Return to Top Herbert L. Collier was a soldier and city government official.
Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Government and society From until Spain almost continually had a parliamentary system with a written constitution.
For a complete list of the kings and queens regnant of Spain, see below. The principles on which his regime was based were embodied in a series of Fundamental Laws passed between and that declared Spain a monarchy and established a legislature known as the Cortes. Moreover, the government—appointed and dismissed by the head of state alone—was not responsible to the Cortes, which also lacked control of government spending.
Almost immediately the king initiated a process of transition to democracy that within three years replaced the Francoist system with a democratic constitution. Constitutional framework The product of long and intense negotiations among the leading political groups, the Spanish constitution was nearly unanimously approved by both houses of the legislature it passed —11 with 22 abstentions in October In a December referendum, the draft constitution was then approved by nearly 90 percent of voters.
The constitution declares that Spain is a constitutional monarchy and advocates the essential values of freedom, justiceequality, and political pluralism.
It also provides for the separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The monarch is also commander in chief of the armed forces—though without actual authority over them—and the symbol of national unity.
For example, when the new democratic constitution was threatened by a military coup inJuan Carlos in military uniform addressed the country on national television, defusing the uprising and saving the constitution.
As with most legislatures in parliamentary systems, more power is vested in the lower chamber. The Congress of Deputies has members, who are elected to four-year terms by universal suffrage. The rest are elected from the 47 mainland provinces with each province having four senatorsthe islands the three largest having four and the smaller ones having one eachand Ceuta and Melilla having two each.
The executive consists of the prime ministerthe deputy prime minister, and the members of the cabinet. After consultation with the Cortes, the monarch formally appoints the prime minister; the cabinet ministers, chosen in turn by the prime minister, are also formally appointed by the monarch.
The executive handles domestic and foreign policyincluding defense and economic policies. Since the executive is responsible to the legislature and must be approved by a majority vote, the prime minister is usually the leader of the party that has the most deputies.
The Congress of Deputies can dismiss a prime minister through a vote of no confidence. The constitution of the short-lived First Republic called for self-governing provinces that would be voluntarily responsible to the federal government; however, decentralization led to chaosand by the constitutional monarchy was restored.
For the rest of the 19th century, Spain remained relatively stable, with industrial centres such as the Basque region and Catalonia experiencing significant economic growth while most of the rest of Spain remained poor. One of the stated goals of the Second Republic was to grant autonomy to the regions, as it did to Catalonia and the Basque provinces; however, self-government for these regions was not reinstated after the Civil War.
During the Franco years the democratic opposition came to include regional autonomy as one of its basic demands.
While the constitution reflected this stance, it also was the product of compromise with the political right, which preferred that Spain remain a highly centralized state. The constitution classifies the possible autonomous communities into two groups, each of which has a different route to recognition and a different level of power and responsibility.
Catalonia and the Basque Country had their statutes approved in December and Galicia in April The other regions were required to take a slower route, although Andalusia was designated as an exception to this general rule.
As a result, a special, quicker process was created for it.
In two autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melillawere added.The Spanish American War was a conflict between the Spanish and Americans over American interference with the Cuban War of Independence.
The conflict was mainly fought in Spanish holdings in both the Caribbean and Pacific areas. Following the Spanish-American War of , an event that signaled the emergence of the United States as a great power, the country soon was involved in its first overseas guerrilla war, in the Philippines.
The Philippine-American War, – After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of , Spain ceded its longstanding colony of the Philippines to the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
On February 4, , just two days before the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, fighting broke out between American forces and Filipino nationalists led by .
Spanish–American War period () President Emilio Aguinaldo Americans and Filipinos choose to preserve Spanish-era buildings for historical, tourism and urban purposes. The Filipinos suspended their independence campaign during the First World War and supported the United States against Germany.
May 31, · On December 12, , the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Spain, officially ending the Spanish-American War and granting the .
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