History of Spain

History of Spain

The History of Spain spans the period from Prehistoric Iberia, through the rise and fall of the first global empire, to Spain's current position as a member of the European Union.

Modern humans entered the Iberian Peninsula more than 35,000 years ago. Waves of invaders and colonizers followed over the millennia, including the Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans. Roman control was followed by the Visigoths, and in 711, a Berber and Arab army (known as Moors, "moros", by the Spanish), invaded and nearly conquered the entire peninsula. During the next 750 years, independent Muslim states were established, and the entire area of Muslim control became known as Al-Andalus. Meanwhile the small Christian kingdoms in the north began the long and slow recovery of the peninsula by Christian forces, a process called the "Reconquista", which was concluded in 1492 with the fall of Granada. 1492 also saw the creation of the Kingdom of Spain following the unification of the Kingdom of Castile and the Kingdom of Aragon, [ [http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/eurvoya/Imperial.html European Voyages of Exploration: Imperial Spain] ] as well as the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World, beginning the development of the Spanish Empire. The Inquisition was established and Jews and Muslims who refused to convert were expelled from the country.

In the next three centuries Spain was the most important colonial power in the world. It was the most powerful state in Europe during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, and the leading global power. Spanish literature and fine arts, scholarship and philosophy flourished during this time. Spain established a vast empire in the Americas would stretch from California to Patagonia and colonies in the western Pacific. Financed in part by the riches pouring in from its colonies , Spain became embroiled in the religiously charged wars and intrigues of Europe, including, for example, obtaining and losing possessions in today's Netherlands and Italy, and engaging in wars with France, England, Sweden and the Ottomans in the Mediterranean and northern Africa, among others. Spain's European wars, however, led to economic damage, and the latter part of the 17th century saw a gradual decline of power under an increasingly neglectful and inept Habsburg regime. The decline culminated in the War of Spanish Succession where Spain's decline from leading power status was confirmed, although it remained the leading colonial power. The eighteenth century saw a new dynasty, the Bourbons, who directed considerable effort towards the institutional renewal of the state, with some success, peaking in a successful involvement in the American War of Independence. However as the century ended a reaction set in with the accession of a new monarch. The end of the eighteenth and the start of the nineteenth centuries saw turmoil unleashed throughout Europe by the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, which finally led to a French occupation of much of the continent, including Spain. This triggered a successful but devestating war of independence that shattered the country and created an opening for what would ultimately be the successful independence of Spain's mainland American colonies. Shattered by the war, Spain was destabilised as different political parties representing liberal, reactionary and other groups throughout the remainder of the century fought for and won short lived control without any group being sufficiently strong enough to provide a lasting settlement. Nationalist movements emerged in the last significant remnants of the old empire (Cuba and the Philippines) which eventually led to a brief war with the United States and the loss of the remaining old colonies. Following a period of growing political instability in the early twentieth century, in 1936 Spain was plunged into a bloody civil war. The war ended in a nationalist dictatorship, led by Francisco Franco which controlled the Spanish government until 1975. Spain was officially neutral during the Second World War, although many volunteers fought on both sides. The post-war decades were relatively stable (with the notable exception of an armed independence movement in the Basque Country), and the country experienced rapid economic growth in the 1960s and early 1970s. The death of Franco in 1975 resulted in the return of the Bourbon monarchy headed by Prince Juan Carlos. While tensions remain (for example, with Muslim immigrants and in the Basque region), modern Spain has seen the development of a robust, modern democracy (a constitutional monarchy with popular King Juan Carlos), one of the fastest-growing standards of living in Europe, entry into the European Community, and the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Early history

The earliest record of hominids living in Europe has been found in the Spanish cave of Atapuerca; fossils found there are dated to roughly 780,000 years ago.cite encyclopedia|title=Spain|url=http://encarta.msn.com/text_761575057___0/Spain.html|encyclopedia=Encarta Online Encyclopedia|year=2007 See also: cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6256356.stm|title='First west Europe tooth' found|publisher=BBC|date=30 June 2007|accessdate=2008-08-09] Modern humans in the form of Cro-Magnons began arriving in the Iberian Peninsula from north of the Pyrenees some 35,000 years ago. The most conspicuous sign of prehistoric human settlements are the famous paintings in the northern Spanish Altamira, which were done ca. 15,000 BC and are regarded as paramount instances of cave art.cite encyclopedia|title=Spain - History - Pre-Roman Spain - Prehistory|url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/557573/Spain/214578/History#toc=toc70344|encyclopedia=Britannica Online Encyclopedia|year=2008] Furthermore, archeological evidence in places like Los Millares in Almería and in El Argar in Murcia suggests developed cultures existed in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula during the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. Around 1100 BC, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. In the 9th century BC the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the East, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks are responsible for the name "Iberia", apparently after the river Iber (Ebro in Spanish). In the 6th century BC the Carthaginians arrived in Iberia while struggling first with the Greeks and shortly after with the Romans for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (Latin name of modern day Cartagena).cite encyclopedia|title=Spain - History - Pre-Roman Spain - Phoenicians|url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/557573/Spain/70346/Phoenicians#toc=toc70346|encyclopedia=Britannica Online Encyclopedia|date=2008] The native peoples whom the Romans met at the time of their invasion in what is now known as Spain were the Iberians, inhabiting from the Southwest part of the Peninsula through the Northeast part of it, and then the Celts, mostly inhabiting the north and northwest part of the Peninsula. In the inner part of the peninsula, where both groups were in contact, a mixed, distinctive, culture was present, the one known as Celtiberian. The Celtiberian Wars or Spanish Wars were fought between the advancing legions of the Roman Republic and the Celtiberian tribes of Hispania Citerior from 181 to 133 BC. [cite web|last=Grout|first=James|title=The Celtiberian War|url=http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/hispania/celtiberianwar.html|work=Encyclopaedia Romana|publisher=University of Chicago|date=2007|accessdate=2008-06-08] [cite web|title=Major Phases in Roman History|url=http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~corbett/clab42/RomChron.htm|work=Rome in the Mediterranean World|publisher=University of Toronto|accessdate=2008-06-08]

Roman Spain

Roman Iberia was divided: Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior during the late Roman Republic; and, during the Roman Empire, Hispania Taraconensis in the northeast, Hispania Baetica in the south (roughly corresponding to Andalucia), and Lusitania in the southwest (corresponding to modern Portugal).

