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Aug. 15th, 2011 03:26 am
land_of_the_sun: (International relationships)
[personal profile] land_of_the_sun
~History of Spain~

In the beginning…Romans invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 212 BC. They introduced Christianity in the first century and Rome dominated Hispania until the Western Empire Collapsed.

After that…The Reconquista, the Muslims crossing into Europe via the Iberian. Soon Spania was dominated by them but Charles Martel from the Kingdom of Frank (This empire would gradually evolve into France and the Holy Roman Empire) kicked them out. Unfortunately, they tried it again once he died.

Medieval times… many ups and downs when it comes to kingdoms. The King of Castile (the most important of all of the kingdoms, that and the Kingdom of Aragon.) passed out without a heir. Isabella emerged the winner and ruled beside her husband, King Ferdinand II, finally the The Kingdom of Spain was formalized (1469).

They financed Christopher Columbus and Spain become the first European nation to discover the New World. Spain got related to the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg family with Austria after some arranged marriages. It was the time Spain started to grow asn an empire, sadly, it was also the time the Inquisition was created and there were wide-scaled massacres all over Spain.

The Spanish Empire went to settle colonies in the Caribbean (and topple over native empires such as the Aztecs and the Incas), they moved into Mexico, southern and western portions of today's United States, the Philippines, Guam and the Mariana Islands in Eastern Asia, parts of northern Italy, southern Italy, Sicily, cities in Northern Africa, as well as parts of France, modern Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Those were the good times.

The Italian Wars…. happened and Spain participated in favor of Autria and Against France. Autria got North Italy and Spain got appointed with the older brother, South Italy.

The Anglo-Spanish War(s)… begun. Philip II of Spain married Mary I of England, in order to crush Enland and control it, but Mary I died without a heir and her sister, Elizabeth, came to power and never accepted the marriage with Philip II. Elizabeth make a deal with the pirates too plunder the Spanish ships, Spain suspected who was behind these increased pirate attacks but had no proof and could do nothing.

Spain lost the battle of Netherlands and then England defeat the grand armada, mostly because of the weather and the fact that English’s ships were not as heavy as the Spanish ones. That was the beginning of the end for the Spanish Empire.

The War of Spanish Succession, a wide ranging international conflict combined with a civil war, cost Spain its European possessions and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent. It was During this war, a new dynasty—the French Bourbons—was installed.

The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system of modernizing the administration and the economy.

In 1931…the King Alfonso Xlll fled from Spain, and the country became a republic until the Spanish civil war (1936-39) when Spanish Nationalist forces led by General Francisco Franco defeated Republican forces. Buoyed by strong economic growth, the government eased censorship restrictions. Protests erupted in Barcelona and Madrid, and regional separatist groups gained strength. Franco died in 1975 and was succeeded by King Juan Carlos from the Bourbon monarchy.

Spain joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the beggingin of the 80’s and the European Community (now the European Union), increasing its ties with the rest of Europe.

The 90’s…The Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona in 1992, in 1994 Spain threatened to block expansion of the European Union until a compromise guaranteed protection of Spanish fishing rights, in 1996 Following a general election the conservative Popular Party, led by Jose Maria Aznar, formed a new government, bringing to an end 13 years of rule by the Socialist Workers' Party. 1999, Spain became a founder member of the single European currency, the euro.

On 1 January 2002, Spain replaced the peseta for the euro, and has also seen strong economic growth, well above the EU average, but recent years bring this to an end.

A saddest note… A series of bombs exploded in commuter trains in Madrid on 11 March 2004. After a five month trial in 2007 it was concluded the bombings were perpetrated by a local Islamist militant group inspired by al-Qaeda.The bombings killed 191 people and wounded more than 1800, and the intention of the perpetrators may have been to influence the outcome of the Spanish general election, held three days later. Because of the proximity of the election, it quickly became a political problem.

At first the Government and media accused ETA for the bombing. As the facts about its organisation by Islamic fundamentalism were appearing many voters lashed out at the public media and Aznar's government, believing the two had colluded to deceive the public since the Spanish government's support of the war in Iraq might be blamed as the trigger for the attack, a war which a considerable number of Spaniards had opposed, and therefore, many Spaniards believed Aznar's government had tried to deceive the public because of the elections.
One of the first moves of Prime Minister Zapatero was to pull all Spanish troops out of Iraq, but at the same time he increased the amount of soldiers in Afghanistan, believing that the nation represented a clear terrorist threat.
 
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Antonio Fernandez Carriedo

July 2012

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