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A little bit of Spanish history
The ancient name for Spain is Iberia!Throughout history, many groups of people have invaded Spain, leaving their mark on the people, landscape and culture; these groups of people include armies of Romans, Celts and Ancient Greeks.
Their legacies range from the Latin base of the Spanish language, the Roman Catholic faith, the Celtic farming patterns and the physical features of the inhabitants of Spain.
In 711 AD the Moors (Muslim conquerors from North Africa) arrived in Spain and seized control of the country; with them, they brought fascinating scientific ideas, artists, craftspeople, ingenious argricultural methods and new varieties of food.
By the late fifteenth century Christian armies had defeated the Muslim rulers, after long and bitter wars! In 1492 the country was finally unified under the Catholic Queen Isabella, and Kind Ferdinand.
In that same year, Christopher Columbus sailed from the Iberian Peninsula in search of a sea route to India and the Far East. Columbus, unfortunately, did not reach Asia although he dis stumble upon the Bahamas and the American continent which began the golden age of Spanish history. Explorers to South and Central America brought back wealth in gold and silver, which filled the treasury of the Spanish monarchs. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain became the most powerful nation in Europe and possibly the richest on Earth!
War with protestant countries, including England and the low countries led to a decline in wealth and influence.
In the early 19th century the French, under Napoleon Bonaparte, invaded Spain, but were finally repelled by Spanish and British forces. In the 20th century Spain became isolated from most of the rest of Europe under General Francisco Franco, a right-wing dictator. With the assistance of two other dictators - Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy - Franco and his extremist Falangist Party seized power in 1936 after a bitter civil war. He remained in control until his death in 1975. From the 1960 Spain began to develop economically, and following the end of the Franco regime (interested in this era, then I suggest you watch El laberinto del Fauno), this growth was used to help make the country's wealth comparable to its European neighbours.
The Spanish Armada 1588: The Spanish Armada is something you have all probably heard of at least once!
The Spanish Armada is basically the term used in reference to the giant fleet (ships) dispatched against England in 1588 by the Catholic King of Spain, King Philip II.
The Armada had been sent following a rift in Anglo-Spanish relations resulting from commercial competition, religious differences and disputes over English aid to Protestant Dutch rebels, although another cause was the English execution of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1587. English defense ships worked against the fleet sent out by the Spaniards, and the Spaniards suffered major losses in a September Atlantic storm while rounding the coast of Scotland en route to Spain. However, they were able to pick themselves up, and they defeated the defense ships sent out to Spain and Portugal in 1589 (the invasion force). In the 1590s the Spanish navy was up to scrach and gained control over the sea, protecting treasure fleets from privateering while vanquishing English opponents on the high seas and on the coasts of Spanish America; Spain continued as Europe's dominant power into the 1600s. Although the Spanish Armada defeated England and left them without control over the sea lanes, and unable to settle in North America, it was still significant and helpful. It provided English sailors with navigational and military experience, inspired future generations of English Mariners and revolutionised naval warfare!