The base Celt and Iberian population remained in various stages of Romanisation, [The "latifundia" (sing., "latifundium"), large estates controlled by the aristocracy, were superimposed on the existing Iberian landholding system.] and local leaders were admitted into the Roman aristocratic class.cite web |last=Rinehart |first=Robert |coauthors=Seeley, Jo Ann Browning | title = A Country Study: Spain - Hispania |publisher=Library of Congress Country Series |year=1998 |url=http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/estoc.html |accessdate=2008-08-09]

The Romans improved existing cities, such as Tarragona ("Tarraco"), and established others like Zaragoza ("Caesaraugusta"), Mérida ("Augusta Emerita"), Valencia ("Valentia"), León ("Legio Septima"), Badajoz ("Pax Augusta"), and Palencia. [The Roman provinces of Hispania included "Provincia Hispania Ulterior Baetica (Hispania Baetica)", whose capital was Corduba, presently Córdoba, "Provincia Hispania Ulterior Lusitania" (Hispania Lusitania), whose capital was Emerita Augusta (now Mérida), "Provincia Hispania Citerior", whose capital was Tarraco (Tarragona), "Provincia Hispania Nova", whose capital was Tingis (Tánger in present Morocco), "Provincia Hispania Nova Citerior" and "Asturiae-Calleciae" (these latter two provinces were created and then dissolved in the 3rd century CE).] The peninsula's economy expanded under Roman tutelage. Hispania supplied Rome with food, olive oil, wine and metal. The emperors Trajan, Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca and the poets Martial, Quintilian and Lucan were born in Spain. The Spanish Bishops held the Council at Elvira in 306.

The first Germanic tribes to invade Hispania arrived in the 5th century, as the Roman Empire decayed. [cite web |last=Payne |first=Stanley G. | title = A History of Spain and Portugal; Ch. 1 Ancient Hispania |publisher=The Library of Iberian Resources Online |year=1973 |url=http://libro.uca.edu/payne1/spainport1.htm |accessdate=2008-08-09] The Visigoths, Suebi, Vandals and Alans arrived in Spain by crossing the Pyrenees mountain range. [This led to the establishment of the Suebi Kingdom in Gallaecia, in the northwest, the Vandal Kingdom of Vandalusia (Andalusia) and the Visigothic Kingdom in Toledo.] The Romanized Visigoths entered Hispania in 415. After the conversion of their monarchy to Roman Catholicism, the Visigothic Kingdom eventually encompassed a great part of the Iberian Peninsula after conquering the disordered Suebic territories in the northwest and Byzantine territories in the southeast.

The collapse of the Western Roman Empire did not lead to the same wholesale destruction of Western classical society as happened in areas like Roman Britain, Gaul and Germania Inferior during the Dark Ages, even if the institutions, infrastructure and economy did suffer considerable degradation. Spain's present languages, its religion, and the basis of its laws originate from this period. The centuries of uninterrupted Roman rule and settlement left a deep and enduring imprint upon the culture of Spain.

Visigothic Hispania (5th–8th centuries)

After the decline of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes invaded the former empire. Several turned sedentary and created successor-kingdoms to the Romans in various parts of Europe. Iberia was taken over by the Visigoths after 410.

In the Iberian peninsula, as elsewhere, the Empire fell not with a bang but with a whimper. Rather than there being any convenient date for the "fall of the Roman Empire" there was a progressive "de-Romanization" of the Western Roman Empire in Hispania and a weakening of central authority, throughout the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries. At the same time, there was a process of "Romanization" of the Germanic and Hunnic tribes settled on both sides of the "limes" (the fortified frontier of the Empire along the Rhine and Danube rivers). The Visigoths, for example, were converted to Arian Christianity around 360, even before they were pushed into imperial territory by the expansion of the Huns. In the winter of 406, taking advantage of the frozen Rhine, the (Germanic) Vandals and Sueves, and the (Sarmatian) Alans invaded the empire in force. Three years later they crossed the Pyrenees into Iberia and divided the Western parts, roughly corresponding to modern Portugal and western Spain as far as Madrid, between them. The Visigoths meanwhile, having sacked Rome two years earlier, arrived in the region in 412 founding the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse (in the south of modern France) and gradually expanded their influence into the Iberian peninsula at the expense of the Vandals and Alans, who moved on into North Africa without leaving much permanent mark on Hispanic culture. The Visigothic Kingdom shifted its capital to Toledo and reached a high point during the reign of Leovigild.

Importantly, Spain never saw a decline in interest in classical culture to the degree observable in Britain, Gaul, Lombardy and Germany. The Visigoths tended to maintain more of the old Roman institutions, and they had a unique respect for legal codes that resulted in continuous frameworks and historical records for most of the period between 415, when Visigothic rule in Spain began, and 711, when it is traditionally said to end. The proximity of the Visigothic kingdoms to the Mediterranean and the continuity of western Mediterranean trade, though in reduced quantity, supported Visigothic culture. Arian Visigothic nobility kept apart from the local Catholic population. The Visigothic ruling class looked to Constantinople for style and technology while the rivals of Visigothic power and culture were the Catholic bishops— and a brief incursion of Byzantine power in Cordoba.

The period of Visigothic rule saw the spread of Arianism briefly in Spain. In 587, Reccared, the Visigothic king at Toledo, having been converted to Catholicism put an end to dissension on the question of Arianism and launched a movement in Spain to unify the various religious doctrines that existed in the land. The Council of Lerida in 546 constrained the clergy and extended the power of law over them under the blessings of Rome.

The Visigoths inherited from Late Antiquity a sort of feudal system in Spain, based in the south on the Roman villa system and in the north drawing on their vassals to supply troops in exchange for protection. The bulk of the Visigothic army was composed of slaves, raised from the countryside. The loose council of nobles that advised Spain's Visigothic kings and legitimized their rule was responsible for raising the army, and only upon its consent was the king able to summon soldiers.

The impact of Visigothic rule was not widely felt on society at large, and certainly not compared to the vast bureaucracy of the Roman Empire; they tended to rule as barbarians of a mild sort, uninterested in the events of the nation and economy, working for personal benefit, and little literature remains to us from the period. They did not, until the period of Muslim rule, merge with the Spanish population, preferring to remain separate, and indeed the Visigothic language left only the faintest mark on the modern languages of Iberia. The most visible effect was the depopulation of the cities as they moved to the countryside. Even while the country enjoyed a degree of prosperity when compared to the famines of France and Germany in this period, the Visigoths felt little reason to contribute to the welfare, permanency, and infrastructure of their people and state. This contributed to their downfall, as they could not count on the loyalty of their subjects when the Moors arrived in the 8th century.

Muslim Occupation and the Reconquest (8th–15th centuries)

By 711 Arabs and Berbers had converted to Islam, which by the 8th century dominated all the north of Africa. A raiding party led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad was sent to intervene in a civil war in the Visigothic kingdoms in Iberia. Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, it won a decisive victory in the summer of 711 when the Visigothic king Roderic was defeated and killed on July 19 at the Battle of Guadalete. Tariq's commander, Musa bin Nusair quickly crossed with substantial reinforcements, and by 718 the Muslims dominated most of the peninsula. The advance into Europe was stopped by the Franks under Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.

Caliph Al-Walid I paid great attention to the expansion of an organized military, building the strongest navy in the Umayyad era. It was this tactic that supported the ultimate expansion to Spain. Caliph Al-Walid I's reign is considered as the apex of Islamic power Fact|date=May 2008. Valladolid is an industrial city and it is a municipality in north-central Spain, upon the Rio Pisuerga and within the Ribera del Duero region. It is the capital of the province of Valladolid and of the autonomous community of Castile and Leon, therefore is part of the historical region of Castile. The name "Valladolid" is linked with the Arabic name for the city بلد الوليد meaning The City of Al-Walid I).The rulers of Al-Andalus were granted the rank of Emir by the Umayyad CaliphAl-Walid I in Damascus. After the Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasids, some of their remaining leaders escaped to Spain under the leadership of Abd-ar-rahman I who challenged the Abbasids by declaring Cordoba an independent emirate. Al-Andalus was rife with internal conflict between the Arab Umayyad rulers and the Visigoth-Roman Christian population. The first navy of the Emirate was built after the humiliating Viking ascent of the Guadalquivir in 844 when they sacked Seville. In 942, pagan Magyars raided as far west as Al-Andalus. [ [http://www.zum.de/whkmla/timelines/wh/tlvikings.html Timelines - Vikings, Saracens, Magyars] ]

In the 10th century Abd-ar-rahman III declared the Caliphate of Cordoba, effectively breaking all ties with the Egyptian and Syrian caliphs. The Caliphate was mostly concerned with maintaining its power base in North Africa, but these possessions eventually dwindled to the Ceuta province. Meanwhile, a slow but steady migration of Christian subjects to the northern kingdoms was slowly increasing the power of the northern kingdoms. Even so, Al-Andalus remained vastly superior to all the northern kingdoms combined in population, economy, culture and military might, and internal conflict between the Christian kingdoms contributed to keep them relatively harmless.

Al-Andalus coincided with "La Convivencia", an era of religious tolerance and with the Golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula (912, the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III - 1066, Granada massacre). [ [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=412&letter=G&search=Granada Granada] by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, "Jewish Encyclopedia". 1906 ed. ]

Muslim interest in the peninsula returned in force around the year 1000 when Al-Mansur (also known as "Almanzor"), sacked Barcelona (985). Under his son, other Christian cities were subjected to numerous raids. [ [http://libro.uca.edu/rc/rc1.htm Ransoming Captives in Crusader Spain: The Order of Merced on the Christian-Islamic Frontier ] ] After his son's death, the caliphate plunged into a civil war and splintered into the so-called "Taifa Kingdoms". The Taifa kings competed against each other not only in war, but also in the protection of the arts, and culture enjoyed a brief upswing. The Taifa kingdoms lost ground to the Christian realms in the north and, after the loss of Toledo in 1085, the Muslim rulers reluctantly invited the Almoravides, who invaded Al-Andalus from North Africa and established an empire. In the 12th century the Almoravid empire broke up again, only to be taken over by the Almohad invasion, who were defeated in the decisive battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212.

Medieval Spain was the scene of almost constant warfare between Muslims and Christians. The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147, far surpassed the Almoravides in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the "dhimmis" harshly. Faced with the choice of death, conversion, or emigration, many Jews and Christians left. [ [http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history_community/Medieval/IntergroupTO/JewishMuslim/Almohads.htm The Almohads] ] By the mid-13th century Emirate of Granada was the only independent Muslim realm in Spain, which would last until 1492.

The Kings of Aragón ruled territories that consisted of not only the present administrative region of Aragon but also Catalonia, and later the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Sicily, Naples and Sardinia (see Crown of Aragon). Considered by most to have been the first mercenary company in Western Europe,the Catalan Company proceeded to occupy the Duchy of Athens, which they placed under the protection of a prince of the House of Aragon and ruled until 1379. [ [http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~kuijt/dba165/dba165.html Catalan Company (1302-1388 AD)] ]

Kingdom of Spain

As the "Reconquista" continued, Christian kingdoms and principalities developed. By the 15th century, the most important among these were the Kingdom of Castile (occupying a northern and central portion of the Iberian Peninsula) and the Kingdom of Aragon (occupying northeastern portions of the peninsula). The rulers of these two kingdoms were allied with dynastic families in Portugal, France, and other neighboring kingdoms. The death of Henry IV in 1474 set off a struggle for power between contenders for the throne of Castile, including Juana la Beltraneja, supported by Portugal and France, and Queen Isabella I, supported by the Kingdom of Aragon, and by the Castilian nobility. Following the War of the Castilian Succession, Isabella retained the throne, and ruled jointly with her husband, King Ferdinand II.

Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon were known as the "Catholic Monarchs" ( _es. los Reyes Católicos), a title bestowed on them by Pope Alexander VI. They married in 1469 in Valladolid, uniting both crowns and effectively leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Spain, at the dawn of the modern era. They oversaw the final stages of the Reconquista of Iberian territory from the Moors with the conquest of Granada, conquered the Canary Islands and expelled the Jews and Muslims from Spain under the Alhambra decree. They authorized the expedition of Christopher Columbus, who became the first European to reach the New World since Leif Ericson, which led to an influx of wealth into Spain, funding the coffers of the new state that would prove to be a dominant power of Europe for the next two centuries.

Isabella ensured long-term political stability in Spain by arranging strategic marriages for each of her five children. Her firstborn, a daughter named Isabella, married Alfonso of Portugal, forging important ties between these two neighboring countries and hopefully to ensure future alliance, but Isabella soon died before giving birth to an heir. Juana, Isabella’s second daughter, married Philip the Handsome, the son of Maximilian I, King of Bohemia (Austria) and entitled to the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. This ensured alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, a powerful, far-reaching territory which assured Spain’s future political security. Isabella’s first and only son, Juan, married Margaret of Austria, maintaining ties with the Habsburg dynasty, on which Spain relied heavily. Her fourth child, Maria, married Manuel I of Portugal, strengthening the link forged by her older sister’s marriage. Her fifth child, Catherine, married Henry VIII, King of England and was mother to Queen Mary I.

If until the 13th century religious minorities (Jews and Muslims) had enjoyed quite some tolerance in Castilla and Aragon - the only Christian kingdoms where Jews were not restricted from any professional occupation - the situation of the Jews collapsed over the 14th century, reaching a climax in 1391 with large scale in every major city, with the exception of Avilla. Over the next century, half of the estimated 200,000 Spanish Jews converted to Christianity (becoming "conversos"). The final step was taken by the Catholic Monarchs, who, in 1492, ordered the remaining Jews to convert or face expulsion from Spain. Depending on different sources, the number of Jews actually expelled is estimated to be anywhere from 40,000 to 120,000 people. Over the following decades, Muslims faced the same fate and about 60 years after the Jews, they were also compelled to convert ("moriscos") or be expelled. Jews and Muslims were not the only people to be persecuted during this time period. Gypsies also endured a tragic fate. As a matter of fact, all Gypsy males were forced to serve in galleys between the age of 18 and 26 - which was equivalent to a death sentence - but the majority managed to hide and avoid arrest.

The Spanish language and universities

In the 13th century, there were many languages spoken in the Christian sections of what is now Spain, among them Castilian, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Aranese and Leonese. But throughout the century, Castilian (what is also known today as Spanish) gained more and more prominence in the Kingdom of Castile as the language of culture and communication. One example of this is the "El Cid". In the last years of the reign of Ferdinand III of Castile, Castilian began to be used for certain types of documents, but it was during the reign of Alfonso X that it became the official language. Henceforth all public documents were written in Castilian, likewise all translations were made into Castilian instead of Latin.

Furthermore, in the 13th Century many universities were founded in León and in Castile, some, like those of the leonese Salamanca and Palencia were among the earliest universities in Europe. In 1492, under the Catholic Monarchs, the first edition of the Grammar of the Castilian Language by Antonio de Nebrija was published.

panish Empire

The Spanish Empire was one of the first modern global empires. It was also one of the largest empires in world history. In the 16th century Spain and Portugal were in the vanguard of European global exploration and colonial expansion and the opening of trade routes across the oceans, with trade flourishing across the Atlantic between Spain and the Americas and across the Pacific between East Asia and Mexico via the Philippines. Conquistadors toppled the Aztec, Inca and Maya civilizations and laid claim to vast stretches of land in North and South America. For a time, the Spanish Empire dominated the oceans with its experienced navy and ruled the European battlefield with its fearsome and well trained infantry, the famous " _es. tercios": in the words of the prominent French historian Pierre Vilar, "enacting the most extraordinary epic in human history". Spain enjoyed a cultural golden age in the 16th and 17th centuries.

This American empire was at first a disappointment, as the natives had little to trade, though settlement did encourage trade. The diseases such as smallpox and measles that arrived with the colonizers devastated the native populations, especially in the densely populated regions of the Aztec, Maya and Inca civilizations, and this reduced economic potential of conquered areas. [There is simply no consensus as to the extent, with estimates varying by many orders of magnitude, but that it occurred is not doubted - See Population history of American indigenous peoples.] .

pain under the Habsburgs (16th–17th centuries)

Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries reached its height and declined under the Habsburgs. The Spanish Empire reached its maximum extent in Europe under Charles I of Spain, as Charles V also emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Charles V became king in 1516, and the history of Spain became even more firmly enmeshed with the dynastic struggles in Europe. The king was not often in Spain, and as he approached the end of his life he made provision for the division of the Habsburg inheritance into two parts: on the one hand Spain, and its possessions in the Mediterranean and overseas, and the Holy Roman Empire itself on the other. The Habsburg possessions in The Netherlands also remained with the Spanish crown.

This was to prove a difficulty for his successor Philip II of Spain, who became king on Charles V's abdication in 1556. Spain largely escaped the religious conflicts that were raging throughout the rest of Europe, and remained firmly Roman Catholic. Philip saw himself as a champion of Catholicism, both against the Ottoman Turks and the heretics. In the 1560s, plans to consolidate control of the Netherlands led to unrest, which gradually led to the Calvinist leadership of the revolt and the Eighty Years' War. This conflict consumed much Spanish expenditure, and led to an attempt to conquer England – a cautious supporter of the Dutch – in the unsuccessful Spanish Armada, an early battle in the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and war with France (1590–1598).

Despite these problems, the growing inflow of American silver from mid 16th century, the justified military reputation of the Spanish infantry and even the navy quickly recovering from its Armada disaster, made Spain the leading European power, a novel situation of which its citizens were only just becoming aware. The Iberian Union with Portugal in 1580 not only unified the peninsula, but added that country's worldwide resources to the Spanish crown. However, economic and administrative problems multiplied in Castile, and the weakness of the native economy became evident in the following century: rising inflation, the ongoing aftermath of the expulsion of the Jews and Moors from Spain, and the growing dependency of Spain on the gold and silver imports, combined to cause several bankruptcies that caused economic crisis in the country, especially in heavily burdened Castile.

