilian cultures. Franco's nationalist ideology was centred on Catholicism and traditionalism, an intolerant and conservative nationalism that alienated most of Spanish society. Evidence of the failure of Franco's dictatorship to create a Spanish national identity can be seen in the popular support of ETA in the 1960s and 1970s, not just in the Basque Country but in the whole of Spain. "Spanishness" was defined by characteristics such as language and culture and so the regime tried to impose a single state language through the repression of languages other than Castilian.
             Methods of repression included press restrictions, the banning of minority languages in schools as well as forbidding their use in public places and mass arrests of anyone considered a political activist. Junco suggests that, "any expression of a non-Castilian culture was regarded as evidence of political dissent" Such repression served as a stimulus for nationalist movements later on, however in the aftermath of the Civil War the regime met with little opposition. It is important to note that suppression of regional cultures occurred throughout Spain and was not isolated to the Basque country. However it has been argued that the degree of repression that took place in the Basque country was greater than anywhere else in Spain. The words of General Gil Yuste, the Spanish military governor of Alava, could be taken , in part, as evidence of this perceived discrimination. He said during the Civil War, "These abominable separatists do not deserve to have a homeland Basque nationalism must be ruined, trampled underfoot, ripped out by its roots." .
             Another factor, which may be taken as evidence that the degree of repression suffered by the Basques exceeded that of any other area, is the number of States of Exception imposed on the Basque country during the dictatorship.

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