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Spanish Constitution of 1978

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The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy .



See constitution of Spain for the constitutional history of Spain, dating back to the constitution of 1812. As part of the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election took place in 1977 to convene the Cortes Generales (parliament) for the purpose of drafting and approving a constitution; this was called the Cortes Constituyentes or "Constituent Cortes".

A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the body. These so-called "Fathers of the Constitution" were:

  • Gabriel Cisneros
  • José Pedro Pérez-Llorca
  • Miguel Herrero de Miñon
  • Miquel Roca
  • Manuel Fraga Iribarne
  • Gregorio Peces-Barba
  • Jordi Solé Tura .

The constitution was approved by the Cortes on October 31, 1978, and by the Spanish people in a referendum on December 6, 1978, before being promulgated by King Juan Carlos on December 27. December 6 has since been a national holiday in Spain.

Constitutional reforms

Main article: Amendments to the Spanish Constitution of 1978


Writing the preamble of the constitution was considered an honour, and a task requiring great literary ability. The person chosen for this purpose was Enrique Tierno Galván . The full text of the preamble (translated into English) is as follows:

The Spanish Nation, wishing to establish justice, liberty and security, and to promote the welfare of all who make part of it, in use of her sovereignty, proclaims its will to:
Guarantee democratic life within the Constitution and the laws according to a just economic and social order.
Consolidate a State ensuring the rule of law as an expression of the will of the people.
Protect all Spaniards and all the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions.
Promote the progress of culture and the economy to ensure a dignified quality of life for all
Establish an advanced democratic society, and
Collaborate in the strengthening of peaceful and efficient cooperation among all the peoples of the Earth.
Consequently, the Cortes approve and the Spanish people ratify the following Constitution.

External links

  • Sources of the full text
    • Constitución española de 1978 at Wikisource
  • English translations
    • Spanish Constitution of 1978 at Wikisource

Last updated: 02-07-2005 09:54:46
Last updated: 05-02-2005 12:28:01