The coastal villages of Spain and of the Balearic Islands were frequently attacked by Barbary pirates from North Africa. Formentera was even temporarily left by its population. This occurred also along long stretches of the Spanish and Italian coasts, a relatively short distance across a calm sea from the pirates in their North African lairs. The most famous corsair was the Turkish Barbarossa ("Redbeard"). According to Robert Davis between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by North African pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries This was gradually alleviated as Spain and other Christian powers began to check Muslim naval dominance in the Mediterranean after the 1571 victory at Lepanto, but it would be a scourge that continued to afflict the country even in the next century. [ [http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/whtslav.htm "When Europeans were slaves: Research suggests white slavery was much more common than previously believed"] ]

The great plague of 1596-1602 killed 600,000 to 700,000 people, or about 10% of the population. Altogether more than 1,250,000 deaths resulted from the extreme incidence of plague in 17th century Spain. [ [http://libro.uca.edu/payne1/payne15.htm The Seventeenth-Century Decline] ]

Philip II died in 1598, and was succeeded by his son Philip III, in whose reign a ten year truce with the Dutch was overshadowed in 1618 by Spain's involvement in the European-wide Thirty Years' War. Government policy was dominated by favorites, but it was also the reign in which the geniuses of Cervantes and El Greco flourished.

Philip III was succeeded in 1621 by his son Philip IV of Spain. Much of the policy was conducted by the minister Gaspar de Guzmán, Conde de Olivares. In 1640, with the war in central Europe having no clear winner except the French, both Portugal and Catalonia rebelled. Portugal was lost to the crown for good, in Italy and most of Catalonia, French forces were expelled and Catalonia's independence suppressed. In the reign of Philip's developmentally disabled son and successor Charles II, Spain was essentially left leaderless and was gradually being reduced to a second-rank power.

The Habsburg dynasty became extinct in Spain and the War of the Spanish Succession ensued in which the other European powers tried to assume control of the Spanish monarchy. King Louis XIV of France eventually "won" the War of Spanish Succession, and control of Spain passed to the Bourbon dynasty but the peace deals that followed included the relinquishing of the right to unite the French and Spanish thrones and the partitioning of Spain's European empire.

The Golden Age (Siglo de Oro)

The Spanish Golden Age (in Spanish, "Siglo de Oro") was a period of flourishing arts and letters in the Spanish Empire (now Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America), coinciding with the political decline and fall of the Habsburgs (Philip III, Philip IV and Charles II). The last great writer of the age, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, died in New Spain in 1695.

The Habsburgs, both in Spain and Austria, were great patrons of art in their countries. "El Escorial", the great royal monastery built by King Philip II of Spain, invited the attention of some of Europe's greatest architects and painters. Diego Velázquez, regarded as one of the most influential painters of European history and a greatly respected artist in his own time, cultivated a relationship with King Philip IV and his chief minister, the Count-Duke of Olivares, leaving us several portraits that demonstrate his style and skill. El Greco, another respected Spanish artist from the period, infused Spanish art with the styles of the Italian renaissance and helped create a uniquely Spanish style of painting. Some of Spain's greatest music is regarded as having been written in the period. Such composers as Tomás Luis de Victoria, Luis de Milán and Alonso Lobo helped to shape Renaissance music and the styles of counterpoint and polychoral music, and their influence lasted far into the Baroque period.

Spanish literature blossomed as well, most famously demonstrated in the work of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of "Don Quixote de la Mancha". Spain's most prolific playwright, Lope de Vega, wrote possibly as many as one thousand plays over his lifetime, over four hundred of which survive to the present day.

The Enlightenment: Spain under the Bourbons (18th century)

Philip V, the first Bourbon king, of French origin, signed the "Decreto de Nueva Planta" in 1715, a new law that revoked most of the historical rights and privileges of the different kingdoms that conformed the Spanish Crown, unifying them under the laws of Castile, where the Cortes had been more receptive to the royal wish. Spain became culturally and politically a follower of absolutist France. The rule of the Spanish Bourbons continued under Ferdinand VI and Charles III.Under the rule of Charles III and his ministers, Leopoldo de Gregorio, Marquis of Esquilache and José Moñino, Count of Floridablanca, Spain embarked on a program of enlightened despotism that brought Spain a new prosperity in the middle of the eighteenth century. After losing alongside France against the United Kingdom in the Seven Years' War, Spain recouped most of her territorial losses in the American Revolutionary War, and gained an improved international standing. However, the reforming spirit of Charles III was extinguished in the reign of his son, Charles IV, seen by some as mentally handicapped. Dominated by his wife's lover, Manuel de Godoy, Charles IV embarked on policies that overturned much of Charles III's reforms. After briefly opposing Revolutionary France early in the French Revolutionary Wars, Spain was cajoled into an uneasy alliance with its northern neighbor, only to be blockaded by the British. Charles IV's vacillation, culminating in his failure to honour the alliance by neglecting to enforce the Continental System led to Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, invading Spain in 1808, thereby triggering Spain's War of Independence.

During most of the eighteenth century Spain had made substantial progress since its steady decline in the latter part of the 17th century, under an increasingly inept Habsburg dynasty. But despite the progress, it continued to lag in the political and mercantile developments then transforming other parts of Europe, most notably in the United Kingdom, France and the Low Countries. The chaos unleashed by the Napoleonic intervention would cause this gap to widen greatly.

Napoleonic Wars: War of Spanish Independence (1808–1814)

Spain initially sided against France in the Napoleonic Wars, but the defeat of her army early in the war led to Charles IV's pragmatic decision to align with the revolutionary French. A major Franco-Spanish fleet was annihilated, at the decisive Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, prompting the vacillating king of Spain to reconsider his alliance with France. Spain broke off from the Continental System temporarily, and Napoleon — aggravated with the Bourbon kings of Spain — invaded and deposed Charles. The Spanish people vigorously resisted the move and "juntas" were formed across Spain that pronounced themselves in favor of Charles's son Ferdinand.

