Spain – national flag
The flag was officially introduced in 1936, but the current design dates from 1927. The colors red and yellow are heraldic. They were recognized as the Spanish colors in 1785, but date back to the 1200’s. in the arms of Castile, León, Aragon and Navarre.
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Spain – prehistory
In Gran Dolina in the Sierra de Atapuerca massif near Burgos, some of the oldest human fossils in Europe, Homo antecessor, were found in 1994, more than 780,000 years old. With the Late Paleolithic, 35,000-8500 BC, modern man emerged with new cultures such as the aurignacia, gravetti, solutréen and magdalénia, where bone and roof tools underwent significant development; among the cultures’ most important contributions, the cave paintings must be highlighted, from the caves Tito Bustillo, Altamira and El Castillo.
Throughout Spanish prehistory, there were major regional differences. During the Mesolithic period, 9300-5500 BC, the cultures dominated Asia and Asturias in northern Spain, while local cultures developed in eastern Spain. The so-called Levant art was developed, which mostly consists of single-colored paintings, placed especially under cliffs or on free rock walls, in the Cueva de los Cabellos, the Cueva Remigia and the Gasulla gorge.
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In the Neolithic, 5500-3150 BC, cattle breeding was first introduced, while agriculture was introduced a little later. The first pottery was of good quality with a tendency to closed forms and often decorated with Cardium -muslinger. Later in the period, polished ceramics with more open shapes were produced. At the end of the period, the first megalithic tombs were built. During the Chalcolithic period, 3150-1800 BC, a number of fortified villages arose, such as Almizaraque and Los Millares, where gold and copper were produced. The megalithic tombs developed in various forms; the most spectacular group is found in Antequera with the hill Cueva de Menga with a diameter of 50 m, which houses Europe’s largest known megalithic chamber. At the end of the period, the bell cup culture emerged with Carmona as one of the largest centers.
The Bronze Age, 1800-650 BC, began in southern Spain with the El Argar culture, from which fortified villages and pithos tombs are known, while the so-called Atlantic bronze industry dominated in northwestern Spain. The iron was introduced approximately 650 BC by two roads, partly through the Pyrenees under the influence of the Hallstatt culture, partly by contacts with other peoples around the Mediterranean, especially the Phoenicians and Greeks. Around 550 BC. Iberian culture developed in eastern and southern Spain, while on the plateau, possibly under the influence of immigrant Celts, Celtiberian culture emerged; NW Spain was dominated by the so-called Castro culture with fortified villages whose houses were round with conical roofs.
Spain – history
From 700-BC. the Phoenicians established colonies in southern Spain, Gadir (now Cádiz), and soon after a few Greek colonies such as Emporion were founded.
Antiquity and the Visigoth Kingdom
According to a2zgov, the Carthaginians established trading posts in Spain and eventually outcompeted the Greeks. Power struggles between Rome and Carthage led to Carthage losing its territories in Spain after the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) and the subsequent establishment of a number of Roman colonies. In 133 BC. with the Battle of Numantia, the Romans had conquered all of Spain, and the area could be included as a province, see Hispania. From the beginning of 400-teKr. several Germanic tribes, Alans, Sweepers and Vandals, invaded Spain. In the late 400-t. the Goths succeeded in conquering all of Spain, and the Visigothic Empireformed with center in Toledo. During Justinian I’s attempts to recreate the Roman Empire, parts of Spain were annexed; however, these were recaptured by the Visigoths for approximately 625.
Al-Andalus, Arab Spain
From North Africa, in just five years, the Arab caliphate conquered almost all of Visigothic Spain and established a culture strongly influenced by the Arabic language and Islam and despite territorial decline, especially from the 1000’s. came to exist until 1492. The Muslims and especially the North African conquerors of Spain and their descendants are often called Moors.
A targeted and well-organized attack was launched in the summer of 711 by the Berber general Tariq, who with a small force crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and in July defeated the Visigothic army. Over the following months, the caliphate secured control of a number of cities in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. A new Arab army arrived the following year, and by 716 most of the peninsula was under the control of the caliph. In the following years, a series of attacks were carried out into southern France, but ceased after a defeat of Charles Martel at Poitiers in 732. On the northernmost part of the peninsula, the Arab armies were halted by the defeat at the Battle of Covadonga in 722, and from here later emerged the Christian reconquest of Spain.
Al-Andalus, the Arabic name for the area, was initially administered as a province of the caliphate and was administratively subordinate to the governor of Qayrawan (now Kairouan in Tunisia), who was appointed by the caliph of Damascus. After the Abbasid revolution in 749-50, however, a relative of the Umayyads, Abd al-Rahman I, succeeded in securing political control of al-Andalus in 756 and founding an Umayyad emirate with a political and economic center in Córdoba. In the following centuries, an Islamic high culture developed in al-Andalus, economically based on an enterprising agriculture with introduction of irrigation and new crops, a varied artisanal production as well as extensive trade with both the rest of the Islamic world and Europe.
In 929, Abd al-Rahman III allowed himself to be hailed as a caliph (see the Spanish caliphate), but the political change from emirate to caliphate could not hold the kingdom together in the long run. The Umayyad caliphate finally disintegrated in 1031, and several smaller empires were established, taifa kingdoms ‘small kingdoms’, each with their own political and economic center.
The many Muslim small kingdoms were already from 1000-t. pushed partly by expanding Christian rulers from the north, partly by the Muslim dynasties based in North Africa, the Almoravids and the Almohads. The conquest war of the Almoravids was fierce and strongly religious, a jihad. They began by defeating Alfonso VI of León and Castile in 1086, but then turned to the Taifa kingdoms, the last of which was subdued in 1110; in 1147, however, the Almoravids themselves lost a decisive battle to the Almohads. Between 1212, when the almohads were defeated by Christian forces at the Battle of Navas de Tolosa, and 1300, Muslim Spain was greatly reduced as a result of the Christian reconquest, the Reconquista, which was increasingly understood as a crusade. Granada, where the Nazrid dynasty ruled from the 1200’s, fell in 1492 as the last independent Muslim empire in Spain.
Spain – History (Reconquista)
Small Christian areas in northern Spain remained independent kingdoms, fighting against the Muslims with varying strength. In later history writing, these battles have been portrayed as a unified Reconquista already from the Battle of Covadonga in 722, but they were marked by internal strife and lack of unity. Only when Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Granada in 1492 was the Reconquista completed.
In the Middle Ages, Christian kingdoms arose; Asturias-León, Castile, Navarre and Aragon.
Asturias-León. The people of the Cantabrian Mountains retained their independence under the Visigoths. The Arabs were defeated at Covadonga and Pelayo (d. C. 737) founded the Asturian kingdom. In 909, the capital was moved to León by Alfonso 3. (838-910). Under him, the Asturian kingdom included Portugal, León and Castile. The territories were divided between the sons of Alfonso VII at his death in 1157.
Castileemerged as a fortified border area in Asturias-León. Fernán González (d. 970) founded the county of Castile, the largest in Spain and independent of the kings of León. In 1032, the king of Navarre, who had gained sovereignty over the county, gave it to his son Ferdinand (1st), who transformed it into a kingdom in 1035. Castile began an expansion, which continued until Alfonso VI, who conquered Toledo in 1085, and Alfonso 7., joint regent of Castile and León. Under Alfonso VIII, the decisive battle against the attacking almohads took place at Navas de Tolosa (1212), an expedition which assumed the character of a crusade with the participation of Christian warriors from France. With Ferdinand III, León and Castile were finally united, and Córdoba and Seville were conquered. Alfonso 10. the Wise conquered Murcia. With Henry 2. (d. 1379) the house of Trastámara came under the throne of Castile. At the marriage between Isabella I and Ferdinand II (1469), Castile and Aragon were united in 1479.
|Kingdom of Asturias Sort|
|approx. 718-approx. 737||Pelayo|
|791-842||Alfonso 2. den Kyske|
|866-910||Alfonso 3. the Great|
|Kingdom of Leon|
|1037-65||Ferdinand 1. the Great|
|1065-1109||Alfonso 6. the Brave|
|1126-57||Alfonso 7. The Emperor|
|united with Castile 1230|
|Kingdom of Castile|
|1035-65||Ferdinand 1. the Great|
|1065-72||Sancho 2. the Strong|
|1072-1109||Alfonso 6. the Brave|
|1126-57||Alfonso 7. The Emperor|
|1217-52||Ferdinand 3. the Holy|
|1252-84||Alfonso 10. the Wise|
|1312-50||Alfonso 11. the Righteous|
|1350-69||Peter 1. the Cruel|
|1369-79||Henry II the Magnificent|
|1454-74||Henry IV the Powerless|
|1474-1504||Isabella 1. the Catholic|
|1504-06||John I the Mad ruled with her husband, Philip I the Beautiful. Johanne was formally Queen of Spain until her death in 1555|
|1506-16||Ferdinand 2. the Catholic|
|united with Aragon 1479|
|Kingdom of Navarre|
|905-925||Sancho 1. Garcés|
|925-970||García 1. Sánchez|
|970-994||Sancho 2. Garcés|
|994-1000||García 2. Sánchez|
|approx. 1000-35||Sancho 3. the Store|
|1076-94||Sancho 5. Ramírez|
|1104-34||Alfonso 1. The Warrior|
|1134-50||Garcia 4. Ramirez|
|1349-87||Charles II the Evil One|
|1483-1512||Catherine de Foix and (from 1484) Jean d’Albret|
|united with Castile 1512|
|Kingdom of Aragon|
|1063-94||Sancho 1. Ramírez|
|1104-34||Alfonso 1. The Warrior|
|1134-37||Ramiro 2. Munken|
|1137-62||Petronilla and Ramón Berenguer 4.|
|1162-96||Alfonso 2. den Kyske|
|1213-76||Jacob 1. Conquer|
|1276-85||Peter the Great|
|1285-91||Alfonso 3. the Liberal|
|1291-1327||James II the Righteous|
|1416-58||Alfonso 5. the Magnificent|
|1479-1516||Ferdinand 2. the Catholic|
|united with Castile 1479|
Navarre emerged as a kingdom in the 800’s. from an independent core area, Pamplona. With Sancho III the Great (d. 1035), Navarre became the political center of all of Spain, and Sancho took the title “King of the Spanish Lands”. He gained power over Álava, the Basque Country and Castile, and when he gained León, he took the title of emperor. At Sancho’s death the kingdom was divided between his sons; Navarre belonged to Garcia 3 (d. 1054). When John I married Philip IV of France in 1284, Navarre was annexed to France. Under Ferdinand II, the Duke of Alba took power in Navarre in 1512 and annexed it to Castile.
Aragon originated in the Pyrenees mountain passes, which were subject to the county of Toulouse in France. With the division of Navarre after the death of Sancho III in 1035, Aragon became an independent kingdom. The first king was Ramiro I (d. 1063), who expanded the area considerably, and in 1118 Alfonso I conquered Zaragoza.
Catalonia had under Charlemagne in the 800-t. been a frontier area, “The Spanish Mark”, which became independent under Count Ramón Berenguer I of Barcelona (d. 1076) and his successors. The marriage between Ramón Berenguer IV (d. 1162) and the Aragonese heir to the throne, doña Petronilla, led to an Aragonese-Catalan union.
James 1. The Conqueror contributed significantly to the Reconquista with the conquest of the Balearic Islands (1229) and Valencia (1233-38). Peter III conquered Sicily after the bloody revolt against the French (see The Sicilian Vespers) in 1282; and Sardinia was conquered under James II and Alfonso IV (d. 1336). The expansion culminated in the revolt of Aragonese and Catalan mercenaries against the Byzantine emperor, which led to the creation of the Duchy of Athens in union with Aragon. Alfonso 5. (d. 1458) conquered Naples. In 1469, Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile.
Community life. In the 1200’s and 1300’s. Spain was culturally favored by Alfonso the Wise, who set up a learning center in Toledo and issued the law complex Las siete partidas.Social structures were less fixed than in the rest of Europe. Feudal traits, however, gradually spread to Castile, but much more to León and especially Navarre due to the close connections to France. The dependent classes had harsh conditions in Aragon, where the lords, according to the laws, could “trade good or evil with their vassals according to their will.” Even worse was the situation for the peasants of Catalonia, who were serfs. Conversely, the rural population of Castile, who cultivated the lands of the lords, had the freedom to relocate. Here there was also a numerous middle class between the privileged lords and the peasants, namely hidalgos, who had received royal nobility. Some city laws gave small landowners hidalgostatus, which gradually became common in the interior areas.
The courts, cortes, were established in Castile and León from the mid-1000’s. In the beginning, they were only advisory and with simple rules of procedure, but they soon developed into legislators. Furthermore, as general laws and ordinances had to be approved by the courts, royal decrees contrary to law and custom could in principle be declared invalid. The kings did not normally have the power to amend the ordinances approved by the courts. With few variants, the Cortes institution functioned in the same way in Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre.
City privileges provided taxes and services to the king, and moreover the towns had extensive autonomy with their own administration. The cities’ low with masters, journeymen and apprentices regulated prices and quality. The language of romance, the forerunner of Castilian, began as a vernacular but was soon used in literature as in the Crónica del Cid (el Cid).
Spain – history (Spain as a great power)
Already years before Pope Alexander VI in 1496, Ferdinand II and Isabella I granted the title of Catholic monarchs. through the military organization Santa Hermandad.
The war against the Muslims was also resumed, and after almost ten years, Granada was conquered. The same year, ie. in 1492, Christopher Columbus was expelled from Castile and discovered America. In the years that followed, he and others made a number of discoveries, and with the Treaty of Tordesilla of 1494, the newly discovered lands were divided between Spain and Portugal.
The Consejo de Indias was set up to handle the administration of the areas, just as the Casa de contratación was to handle the trade. The Canary Islands were finally annexed to Spain just like Navarre. In 1497 conquests began in North Africa, and in Italy Naples was conquered under the army commander Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, “El Gran Capitán”.
Charles I was heir to several huge territories: Austria and the German-Roman imperial throne, Milan, the Dutch Provinces and Flanders and Burgundy, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Mallorca, Sardinia, Sicily and Naples, Castile, Leon, Navarre, Granada and territories in North Africa, the Canary Islands and the new countries of America. When in 1519 he was crowned German-Roman emperor as Charles V, this fabulous legacy took on a new political significance: Western Europe was united under Charles’ imperial egid, ie. protection, and only France and the German Protestants opposed him.
|Heads of State of the United Spain|
|The House of Habsburg Sort|
|1516-56||Charles I, German-Roman emperor as Charles I.|
|The house Bourbon|
|The house Bonaparte|
|1808-13||Joseph Bonaparte (José 1.)|
|The house Bourbon|
|The Savoy House|
|1873||Estanislao Figueras y Moragas|
|1873||Francisco Pi and Margall|
|1873||Nicolás Salmerón y Alonso|
|1873-74||Emilio Castelar and Ripoll|
|1874||Francisco Serrano y Domínguez|
|The house Bourbon|
|1885-1902||María Christina (regent)|
|1931-36||Niceto Alcalá Zamora|
|1936-39||Manuel Azaña y Díaz|
|1939-75||Francisco Franco Bahamonde|
|The house Bourbon|
|1975-2014||Juan Carlos 1.|
At Charles’ abdication in 1556, the kingdom was divided into a German part and a Spanish part, which went to his son Philip II, a serious and hard-working monarch, under whom Spain experienced its greatest expansion. There were defeats like the loss of the Invincible Armada and adversity in the Netherlands, but in general Philip’s time was marked by expansion and discoveries. Areas were colonized in America and in Asia (Philippines). Portugal was incorporated in 1580 and thus large areas in Africa and Asia. Philip wholeheartedly supported the Counter-Reformation, including the French massacre of the Huguenots.
From the American colonies large quantities of gold were imported into Spain, and from the first half of the 1500’s. even greater amounts of silver as the Spaniards with new technology opened new mines in South America. Precious metal imports were monopolized and passed almost exclusively through Seville, which became one of Europe’s first economic centers. The immense wealth was the prerequisite for Charles V’s and Philip II’s political power position in Europe, but in the long run led to a weakening of Spain. The precious metals were not invested in improving production, but were mainly used to pay for increased imports of consumer goods from both Northern Europe and the Ottoman Empire, mediated via resp. The Netherlands and the northern Italian city-states, as well as for military expenditure.
Since the beginning of the 1500-t. the Ottomans had gained supremacy in the Mediterranean, but from Sicily and Tunisia the Spanish navy began to offer them resistance. They ended up defeating the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 under the command of Juan d’Austria. Victory was considered crucial throughout Europe, but only led to a temporary weakening of the Ottoman Empire.
The church had two prominent representatives in the cardinals Pedro González de Mendoza (d. 1495), who promoted culture, and Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, who with great energy and political influence ruled most of Charles V’s time. In Zaragoza and Valencia the first printing presses arose, and more soon followed.
Spain – History (1600’s and 1700’s)
1600’s and 1700’s. meant the end of Spanish domination in Europe. Under Philip III (reg. 1598-1621), royal power was weakened through the government of random protégés. Under Philip IV, external conflicts escalated, and internally the protracted and bloody Catalan uprising took place (1640), followed by the Portuguese (1641-65), which led to the secession of Portugal. Spain lost the supremacy that Charles V and Philip II had in Western Europe. The Spanish army did well in the early 1600’s, but suffered a series of defeats in the Thirty Years’ War.. France gained ground in southern Europe and gained a number of lands from Spain by peace treaties in 1659, 1668 and 1678, and separatist movements in Catalonia, Naples and Sicily further weakened Spain’s power.
In 1665, the four-year-old and mentally retarded Charles II came to the throne. The country was then ruined, and the troops in disarray; accidents that his 35-year-old government did not rectify.
Spain – History (1700-1808)
When Charles II died in 1700, he had bequeathed the throne to Louis XIV’s grandson, Philip of Anjou, who as the first bourbon became Spanish king under the name of Philip 5. Then also Archduke Charles of Austria claimed the throne, triggering the War of the Spanish Succession. At the peace treaties, Spain lost its last European possessions as well as Gibraltar and Menorca. Philip wanted to strengthen the central power and in 1707-16 abolished the special privileges of Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia. Under Ferdinand 6. (d. 1759) and Karl 3.the enlightened dictatorship prevailed, and many reforms were carried out, especially thanks to a number of far-sighted ministers. Central government was further strengthened, the tax system streamlined, and trade, industry and agriculture were supported. The church’s dominant influence on higher education in particular was severely limited, and in 1767 the Jesuits were expelled, not only from Spain but also from American possessions. In 1761, the Bourbon family pact was concluded, obliging Spain to support France, which became relevant in the wars of 1761-63 and 1779-83. Karl 4.(king until 1808) was completely dependent on the queen, María Luisa of Parma (1751-1819), and her lover, Manuel Godoy, who actually ruled the country. Spain continued to lose its wars both against France in 1793 and later against Great Britain, where the Spanish fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. After an uprising, Charles had to abdicate in 1808 in favor of his son, Ferdinand 7.
Spain – History (1808-1974)
In the spring of 1808 Napoleon 1 forced.Ferdinand from the throne, occupied most of the country and installed his brother Joseph as Spanish king under the name José 1. This gave rise to powerful uprisings and divided the country into opponents and supporters of Napoleon. Thus began the War of Independence, which did not end until 1814, when Spanish guerrillas and a Spanish-English army under Wellington had driven out the French. In 1810, the exiled Cortes met in Cádiz and adopted a liberal constitution (1812), which gained only symbolic significance when Ferdinand VII (1814-33), after his return to Spain, immediately introduced a conservative, absolutist regime. A liberal rebellion attempt in 1820 failed when the Holy Alliance intervened militarily, and in 1823 Ferdinand’s despotic regime was restored. The period 1823-33 is rightly called “the terrible decade”, since any kind of liberal initiative was brutally suppressed. In 1830, Ferdinand issued a so-called pragmatic sanction repealing the age-old Salic Law, which prevented female succession. This excluded the king’s younger brother, Carlos, from inheriting the throne. Ferdinand’s daughter, Isabella II, became a minor queen in 1833 during the reign of her mother, María Christina. This upset the supporters of Carlos and gave rise to the three very bloody civil wars, the Carlist Wars, which ravaged Spain between 1833 and 1876. María Christinas, regency. This upset the supporters of Carlos and gave rise to the three very bloody civil wars, the Carlist Wars, which ravaged Spain between 1833 and 1876. María Christinas, regency. This upset the supporters of Carlos and gave rise to the three very bloody civil wars, the Carlist Wars, which ravaged Spain between 1833 and 1876.
The period was generally extremely unstable, marked by a myriad of military uprisings, pronunciamientos, and rapidly changing governments and constitutions. Between 1816 and 1825, the overseas possessions became independent with the exception of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
Basically, the conflict was between conservatives and liberals, and both sides regularly resorted to violence, while the army soon supported one, soon the other. In 1868, the September Revolution broke out in Cádiz, and Queen Isabella was forced into exile. A provisional government in 1870 brought Amado of Savoy (Amadeo I) to the throne; he reigned until 1873, when he resigned and abdicated, after which the 1st Republic was proclaimed. It lasted for almost two years, with five different presidents and the country threatened by chaos, both politically and socially and economically.
Spain – History (1875-1931)
In the years 1874-75, a provisional government succeeded in bringing some order to society. A relatively quiet period began when Isabella II’s son was proclaimed king as Alfonso XII in 1875. On the basis of the Constitution of 1876, a seemingly democratic, parliamentary system was created, which led to the improvement of the social economy, albeit the fundamentally skewed social conditions. remained unchanged. The Conservative party leader, Cánovas del Castillo, wanted a two-party system similar to the English, and for many years he and the Liberal leader, Sagasta, alternated., to have the power. This system was based on a mutual agreement and was carried out by an extensive electoral fraud with bribery and economic coercion, exercised especially by the agrarian big business oligarchy. At the same time as Catalonia in particular was undergoing strong economic development, regional nationalism was strengthened culturally and politically with demands for special status. An uprising in Cuba in 1895 did not subside and in 1898 led to the Spanish-American War. At the peace of Paris in 1898, Spain had to cede Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States, and of the original empire, only a few possessions in Africa were now left.
Alfonso XII died as early as 1885 and was succeeded by Alfonso XII under the widow Queen María Christinasguardianship until 1902. The drafting of soldiers for the war in Morocco in 1909 led to an anarchist uprising in Barcelona, ”the tragic week”, which was brutally defeated. During World War I, Spain remained neutral. From 1917, the political situation deteriorated sharply with changing governments and increasing social unrest with numerous strikes and assassinations. In 1921, the head of government, Eduardo Dato, was assassinated, and Spanish defeats in Morocco helped intensify the unrest. To restore order, General Primo de Rivera, in agreement with the king, staged a coup in 1923. He established a military dictatorship, put parliament out of action, and defeated the anarchists, as well as curbing regional demands for self-determination in Catalonia and the Basque Country. In addition, he launched a very ambitious program of public investment in infrastructure development. Although he succeeded in ending the war in Morocco, he lost the support of the army, and in 1930 the king dismissed him in the hope of saving the monarchy. However, the king’s popularity was also at rock bottom. In a local election in the major cities in 1931, an alliance of liberal monarchists, republicans, socialists and Catalan left-wing nationalists won an overwhelming victory. Against this background, Alfonso the 13th went into exile and a republic could be proclaimed. In a local election in the major cities in 1931, an alliance of liberal monarchists, republicans, socialists and Catalan left-wing nationalists won an overwhelming victory. Against this background, Alfonso the 13th went into exile and a republic could be proclaimed. In a local election in the major cities in 1931, an alliance of liberal monarchists, republicans, socialists and Catalan left-wing nationalists won an overwhelming victory. Against this background, Alfonso the 13th went into exile and a republic could be proclaimed.
Spain – History (1931-1939)
The 2nd Republic was proclaimed on April 14, 1931, and the same year a new constitution was adopted. The president was N. Alcalá Zamoraand Prime Minister Manuel Azaña. The situation was marked by economic stagnation and massive unemployment. It was difficult to implement the desired reforms within the education system, to limit the power of the church and to reduce the number of officers in the army. Moreover, it was not possible to meet regional autonomy requirements without dissolving the country, nor to implement agricultural reforms or even out the enormous social disparities. Most reforms could not be realized due to the opposition. The result was soon an extreme polarization in society with consequent acts of violence from both the left and the right. Anarchist peasant uprisings in Andalusia and among the miners in Asturias in 1934 were brutally crushed. In 1936, the monarchical leader, Calvo Sotelo, murdered, and this became the direct cause of the Spanish Civil War, which came to last for 33 months. The war can be seen as a showdown between, on the one hand, the nationalists, the traditional, bourgeois Spain and the military, who wanted a strong, authoritarian central power closely linked to the Catholic Church, on the other hand the Republicans consisting of a collection of socialists, communists, anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and progressive, liberal anti-clerical and anti-military.
