8 Characteristics of phalangism

The phalangism or national unionism was a political, philosophical and social movement that saw its rise in Spain to start 1931 and part of the 20th century. Its main characteristics were the nationalism and trade unionism.

What is it?

It’s a theory of fascist politics and economy that was born in 1931 in Spain. He took Mussolini’s Italian fascism as its basis and adapted it to the Spanish reality and Catholicism.

Its founder was the dictator’s son Miguel Primo de Rivera: José Antonio Primo de Rivera.

This ideology is anti-parliamentary, it goes against political parties and promotes a totalitarian state, where only there is a vertical union that organized employers and employees so that They’ll serve the nation.

This one. theory opposed Marxism and capitalism, it was based on a Very extreme and radical Catholic nationalism. It’s a movement that unifies the concept of homeland and social justice and defends the Catholicism not as an official religion, but as a basis for the history of Spain.

He was represented by the political party known as Falange Española (FE), which was founded in 1933 and which played a Great role in the Spanish Civil War.

Characteristics of phalangism

Some of the basic features of phalangism are:

  • It is based on totalitarianism, all Spaniards participate in it from home and the union.
  • I was looking to establish a direct and participatory democracy, to this end, should educate and train the People.
  • He was looking for a union state where there would be no political parties nor ideological divisions between left and right.
  • Born in 1930 Europe and established its ideological bases with the proclamation of the Second Republic Spanish and the rise of the weekly The Conquest of the State.
  • To achieve its ends, he used violence and indoctrination of youth, thereby seeking to eliminate the left-wing Freemason and anti-Spanish regime that drowned the people.
  • The movement was Catholic, but not clerical, sought to separate the State church.
  • Its economic system is totalitarian type, merging production, workers and employers into a Branched syndicate, he proposed nationalizing banking and public services. Private property was supposed to be in the national service.

Trade union Ideology

In phalangism we find ideology of trade unionism, their followers were looking that the state’s organization system was led by a union, which would regulate the Spanish economy, politics and society.

On an economic level, this union would have all the representatives of the working class and the bourgeois class in order to promote totalitarianism and equal conditions.

For trade unionism there are no parties politicians or ideological currents, only a corporatist union or vertical. This would overcome the class struggle, the problems of the right and left without falling into democratic coexistence.

Role of the woman during the phalanx

During Francoism, the Falange Spanish created a movement for young people known as the Youth Front in which stood out the Women’s Section. It indoctrinated young girls in the ideology of superiority of the man and the submissive and faithful role that women should have in this new system.

Women were supposed to be seamstresses, preserve Spanish traditions, give birth to children for the Homeland, maintain the home in perfect condition, cook and educate children in values nationalism.

Catholic Religion

Catholicism was the dominant religion in Spain, it was the national religion, so it was necessary for phalangism to identify with the Church.

The phalangism considered the statutes of the Catholic religion to be part of the historical and cultural tradition of Spain and They would serve to establish standards of life for the new State.

Influence of the outside

The phalangists were influenced by radical currents of fascism, such as the one that emerged in Italy from Mussolini.

Extreme nationalism

They were extremist nationalists, considered that Spain should unify as one nation and one style of life. For this reason, the independence movements of Catalonia were persecuted and the Basque country.

The phalangism sought to create an egalitarian social, political and economic identity for all of Spain and to boast of its history, tradition and culture.

Extreme nationalism and the ultra-Catholicism sought to reunify all Spanish-speaking peoples, a Imperial feature typical of the fascist regimes of the time. This means that phalangism claimed that the Latin American peoples should be guided economically and culturally by Spain.

Anti-communism and anti-liberalism

The phalangism was anti-communist and They claimed that their ideals would cause chaos in the world, this is because it was a deeply conservative movement. Another aspect that was provoked resquemor between phalangism and communism was the Catholic eagerness of the first and the lack of belief in religions of the second.

They secured that Marxism went against conservative traditions, that is, against the the very base of Spain and the Homeland.

However, in the economic sphere, the communism and phalangism shared certain aspects, such as equality of classes, the nationalization of banking, agrarian reforms that leave the land in the hands of the community and the transfer of the means of production to a trade union – One.


The State should be totalitarian, not There would be political parties, only that of the regime. The State should be It was the backbone of the union.


The doctrine of phalangism is based on the creation of a totalitarian trade union state to organize sectors productive in a single axis that will seek to defend the interests of the Homeland.

To achieve this, they establish a revolution and With this, a direct and violent confrontation.

Party Foundation

The Spanish Falange match was founded during the Second Spanish Republic, based on Italian fascism. Its founders were Alberto Primo de Rivera, Julio Ruiz de Alda and Alfonso Garcia Valdecasas, who managed to financing through Spain’s companies, all with a deep trend – Anti-communist.

Role during the Second Republic

The Phallanism was always radical, violent and inflexible. They attracted youth and offered them paramilitary training and They were indoctrinated in nationalist thinking.

They promoted the use of firearms and They distributed flexible metal-covered batons to their militias. These, they were known as Falange of the Blood and then named First Line and were led by retired military man Luis Arredondo.

Her hatred of the left promoted the radicalization of violence and thereby helped to establish the climate of I hate needed for the Civil War.

Officialization during Francoism

Francisco Franco’s Dictatorship was in conflict with the Spanish Falange, but they managed to assimilate even, the More radical phalangists, making them the only political party in the country between 1939 and 1975.

The phalanx was renamed the National Movement, and if you wanted to access a You had to belong to her. Besides, If you weren’t registered, they could accuse you of being communist.

News of phalangism

After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain entered a period of transition. At this stage, phalangism resorted to the methods of its beginnings to destabilize democracy and preserve and Regime in power. The fascists resorted to violence and allied themselves with neo-fascist groups.

Democracy was maintained and the FE was expelled from political exercise, although some of its members are still they find themselves present in Spanish politics and are represented by the the following groups:

  • Spanish Falange of the JONS (FE-JONS).
  • Falange Authentic (FA).
  • FE/La Falange (FE).
  • Falangist Movement of Spain (MFE).


The origin of phalanxism dates back to the Boards National-union offensive (JONS), an ideological movement fed for the ideas presented in the weekly The Conquest of the State, which was led by Ramiro Ledesma and the Castellana Boards of Hispanic Performance of Onésimo Redondo.

It’s not until the JONS join the Spanish Falange that José Antonio Primo de Rivera reaches power in the Party to found phalangism.

With Franco, the FE and the JONS lose power and its members move on to take office as ministers belonging to the National Movement. Later, the Francoist hierarchies would push to make way for a technocratic liberalism, leading to the dissolution of the phalangism.

With the fall of the dictatorship, the Falange Spanish of the JONS seeks to return to politics, but their relationship with the Francoism destroyed his political career and was forced to employ the violence in order to boycott the beginning of democracy in Spain.

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