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Spain: All You Need to Know....and More!

Historical Perspectives

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  • The oldest historical findings made in Spain date back to around 30000 to 50000 B.C.  In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain's powerful world Empire untimately yielded command of the seas to England.  Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial reveloutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power.  Spain remained neutral in World War I and World War II, but suffered through devastating civil war (1936-1939).  In the second half of the twentieth century, Spain has played a catch up role in the western international community and it joined the EU in 1986.

Important Dates in Spanish History

about 1100-1000 BC

Phoenicians began colonizing Spain. Modern cities such as Cádiz and Málaga were founded by the Phoenicians around this time.

400s BC

The Carthaginians conquered much of Spain.

200s

  Spain became an important part of the Roman Empire following. the Punic Wars

573 AD

The Visigoths completed their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

711-718

The Moors conquered most of Spain. Many Spaniards converted to Islam, and Moorish culture began to flourish.

1000s

The Christian reconquest of Spain began.

1479

Aragón and Castile were united under Ferdinand V and Isabella I. The following year the Spanish Inquisition was established.

1492

The Kingdom of Granada was conquered, ending Moorish rule in Spain. Christopher Columbus initiated Spanish claims in the Americas, where Spain quickly established a huge colonial empire.

1512

The Kingdom of Navarre was absorbed into the unified Kingdom of Spain. Spanish culture flourished and Spain became a world power.

1588

The English navy defeated the Spanish Armada, beginning a period of slow decline for Spain.

1714

Great Britain gained Gibraltar from Spain.

1808

Napoleon I of France invaded Spain and captured Madrid. Spanish, English, and Portuguese forces did not drive the French from Spain until 1814.

1810-1825

Most of Spain’s American colonies won their independence.

1898

Spain lost the rest of its important overseas possessions following the Spanish-American War.

1931

King Alfonso XIII fled from Spain, and the country became a republic.

1936-1939

Spanish Nationalist forces led by General Francisco Franco defeated Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War.

1968

Buoyed by strong economic growth, the government eased censorship restrictions. Protests erupted in Barcelona and Madrid, and regional separatist groups gained strength.

1975

Franco died and was succeeded by King Juan Carlos. Spain began the transition to a democratic government.

1980s

Spain joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Community (now the European Union), increasing its ties with the rest of Europe.

1992

The Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona.

1994

Spain threatened to block expansion of the European Union until a compromise guaranteed protection of Spanish fishing rights. Agreements were reached in March and December giving Spain wider access.

 

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Below starting clockwise: 1992 Olympic Games; civil war battlegrounds; tank from civil war.

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By: Justin Fowler

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