Spain was put under a British blockade, and her colonies — for the first time separated from their colonial rulers — began to trade independently with Britain. The defeat of the British invasions of the River Plate in South America emboldened an independent attitude in Spain's American colonies. Initially, the juntas declared their support for Ferdinand, expecting greater autonomy from Madrid under the liberal constitution that the juntas had drafted. The Cortes took refuge at Cádiz. In 1812 the Cádiz Cortes created the first modern Spanish constitution, the Constitution of 1812 (informally named "La Pepa").

The British, led by the Duke of Wellington, fought Napoleon's forces in the Peninsular War, with Joseph Bonaparte ruling as king at Madrid. The brutal war was one of the first guerrilla wars in modern Western history; French supply lines stretching across Spain were mauled repeatedly by Spanish guerrillas. The war in Iberia fluctuated repeatedly, with Wellington spending several years behind his fortresses in Portugal while launching occasional campaigns into Spain. The French were decisively defeated at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813, and the following year, Ferdinand was restored as King of Spain.

pain in the nineteenth century (1814–1873)

Although the "juntas" that had forced the French to leave Spain had sworn by the liberal Constitution of 1812, Ferdinand VII openly believed that it was too liberal for the country. On his return to Spain, he refused to swear by it himself, and he continued to rule in the authoritarian fashion of his forebears.

Although Spain accepted the rejection of the Constitution, the policy was not warmly accepted in Spain's empire in the New World. Revolution broke out. Spain — nearly bankrupt from the war with France and the reconstruction of the country — was unable to pay her soldiers, and in 1820, an expedition intended for the colonies (which, at the time, were on the verge of being lost themselves, to rebels and the Monroe Doctrine) revolted in Cadiz. When armies throughout Spain pronounced themselves in sympathy with the revolters, led by Rafael del Riego, Ferdinand relented and was forced to accept the liberal Constitution of 1812. Ferdinand himself was placed under effective house arrest for the duration of the liberal experiment.

The three years of liberal rule that followed coincided with a civil war in Spain that would typify Spanish politics for the next century. The liberal government, which reminded European statesmen entirely too much of the governments of the French Revolution, was looked on with hostility by the Congress of Verona in 1822, and France was authorized to intervene. France crushed the liberal government with massive force in the so-called Spanish expedition, and Ferdinand was restored as absolute monarch. The American colonies, however, were completely lost; in 1824, the last Spanish army on the American mainland was defeated at the Battle of Ayacucho in southern Peru.

A period of uneasy peace followed in Spain for the next decade. Having borne only a female heir presumptive, it appeared that Ferdinand would be succeeded by his brother, Infante Carlos of Spain. While Ferdinand aligned with the conservatives, fearing another national insurrection, he did not view the reactionary policies of his brother as a viable option. Ferdinand — resisting the wishes of his brother — decreed the Pragmatic Sanction of 1830, enabling his daughter Isabella to become Queen. Carlos, who made known his intent to resist the sanction, fled to Portugal.

Ferdinand's death in 1833 and the accession of Isabella (only three years old at the time) as Queen of Spain sparked the First Carlist War. Carlos invaded Spain and attracted support from reactionaries and conservatives in Spain; Isabella's mother, Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, was named regent until her daughter came of age.

The insurrection seemed to have been crushed by the end of the year; Maria Cristina's armies, called "Cristino" forces, had driven the Carlist armies from most of the Basque country. Carlos then named the Basque general Tomás de Zumalacárregui his commander-in-chief. Zumalacárregui resuscitated the Carlist cause, and by 1835 had driven the Cristino armies to the Ebro River and transformed the Carlist army from a demoralized band into a professional army of 30,000 of quality superior to the government forces.

Zumalacárregui's death in 1835 changed the Carlists' fortunes. The Cristinos found a capable general in Baldomero Espartero. His victory at the Battle of Luchana (1836) turned the tide of the war, and in 1839, the Convention of Vergara put an end to the first Carlist insurrection.

Espartero, operating on his popularity as a war hero and his sobriquet "Pacifier of Spain", demanded liberal reforms from Maria Cristina. The Queen Regent, who resisted any such idea, preferred to resign and let Espartero become regent instead. Espartero's liberal reforms were opposed, then, by moderates; the former general's heavy-handedness caused a series of sporadic uprisings throughout the country from various quarters, all of which were bloodily suppressed. He was overthrown as regent in 1843 by Ramón María Narváez, a moderate, who was in turn perceived as too reactionary. Another Carlist uprising, the Matiners' War, was launched in 1846 in Catalonia, but it was poorly organized and suppressed by 1849.

Isabella II of Spain took a more active role in government after she came of age, but she was immensely unpopular throughout her reign. She was viewed as beholden to whoever was closest to her at court, and that she cared little for the people of Spain. In 1856, she attempted to form a pan-national coalition, the Union Liberal, under the leadership of Leopoldo O'Donnell who had already marched on Madrid that year and deposed another Espartero ministry. Isabella's plan failed and cost Isabella more prestige and favor with the people.
Isabella launched a successful war against Morocco, waged by generals O'Donnell and Juan Prim, in 1860 that stabilized her popularity in Spain. However, a campaign to reconquer Peru and Chile during the Chincha Islands War proved disastrous and Spain suffered defeat before the determined South American powers.

In 1866, a revolt led by Juan Prim was suppressed, but it was becoming increasingly clear that the people of Spain were upset with Isabella's approach to governance. In 1868, the Glorious Revolution broke out when the "progresista" generals Francisco Serrano and Juan Prim revolted against her, and defeated her "moderado" generals at the Battle of Alcolea. Isabella was driven into exile in Paris.

Revolution and anarchy broke out in Spain in the two years that followed; it was only in 1870 that the Cortes declared that Spain would have a king again. As it turned out, this decision played an important role in European and world history, for a German prince's candidacy to the Spanish throne and French opposition to him served as the immediate motive for the Franco-Prussian War. Amadeus of Savoy was selected, and he was duly crowned King of Spain early the following year.

