Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and the Caudillo of Spain from 1939 until his death.
As a conservative and a monarchist, he opposed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic in 1931. With the 1936 elections, the conservative Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups lost by a narrow margin and the leftist Popular Front came to power. Intending to overthrow the republic, Franco and other generals staged a failed coup precipitating the Spanish Civil War. With the death of the other generals, Franco quickly became his faction's only leader.
Franco gained military support from fascist regimes and groups, especially Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy, while the Republican side was supported by Spanish communists and anarchists as well as help from the Soviet Union, Mexico, and the International Brigades. Leaving half a million dead, the war was eventually won by Franco in 1939. He established a military dictatorship, which he defined as a totalitarian state.
After a 36-year rule, Franco died in 1975. He restored the monarchy before his death, which made King Juan Carlos I his successor, who led the Spanish transition to democracy. After a referendum, a new constitution was adopted, which transformed Spain into a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy.