before modern recorded history Spain already acted as a bridge, a role determined
both by its geographic situation betweenafrica and Europe, and by the importance
or of the cultures produced by the peoples on both sides of the medireanean. Thiese
influences were seen as early asstone age times as can be seen in Spain's pre-historic
The paintings of the north, to be seen at Atamira near Santander are dated around 10,000 B.C., and show similarities to the French cave paintings, while that found on the East Coast is of African style. This indicates contact of Spain with its neighbours on both fronts.
Commerce and industry were the strenghts of this early Iberian people and they built the impressive empire based at Tartesos which was a center of civilization as early as 1200 B.C.
The next major immigration into Spain was the Celts, who began to drift across the Pyrenees from Germany through France about 900 B.C.
Other early inroads to the peninsula were forged by the Phoenicians, who set up a rich trading center at Cadiz about 110 B.C. The pre-historical period ends with the Roman conquest.
The fall of Numancia starts preceeds the Roman occupation. The defense of Numantia, which could not have mustered more than 8,000 fighting warriors, held out nearly twenty years, killing tens of thousands of Romans before ceding to Scipio. The romains intigated a large building program. This left some of the best preserved romanic ruins to be seen in the world. Spain also gave to the Empire.including some of the greatest Emperors, Trajan and Hadrian.
An important event in European History took place when StJames, about 60 AD. began his work of Converting Europe in the northwestern corner of Spain. Within a few centuries christianity have arrived at every corner of Spain.
Visigoths, Vandals and other some tribes generally classed as barbarians enteredSpain
in the early 5thC and integrated.
Romans converted to Christianityunder King Recarred in 589. Toledo was the seat of government under theVisigoths.
The Moors overswept nearly the entire lberian Peninsula.
The decisive battle took place in 711 at Guadalete.
The culture that developed under the Moors soon became the center of Europe, and one of the jewels of the Islamic world as well, reaching its greatest heights under the AbdRahman III about 932. Cordobas library was the largest in Europe of its time.
At Toledo a school of translators was a vehicle of transmission into Europe for the writings of ancient scolars such as AristotleWe can understand something of this period by visiting the three remaining moorish buildings: The Mesquita at Cordoba, The Alhambra in Granada and the Giralda in Sevilla.
culture going on in the Muslim territory was paralleled by the culture of thrnorth,
guided by two lines of influence. By the 1100's Leon and
Castilla had become kingdoms, and before long Castilla, began to assume therole
it would play afterwards in Spanish life. In Leon and Castille,
by the early thirteenth century there were elected town councils.
With the advent of the Catholic Rulers, Fernando and Isabel, who began ruling a united Spain in 1479, much of this political freedom waned. The nobles beame allied to the court; the Corte was very rarely convened, and then only to reinfource the will of the monarchs.
By the mid-1580s, Philip of Spain had reached the end of his rope. His courtship of Elizabeth of England had been rechazado and the rivalries had developed to a war-like situation. Philip began preparations in 1586 for the invasion of England which would eventually be defeated by poor preparation and stormy weather. Spain was much weakened by the defeat. The decline that followed is too complex to cover here. Gold inports and resulting inflation is beleived to have contributed to thedecline.
The period of Spains Empire ends for good after the defeat of the Franco-Spanish fleet by the British in Cadiz at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Three years later Napoleon invades Spain, which he considered not even a part of Europe, and installed his brother to the throne. The period of Spanish powerends.
Fernando Vll sat on the thronetat his death Carlos claimed the throne. This started the CarlistWars, in which the royalists fought liberals. Though the liberals won, they were unable to make the country they desired from the Spain pf the time.
Dictator General Primo rises to power. The Spanish however, still harbored their liberal views, and defeated the general in an election, replacing his regime with the RepublicanSocialist Party.
Violence flares up with the violent revolt of the Asturian miners.
This movement was from the left, and in the 1936 elections a coalition wins.
Shortly after the election, several elements of society unite around Franco.
Franco after a long Civil War emerges triumphant to establish Government. .
World War 2 and Franco's new Government remaines neutral and is able after the war to remain in power.
Agreements (economic-strategic)signed between Spain and the US. European states renew diplomatic relation.
Franco dies.Monarchy is restored. CarlosIII takes the throne.
First free elections in Spain.
Spain joins the EEC as a full member.
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