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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Spain

Spain

Timeline and History Overview

Spain Timeline

BCE CE
Brief Overview of the History of Spain

Spain is located in Southwest Europe on the eastern Iberian Peninsula which it shares with Portugal.

The Iberian Peninsula has been occupied by many empires over the centuries. The Phoenicians arrived in the 9th century BC, followed by the Greeks, Carthaginians, and the Romans. The Roman Empire would have a lasting impact on Spain's culture. Later, the Visigoths arrived and drove out the Romans. In 711 the Moors came across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa and conquered most of Spain. They would remain there for hundreds of years until the Europeans would retake Spain as part of the Reconquista.


Spanish Galleon

In the 1500s, during the Age of Exploration, Spain became the most powerful country in Europe and likely the world. This was due to their colonies in the Americas and the gold and great wealth they acquired from them. Spanish conquistadors such as Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro conquered much of the Americas and claimed them for Spain. However, in 1588 in a battle of the world's great navies, the British defeated the Spanish Armada. This started the decline of the Spanish Empire.

In the 1800s many of Spain's colonies started revolutions to separate from Spain. Spain was fighting too many wars and losing most of them. When Spain lost the Spanish-American war against the United States in 1898, they lost many of their primary colonies.

In 1936, Spain had a civil war. The nationalist forces won and General Francisco Franco became leader and ruled until 1975. Spain managed to remain neutral during World War II, but somewhat sided with Germany, making things difficult after the war. Since the death of the dictator Franco, Spain has moved toward reforms and improving its economy. Spain became a member of the European Union in 1986.

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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Spain





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