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History Of Spain

The prime focus of this page is to look into the history of Spain. Spain was originally inhabited by Celts, Iberians, and Basques. Let us study the Spanish history spanning the period from prehistoric Iberia, through the rise and fall of a global empire and the recent Spain history as a member of the European Union, before you plan a Spain vacation. Read on.

The Iberian Peninsula was crossed over by the modern humans about 32,000 years ago. What followed was the different populations and cultures, which included the Iberians, Phoenicians, Tartessians, Romans, Greeks, Celts and Celtiberians, Carthaginians, Suebi and Visigoths. The Moors, a Berber and Arab army occupied and overcame nearly the whole peninsula. The history of Spain reflects that the next 750 years saw independent establishment of the Muslim states and the whole area of Muslim control was known as Al-Andalus.

In the meantime, the Christian kingdoms in the north initiated the long and slow recovery of the peninsula. This process in the Spanish history is known as the Reconquista, which in 1492 terminated with the fall of Granada. The unification of the Kingdom of Castile and the Kingdom of Aragon set up the creation of the Kingdom of Spain. The first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World in this year saw the foundation of the development of the Spanish Empire.

The next three centuries in Spain history were to project it as the most significant colonial power in the world. As the most powerful state in Europe and the foremost global power, Spanish literature, fine arts, scholarship and philosophy were seen to flourish during this time. Establishing a vast empire in the Americas, which stretched from California to Patagonia, and colonies in the western Pacific, its power was financed partly by the riches pouring in from its colonies.

The history of Spain reveals how it became involved in the religiously-charged wars and maneuverings of Europe. Soon it was engaged in wars with France, England, Sweden, and the Ottomans. These European wars were to leave an economically damaged Spain. The decline of power ended with the demotion of Spain's from the position of a leading western power, to that of a secondary.

The eighteenth century in the Spanish history saw a new dynasty of the Bourbons. It was directed towards the renewal of state institutions and finished with a successful participation in the American War of Independence. However, the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries saw chaos all throughout Europe due to the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Destroyed by these wars, Spain was weakened as different political parties representing "liberal", "reactionary" and "moderate" groups, fought throughout the remainder of the century. None of them were sufficiently strong enough to bring about lasting stability.

The early twentieth century in the history of Spain saw a period of growing political instability. In 1936 Spain was thrust into a bloody civil war, which ended in a nationalist dictatorship, led by Francisco Franco. He controlled the Spanish government until 1975. During World War II Spain was officially neutral, although many Spanish volunteers were known to fight on both sides. The decades following the war were relatively stable.

Early 1970s saw the country experiencing a rapid economic growth. The Bourbon monarchy headed by Prince Juan Carlos returned in 1975 with the death of Franco. Today, Spain has emerged as one of the fastest-growing standards of living in Europe, with the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the arrival of democracy.