The Long Death of Francisco Franco – II

Lead: In the early 1970s the hopes of conservative Spaniards to resist social and political change were dependent upon the continued survival of Francisco Franco. Their hopes and his prospects were increasingly bleak.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sensing his own mortality and the increasing liberalism of large segments of Spanish society, Francisco Franco, in the 1960s began to cast about for a way to perpetuate his rule. He chose to restore the Bourbon monarchy. This institution had been supplanted in the 1930s with the coming of the Spanish Republic. With the republic’s 1939 defeat in the Civil War Franco ruled Spain himself. His choice as successor was Juan Carlos, the son of Franco’s bitter enemy, Don Juan, the rightful heir to the throne, living in Italian exile. Yet, despite a military education in Spain, supervised by Franco himself, young Juan Carlos, early on began exhibiting a careful, but serious flirtation with liberal ideas and policies.

 

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The Long Death of Francisco Franco – I

Lead: For nearly four decades Francisco Bahamonde Franco was a significant if not dominant figure in the life of Spain, but by the early 1970s his resistance to the modern world just as his health was failing. 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: A wag once expressed little surprise at the explosive and swift transformation of Spain to democracy and a liberated society after 1975. He said, “Well, if you shake a bottle of champagne for forty years, you should not be shocked at the eruption when you finally pop the cork.” In the thirty-six years following 1939, the end of the Spanish Civil War, the cork in the Spanish champagne bottle was clearly Francisco Franco. He and his political and religious allies clung to the hope that through repression and control they might prevent Spain from adopting the moral and economic freedom that was proving inevitable course in the modern non-communist world. As long as Franco was alive they might succeed, but increasingly after 1970, as the health of Spain’s last caudillo began to fail, it was clear that their hopes were built on shifting sand.

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John Locke – Prophet of Political Freedom – II

Lead:  His political philosophy laid the foundation for modern liberal democracy, but in many ways John Locke helped change the way people think. Some have called him the first modern mind.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Not content to simply absorb the classical education he received at 17th century Westminster School and Oxford University, John Locke embarked upon a life of fruitful inquiry into a wide variety of disciplines. He was interested in medicine, experimental science, philosophy, economics, practical politics, education, language, diplomacy, and religion, in a hungry but not Faustian pursuit of knowledge. In most of these fields he was not an expert, but neither was he an amateur floating from one whim to another.

John Locke – Prophet of Political Freedom – I

Lead: Emerging from the political ferment of the English Civil War, John Locke, one of the seminal thinkers of the 17th century, laid the philosophical basis for liberal representative government.

 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

Content: John Locke was born in 1632 in Pensford, south of Bristol, England. His father, a country attorney, was of puritan inclination and fought in the Civil War on the side of Parliament. This enabled him to send his son to Westminster School where the boy’s superior performance earned him a scholarship at Christ Church College, Oxford. There he also excelled, but found the traditional curriculum tedious and demonstrated early a lifelong eclectic interest in a wide variety of subjects such as empirical science and medicine.

First Ladies: Lady Bird Johnson

Lead: Her time in the White House began with the tragic assassination of President Kennedy, but Lady Bird Johnson’s service as First Lady was many decades in the making.

 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

Content: Few politicians of his generation could match the white, hot ambition of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He pursued power with a steady and furious determination and at times evidenced a stormy and occasionally abusive personality when dealing with enemies but also colleagues, subordinates, friends and even his family. In the middle of all that sound and fury resided his wife from 1934, Claudia Alta Taylor, whom he always called by her nickname from birth, Lady Bird.

 

Highland Immigration to Carolina

Lead: Desperate to escape what they considered oppression by their landlords, beginning in the 1740s thousands of Scots broke the bonds of tradition and affection and laid course for the Cape Fear Valley of North Carolina.

 

                Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

               

Content: Few social communities in early modern Europe were as loyal and devoted to their land and leaders as the people of northwestern Scotland. In their rugged mountains and wind-swept islands, these Highlander’s struggle for mere existence was intense. Families who hacked a bare living from the sometimes unforgiving soil were deeply loyal to their kinsmen and local chieftains. Yet, as the modern era matured changes that were taking place in the outside world began to affect the Highlands. Late in the 1600s the demand for beef in the urban lowlands and England ushered in the cattle droving business. Huge and highly profitable cattle drives helped concentrate wealth in the hands of an upper-class elite whose new wealth was based on cash.

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Transatlantic Cable

Lead: The first transatlantic telegraph linked Europe with North America in 1858. It quickly failed, but the prospect of near instant intercontinental communication was an idea that would not be allowed to die.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The problem was primitive technology: cable construction, transmission equipment and laying apparatus. After the brief exchange between Queen Victoria and U.S. President James Buchanan in 1858, massive celebrations on both sides of the Atlantic heralded a new day in communications. The new day lasted 271 messages before the 1858 submarine cable sputtered out. Suddenly the temporarily cowed skeptics were in full cry and potential investment began to dry up. This did not discourage cable advocates, Charles Bright, William Thompson Fleeming Jenkins and New York businessman Cyrus Field. For them the expeditions of the 1850s served as laboratories from which they learned things about the infant science of electricity, submarine cable design and cable laying. They went back to work and by 1861, the Atlantic Telegraph Company and the British Board of Trade had produced an analysis of previous failures and a plan that led to success. More importantly, experience had convinced the government in London that submarine telegraphy would smooth governance of a vast Empire.

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Spanish Cultural Diversity II

Lead: Attempts to suppress cultural and religious diversity have been one of the hallmarks of modern Spain. From the work of the Spanish Inquisition to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, these efforts have only lightly covered over real differences. In 1978 Spain tried a new way.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: For thirty-six years, the last caudillo, Francisco Franco held his thumb in dike of progress. It was a valiant, but futile attempt at keeping parts of Spanish life, religion, culture, and politics under wraps, while opening the way to economic innovation, outside markets, and prosperity. Franco failed, but it remained to be seen how post-Franco Spain would deal with the changing world outside as well how it would accommodate long-standing and suppressed internal regional conflict.