How did Francisco Franco’s death contribute to the return of democracy in Spain in relation to the freedom of speech?

Francisco Franco's death contributed to the return of democracy in Spain in relation to freedom of speech by removing the most important obstacle to its realization. For over forty years, there had been no freedom of speech in Spain. But once Juan Carlos became king after Franco's death, the transition to democracy started immediately. And freedom of speech was the inevitable consequence of the package of constitutional reforms announced by the new monarch.

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So long as Franco was the undisputed dictator of Spain, there was no chance whatsoever that the Spanish people would enjoy freedom of speech. For almost forty years, from the end of the Spanish Civil War to Franco's death in 1975, Spain was a dictatorship and the people had no civil liberties.

But once the dictator had passed away, it was possible for Spain to begin the transition to democracy. The pivotal figure in this regard was Franco's chosen successor, Prince Juan Carlos, who became King of Spain two days after Franco's death. He embarked upon a program of rapid democratization, freeing political prisoners, announcing the holding of democratic elections, and legalizing trade unions. Given the necessity of freedom of speech for any democracy worthy of the name, the Spanish people were finally able to speak their minds, something they hadn't been able to do for decades.

In the wake of Franco's death there was a massive boom in the publication of newspapers and magazines. Under the Franco regime there were relatively few such publications, and all of them were strictly censored by the government. But with the dictator now dead and buried, the Spanish people were at long last able to get reacquainted with the free exchange of opinions and ideas.

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