Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-20-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Emily Fransee

Second Advisor

Jason Klodt

Third Advisor

Ian Gowan

Relational Format



In this thesis, I examine political media to show the different ways that the Spanish right and the left have framed historical memory about Franco. In Chapter 2, I give an overview of the development of the HML and political reactions to the law. I then look at the progression of the law’s goals under the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Chapter 3, and in how the law was utilized in exhuming Franco, referenced in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 showcases, through quantitative and qualitative data, the overall relationship of how changing historical memory through exhumation elicited reactions from different political parties and impacted political polarization. Lastly, Chapter 6 provides information regarding the current manifestation of the historical memory debate throughout the Democratic Memory Law, and a more comprehensive look over the relationship between historical memory and polarization in Spain. Overall, I compare the difference between the framing and reception of the 2007 Historical Memory Law in comparison to the Democratic Memory Law of 2020. Both pieces of legislation pertain to historical memory of the dictatorship under Franco. However, the first law in 2007 elicited relatively neutral reactions from the political right and left while the second law was much more contentious and divisive. My thesis explores these laws as well as several key developments in between their drafting. This helps to show how Spanish politics have become more divided over the question of historical memory.



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