Spain – History (1939-1975)
Since 1936 General Franco had been military commander and head of state and government. After winning the Civil War in 1939, he established an authoritarian regime in the impoverished country, where the situation was exacerbated by an international isolation that was only broken during the Cold War, when Spain, due to its strategic location, received significant military and economic assistance from the United States..
Formally, Spain was neutral during World War II, but had close ties to the Axis powers, which contributed to the country’s isolation after the war. Spain supplied war-important raw materials to Germany and in 1941 sent the Blue Division to the Eastern Front. 4,000 Spanish soldiers perished until the force in 1944 was recalled. At the same time, Franco approached the Allies, especially to obtain oil supplies, on which Spain was heavily dependent.
In 1955, Spain became a member of the United Nations. From 1957, the purely autarchic government was replaced by a more open economic policy, led by a number of “technocrats” with close ties to the influential Catholic lay organization Opus Dei. In the 1960’s, Spain experienced an economic recovery, especially due to the booming tourism, without changing the nature of the regime; opponents of the regime were still strongly oppressed. In 1969, Franco appointed Prince Juan Carlos of Bourbon (grandson of Alfonso 13) as his successor. Admiral Carrero Blanco was appointed future head of government, but was assassinated in 1973 by the Basque separatist organization, ETA.
Spain – History (1975-1982)
In November 1975 Franco died and Juan Carlos I became king. The Francotro prime minister, Arias Navarro, was forced in 1976 to step down in favor of the moderate Adolfo Suárez, who immediately took steps to re-establish and secure democracy. In the same year, the most important political institutions of the Franco era were abolished, and a referendum passed a series of reform laws.
The first democratic parliamentary elections, in June 1977, were won by Suárez’s Democratic Center Union (UCD). The government immediately initiated the drafting of a new constitution, which was adopted by a large majority in 1978. This was not only democratic but highly decentralized and defined Spain as a “state of autonomies”.
In the following years (1979-83), 17 autonomous regions were created, each with its own president, government and parliament, and with far-reaching competencies. At the same time, Catalan, Galician and Basque were recognized as official languages. A constitutional court was set up to decide questions of interpretation.
In the 1979 election, Suárez’s party, the UCD, became the largest, followed by the Socialist Party, the PSOE. In the same year, a radical tax reform and other measures were implemented to consolidate the new democracy. In 1981, conservative officer circles attempted a coup, but in vain.
Spain – History (Historical overview)
|ca. 35,000-8500 BC||Late Paleolithic. Cave paintings|
|5500-3150 BC||Neolithic. Agriculture is introduced. The first Megalithic tombs|
|3150-1800 BC||Calculus period. Fortified villages made of gold and copper|
|1800-650 BC||Bronze Age|
|700-tfKr.||The Phoenicians establish colonies in southern Spain|
|133 BC||The Romans ruled all of Spain|
|400-teKr.||Alans, suebi and vandals immigrant in Spain, but is displaced by the Visigoths|
|711||The Arab caliphate conquers most of Spain in a few years|
|910||The Kingdom of León is founded|
|929||Abd al-Rahman 3. allows himself to be hailed as caliph|
|1031||The Spanish caliphate split into several smaller kingdoms|
|1035||The kingdoms of Castile and Aragon are founded|
|1139||Portugal becomes an independent kingdom|
|1230||The kingdoms of Asturias-León and Castile are united|
|1479||The kingdoms of Castile and Aragon are united|
|1492||The Reconquista ends with the conquest of Granada. Columbus discovers America|
|1494||Tordesilla Treaty; Spain and Portugal share the newly discovered countries|
|1500-t.||Under Charles V and Philip II, Spain is Europe’s most powerful state. South and Central America as well as the Philippines are colonized|
|1580-1640||Portugal is subject to Spain|
|1588||The conquest of England fails; Spain loses the Invincible Armada|
|1701-14||The Spanish Succession War|
|1808-14||The War of Independence against France|
|1812||Liberal constitution is introduced but ignored by Ferdinand 7.|
|1816-25||Most Spanish colonies in America liberate themselves|
|1833-76||Recurring Civil Wars; The Carlist Wars 1833-39, 1860 and 1872-76|
|1868||September Revolutions; Isabella 2. goes into exile|
