Falange (fälänˈhā) [key] [Span., = phalanx], Spanish political party, founded in 1933 as Falange Española by José António Primo de Rivera, son of the former Spanish dictator. Professing generally the principles of fascism, the Falange distinguished itself from other fascist groups by its great emphasis on national tradition, particularly the imperial and Renaissance Christian traditions of Spain. The Falange militia joined the Insurgents in the Spanish civil war of 1936–39. Merged with the Carlist militia by Francisco Franco in 1937, the organization was renamed Falange Española Tradicionalista and was made the official party of the Nationalist state. It was a much less independent force than Italian fascism, however, and was exploited and manipulated by Franco. From the middle of World War II on, the party grew steadily weaker, and Franco sought to make it a kind of bureaucratic nationalist front. By the early 1970s it had virtually no influence.
See study by S. G. Payne (1961).
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