Amadeus — a liberal who swore by the liberal constitution the Cortes promulgated — was faced immediately with the incredible task of bringing the disparate political ideologies of Spain to one table. He was plagued by internecine strife, not merely between Spaniards but within Spanish parties.

First Spanish Republic (1873–1874)

Following the Hidalgo affair, Amadeus famously declared the people of Spain to be ungovernable, and fled the country. In his absence, a government of radicals and Republicans was formed that declared Spain a republic.

The republic was immediately under siege from all quarters — the Carlists were the most immediate threat, launching a violent insurrection after their poor showing in the 1872 elections. There were calls for socialist revolution from the International Workingmen's Association, revolts and unrest in the autonomous regions of Navarre and Catalonia, and pressure from the Roman Catholic Church against the fledgling republic.

The Restoration (1874–1931)

Although the former queen, Isabella II was still alive, she recognized that she was too divisive as a leader, and abdicated in 1870 in favor of her son, Alfonso, who was duly crowned Alfonso XII of Spain. After the tumult of the First Spanish Republic, Spaniards were willing to accept a return to stability under Bourbon rule. The Republican armies in Spain — which were resisting a Carlist insurrection — pronounced their allegiance to Alfonso in the winter of 1874–1875, led by Brigadier General Martinez Campos. The Republic was dissolved and Antonio Canovas del Castillo, a trusted advisor to the king, was named Prime Minister on New Year's Eve, 1874. The Carlist insurrection was put down vigorously by the new king, who took an active role in the war and rapidly gained the support of most of his countrymen.

A system of "turnos" was established in Spain in which the liberals, led by Práxedes Mateo Sagasta and the conservatives, led by Antonio Canovas del Castillo, alternated in control of the government. A modicum of stability and economic progress was restored to Spain during Alfonso XII's rule. His death in 1885, followed by the assassination of Canovas del Castillo in 1897, destabilized the government.

Cuba rebelled against Spain in the Ten Years' War beginning in 1868, resulting in the abolition of slavery in Spain's colonies in the New World. American interests in the island, coupled with concerns for the people of Cuba, aggravated relations between the two countries. The explosion of the USS "Maine" launched the Spanish-American War in 1898, in which Spain fared disastrously. Cuba gained its independence and Spain lost its remaining New World colony, Puerto Rico, which together with Guam and the Philippines it ceded to the United States for 20 million dollars. In 1899, Spain sold its remaining Pacific islands—the Northern Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands and Palau—to Germany and Spanish colonial possessions were reduced to Spanish Morocco, Spanish Sahara and Spanish Guinea, all in Africa.

The "disaster" of 1898 created the Generation of '98, a group of statesmen and intellectuals who demanded change from the new government. Anarchist and fascist movements were on the rise in Spain in the early twentieth century. A revolt in 1909 in Catalonia was bloodily suppressed.

Spain's neutrality in the First World War allowed it to become a supplier of material for both sides to its great advantage, prompting an economic boom in Spain. The outbreak of Spanish influenza in Spain and elsewhere, along with a major economic slowdown in the postwar period, hit Spain particularly hard, and the country went into debt. A major worker's strike was suppressed in 1919.

Mistreatment of the Moorish population in Spanish Morocco led to an uprising and the loss of this North African possession except for the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in 1921. (See Abd el-Krim, Annual). In order to avoid accountability, King Alfonso XIII decided to support the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera, ending the period of constitutional monarchy in Spain.

In joint action with France, the Moroccan territory was recovered (1925–1927), but in 1930 bankruptcy and massive unpopularity left the king no option but to force Primo de Rivera to resign. Disgusted with the king's involvement in his dictatorship, the urban population voted for republican parties in the municipal elections of April 1931. The king fled the country without abdicating and a republic was established.

econd Spanish Republic (1931–1939)

Under the Second Spanish Republic, women were allowed to vote in general elections for the first time. The Republic devolved substantial autonomy to the Basque Country and to Catalonia.

The first governments of the Republic, were center-left, headed by Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, and Manuel Azaña. Economic turmoil, substantial debt inherited from the Primo de Rivera regime, and fractious, rapidly changing governing coalitions led to serious political unrest. In 1933, the right-wing CEDA won power; an armed rising of workers of October 1934, which reached its greatest intensity in Asturias and Catalonia, was forcefully put down by the CEDA government. This in turn energized political movements across the spectrum in Spain, including a revived anarchist movement and new reactionary and fascist groups, including the Falange and a revived Carlist movement.

panish Civil War (1936–1939)

In the 1930s, Spanish politics were polarized at the left and right of the political spectrum. The left wing favoured class struggle, land reform, autonomy to the regions and reduction in church and monarchist power. The right-wing groups, the largest of which was CEDA, a right wing Roman Catholic coalition, held opposing views on most issues. In 1936, the left united in the Popular Front and was elected to power. However, this coalition, dominated by the centre-left, was undermined both by the revolutionary groups such as the anarchist CNT and FAI and by anti-democratic far-right groups such as the Falange and the Carlists. The political violence of previous years began to start again. There were gunfights over strikes, landless labourers began to seize land, church officials were killed and churches burnt. On the other side, right wing militias (such as the Falange) and gunmen hired by employers assassinated left wing activists. The Republican democracy never generated the consensus or mutual trust between the various political groups that it needed to function peacefully. As a result, the country slid into civil war. The right wing of the country and high ranking figures in the army began to plan a coup, and when Falangist politician José Calvo-Sotelo was shot by Republican police, they used it as a signal to act.

On July 17, 1936, General Francisco Franco led the colonial army from Morocco to attack the mainland, while another force from the north under General Sanjurjo moved south from Navarre. Military units were also mobilised elsewhere to take over government institutions. Franco's move was intended to seize power immediately, but successful resistance by Republicans in places such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, the Basque country and elsewhere meant that Spain faced a prolonged civil war. Before long, much of the south and west was under the control of the Nationalists, whose regular Army of Africa was the most professional force available to either side. Both sides received foreign military aid, the Nationalists, from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Portugal, the Republic from the USSR and communist organised volunteers in the International Brigades.