|1898||The Spanish-American War; Spain must cede Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the United States|
|1914-18||Spain is neutral during World War I.|
|1923-30||Dictatorship under Primo de Rivera|
|1931||Socialists and left-wing Republicans win the election. The 2nd Republic is proclaimed|
|1936||The Popular Front wins the election. A military uprising leads to the Spanish Civil War|
|1939||The nationalists win the civil war. Franco’s dictatorship begins|
|1939-45||Spain is neutral during World War II, but has close ties to the Axis Powers|
|1953||During the Cold War, Spain entered into military and economic cooperation with the United States|
|1955||Spain becomes a member of the UN|
|1960’s||Tourism contributes to Spain’s economic prosperity|
|1975||Franco dies. Juan Carlos I of Bourbon becomes king|
|1978||Spain gets a democratic constitution|
|1982||Spain joins NATO. The Socialist Party (PSOE), led by Felipe González, comes to power|
|1986||Spain becomes a member of the Community|
|1992||The World’s Fair in Seville and the Olympics in Barcelona|
|1996||The Conservative Party Partido Popular (PP) led by JM Aznar comes to power|
|1999||Spain is becoming fully integrated into NATO|
|2002||PP gets an absolute majority in elections|
|2004||Terrorist attacks in Madrid; 201 dies|
|2004||The Socialist Party (PSOE) led by José Luis Rodríquez Zapatero comes to power|
|2004||Spain withdraws its troops from the war in Iraq|
|2006||ETA permanently proclaims ceasefire while the government prepares negotiations, but the ceasefire is broken approximately 9 months after|
|2008||The PSOE wins parliamentary elections and Zapatero continues as head of government|
|2011||PP wins the election with Mariano Rajoy in the lead|
|2014||King Juan Carlos I abdicates; his son is crowned as Felipe 6.|
Spain – History (NATO and EU)
In the 1982 election, the Socialist Party won the PSOE. The largest opposition party became the conservative Alianza Popular (later Partido Popular). Felipe González became head of government, and his party remained in power until it was defeated by the Partido Popular (PP) in the 1996 election, which had José María Aznar (b. 1953) as the new head of government.
With an absolute majority in 2000, Aznar was able to form a purely bourgeois government that pursued a liberal, center-right policy. The government tried – albeit with limited effect – to reduce the large bureaucracy in the public sector through privatizations and the abolition of state aid schemes.
Aznar remained in office until the 2004 election, when government power again went to the PSOE, this time under the leadership of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and with the promise of withdrawing Spanish troops from the Iraq war. This happened immediately after the takeover, and diplomatic relations with the United States were cool for a while.
In 1982, Spain joined NATO, and in 1999 the country became fully integrated into NATO. After many years of efforts, Spain succeeded in joining the EU in 1986, by which the “Europeanisation” of Spain that many wanted had taken a major step forward. The euro became Spain’s official currency on 1 January 2002.
Unemployment has been the most burdensome problem for Spain; it is one of the highest in the EU. The system of autonomy, which is expensive and complicated, also gives rise to difficulties, especially due to the large economic disparities between the rich regions of the north, Catalonia and the Basque Country, and the poor regions of the south, Andalusia and Extremadura. However, in 2004, Spain managed to position itself in the world as a country with a healthy economy, on a par with France, England, the United States and Canada.
Spain has made massive investments in Latin America and is seeking in the EU to promote cooperation with Spanish-speaking America. The traditionally close relationship with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia entails close economic, political and cultural cooperation with them.
The Gibraltar problem remains unresolved, and a growing problem is the large-scale illegal immigration from Africa and Latin America. Also unresolved is the relationship with ETA, which after a self-proclaimed ceasefire 1998-2000 resumed its terrorist activities. In March 2006, the ceasefire was permanently reintroduced while Zapatero prepares for negotiations with ETA. Since 1968, 817 people have been killed during ETA’s terrorist attacks.
Three days before the change of government in 2004, Spain was subjected to a terrorist attack in the Madrid metro, in which 201 people lost their lives. It is still unclear who was behind the attack.