The Siege of the Alcázar at Toledo early in the war was a turning point, with the Nationalists winning after a long siege. The Republicans managed to hold out in Madrid, despite a Nationalist assault in November 1936, and frustrated subsequent offensives against the capital at Jarama and Guadalajara in 1937. Soon, though, the Nationalists began to erode their territory, starving Madrid and making inroads into the east. The north, including the Basque country fell in late 1937 and the Aragon front collapsed shortly afterwards. The bombing of Guernica was probably the most infamous event of the war and inspired Picasso's painting. It was used as a testing ground for the German Luftwaffe's Condor Legion. The Battle of the Ebro in July-November 1938 was the final desperate attempt by the Republicans to turn the tide. When this failed and Barcelona fell to the Nationalists in early 1939, it was clear the war was over. The remaining Republican fronts collapsed and Madrid fell in March 1939.

The war, which cost between 300,000 to 1,000,000 lives, ended with the destruction of the Republic and the accession of Francisco Franco as dictator of Spain. Franco amalgamated all the right wing parties into a reconstituted Falange and banned the left-wing and Republican parties and trade unions.

The conduct of the war was brutal on both sides, with massacres of civilians and prisoners being widespread. After the war, many thousands of Republicans were imprisoned and up to 151,000 were executed between 1939 and 1943. Many other Republicans remained in exile for the entire Franco period.

The dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1936–1975)

Spain remained officially neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating Civil War (1936–1939). During Franco's rule, Spain remained largely economically and culturally isolated from the outside world, but began to catch up economically with its European neighbors.

Under Franco, Spain actively sought the return of Gibraltar by the UK, and gained some support for its cause at the United Nations. During the 1960s, Spain began imposing restrictions on Gibraltar, culminating in the closure of the border in 1969. It was not fully reopened until 1985.

Spanish rule in Morocco ended in 1956. Though militarily victorious in the 1957–1958 Moroccan invasion of Spanish West Africa, Spain gradually relinquished its remaining African colonies. Spanish Guinea was granted independence as Equatorial Guinea in 1968, while the Moroccan enclave of Ifni had been ceded to Morocco in 1969.

The latter years of Franco's rule saw some economic and political liberalization, the Spanish Miracle, including the birth of a tourism industry. Francisco Franco ruled until his death on November 20 1975, when control was given to King Juan Carlos.

In the last few months before Franco's death, the Spanish state went into a paralysis. This was capitalized upon by King Hassan II of Morocco, who ordered the 'Green March' into Western Sahara, Spain's last colonial possession.

pain since 1975

Transition to democracy

The Spanish transition to democracy or new Bourbon restoration was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on November 20, 1975, while its completion is marked by the electoral victory of the socialist PSOE on October 28, 1982.

Between 1978 and 1982, Spain was led by the "Unión del Centro Democrático" governments.

In 1981, the 23-F coup d'état attempt took place. On February 23 Antonio Tejero, with members of the Guardia Civil entered the Congress of Deputies, and stopped the session, where Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo was about to be named prime minister of the government. Officially, the coup d'état failed thanks to the intervention of King Juan Carlos. Spain joined the NATO before Calvo-Sotelo left office.

Along with political change came radical change in Spanish society. Spanish society had been extremely conservative under Franco, but the transition to democracy also began a liberalization of values and societal mores.

Modern Spain

From 1982 until 1996, the social democratic PSOE governed the country, with Felipe González as prime minister. In 1986, Spain joined the European Economic Community (EEC, now European Union), and the country hosted the
1992 Barcelona Olympics and Seville Expo '92.

In 1996, the centre-right "Partido Popular" government came to power, led by José María Aznar. On January 1, 1999 Spain exchanged the "Peseta" for the new Euro currency. On March 11 2004 a number of terrorist bombs exploded on busy commuter trains in Madrid during the morning rush-hour days before the general election, killing 191 persons and injuring thousands. Although José María Aznar and his ministers were quick to accuse ETA of the atrocity, soon afterwards it became apparent that the bombing was the work of an extremist Islamic group linked to Al-Qaeda. Many people believe that the fact that qualified commentators abroad were beginning to doubt the official Spanish version the very same day of the attacks while the government insisted on ETA's implication directly influenced the results of the election. Opinion polls at the time show that the difference between the two main contenders had been too close to make any accurate prediction as to the outcome of the elections. The election, held three days after the attacks, was won by the PSOE, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero replaced Aznar as prime minister.

On July 3, 2005, the country became the first country in the world to give full marriage and adoption rights to homosexual couples (Belgium allows same-sex marriage since 2003 and co-parenting since April 2006, and the Netherlands allows same-sex marriage since 2001 and has a law being prepared now to provide full adoption rights in equal conditions to opposite-sex marriages).

At present, Spain is a constitutional monarchy, and is comprised of 17 autonomous communities (Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Islas Baleares, Islas Canarias, Cantabria, Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha, Cataluña, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Community of Madrid, Region of Murcia, País Vasco, Comunidad Valenciana, Navarra) and two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla).


External links

*Henry Kamen. "Spain. A Society of Conflict" (3rd ed.) London and New York: Pearson Longman 2005. ISBN
* [http://www.badley.info/history/Spain.country.year.index.html Spain Chronology World History Database]
*" [http://www.trustedtranslations.com/castilian_spanish.asp Castilian Spanish and the History of Spanish language] "
* [http://eudocs.lib.byu.edu/index.php/History_of_Spain:_Primary_Documents History of Spain: Primary Documents]
* [http://libro.uca.edu/payne1/payne15.htm Stanley G. Payne The Seventeenth-Century Decline]
* [http://www.art.man.ac.uk/SPANISH/courses/sp2490/Kamen_decline.html Henry Kamen, "The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?", Past and Present,) (Explains the complexities of this subject)]

*Carmen Pereira-Muro. "Culturas de España". Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company 2003. ISBN

See also

*Black Legend
*Economic history of Spain
*Global Empire
*Spanish Empire
*List of Spanish wars
*Spanish Armada in Ireland
*Ottoman-Habsburg wars
*Timeline of the Muslim presence in the Iberian peninsula

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