The kingdom of Spain is roughly about 504,750 sq. km., including the Balearic and Canary islands (CIA). This land mass is roughly double the size of our state of Oregon. The country is located in Western Europe and borders the countries of; Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Portugal and Morocco (Ceuta and Melilla) (CIA). The country has roughly about 30% arable land and exports much of its agricultural products. The Spanish population is about 40.1 million people with about 1% growth rate (CIA). The population mix is mainly that of Mediterranean and Nordic heritage. The Kingdom of Spain is less populated than most of its European counterparts with the majority of the population living in main cities.
The founding of New Spain in 1521 was the result of the conquest over the Mexica emperor Moctezuma by Hernan Cortes who was a Spanish conqueror. This conquest had lead many artists and writers to capture moments from this period that they believed were important. The indigenous people of Mexica had many Codex’s’, which were books where they recorded important events that happened each year through words and images. The Codex Aubin showcased a simple but meaningful image from around 1576-1608 called “Twin Temple at Tenochtitlan” representing the starting point of events leading up to the conquest of their land. The Spaniards also recorded what they believed was important much later in time through paintings on panel by New Spanish artists Migual
The Spaniard civilization can date all the way back to the Stone Age. Because of its agricultural wealth, Spain was acknowledged to have people occupy its land approximately 32,000 years ago. In A.D. 409, Spain was overrun by German invaders, but they were later forced out of the country and into Africa by a group called the Visigoths. The Visigoths, however, would soon lose control over Spain from a battle lost by the Byzantine Empire in 507. By 585, they would regain control over Spain and lived side by side under two separate laws between themselves and the Spaniards. In 711, North African Moors sailed across the straits, swept into Andalusia, and within a few years, pushed the Visigoths up the peninsula to the Cantabrian Mountains.
The Basques are an ancient people whose history is deeply intertwined with the people of Spain and France. Toward the end of the tumultuous period that followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Navarre (Nafarroa in Basque), centered in Pamplona, came into being. Originally this kingdom covered all of modern Navarre, plus the three Vascongadas, or Basque countries (Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Araba), and the modern French Basque countries, and into neighboring areas in modern Spain. When the moors invaded Spain, Navarre was never conquered, thus it retained many Basque characteristics Navarre was probably not a "Kingdom of the Basques", but it was a kingdom whose dominant ethnic group were the Basques . Through the high and late middle ages Navarre gradually lost bits of its territory through various dynastic marriages and inheritances, a...
Spain’s Golden Age and the Reign of Philip II
A ‘golden age’ can be interpreted in many ways; it can be a time of
great power for a monarch, or a country. It can be described as a
time when some activity is at its peak, or as a period of great peace,
prosperity and happiness. I will look at the period 1474 – 1598 to
see if any of the monarchs’ reigns meet any of these interpretations
of a ‘golden age’.
The kingdom of Aragon had its own Cortes, which limited Ferdinand’s
power as he was subject to the fueros. In Castile however, the
Cortes were relatively powerless; not necessary to pass laws and had
little interest in taxation.
The Conquest of New Spain
Cortés came not to the New World to conquer by force, but by manipulation. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, in the "Conquest of New Spain," describes how Cortés and his soldiers manipulated the Aztec people and their king Montezuma from the time they traveled from Iztapalaopa to the time when Montezuma took Cortés to the top of the great Cue and showed him the whole of Mexico and its countryside, and the three causeways which led into Mexico. Castillo's purpose for recording the mission was to keep an account of the wealth of Montezuma and Mexico, the traditions, and the economic potential that could benefit Cortés' upcoming conquest. However, through these recordings, we are able to see and understand Cortés' strategy in making Mexico "New Spain.
The Rise of the Netherlands and the Decline of Spain
The reputation of the Netherlands as an important country increased in
prominence during the 'early modern period' of history, that being
1500-1700. This essay intends to show that their 'rise' can be shown
in terms of both a cause and also symptomatic of Spain's decrease in
significance over the same period. The Spanish 'decline' largely
concerns the period between 1600 and 1650, when Phillip III went from
"monarch of the world"[i] (New Cambridge Modern History Volume 4
(1970), pp. 269) into a position where his country had descended into
"poverty and torpor"[ii] (NCMH, pp. 280). Meanwhile, the Netherlands
(in this essay, the term 'Netherlands' refers to the seven United
Provinces in northern Europe) "raised themselves from nothing the
challenge the massed might of the Spanish monarchy"[iii] (JH Elliott,
'Richelieu And Olivares' (1989), pp. 72).
Spain, even before 1600, had mounting debts and fiscal troubles.
The Black Legend in Spain
William of Orange once stated, “Spain committed such horrible excesses that all the barbarities, cruelties, and tyrannies ever perpetrated before are only games in comparison to what happened to the poor Indians.” This statement is an example of an attempt to discredit the Spanish. Attempts such as these are known as the Black Legend. The Black Legend was the name given to the concept of cruelty and brutality spread by the Spanish during the 14th and 15th century. This legend demonizes Spain and specifically the Spanish empire in an effort to harm the reputation of them.
From the period of the late fifteenth century to the late eighteenth century, settlers from various European countries began to colonize the Americas. These colonists each held various goals in mind when settling the Western Hemisphere that affected how they interacted with those that already inhabited the Americas, leaving both positive and negative consequences. These goals, whether they were the search for great wealth or the implementation of Christianity, would forever change those that occupied the “New World.”
Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were one of the most famous married couples in history. Isabella was beautiful. “She had blue eyes and chestnut hair.” “She was just striking” (Isaacs). By the time she was 18, she wore beautiful gowns and jewels. “She wore them throughout her life” (Isaacs). Ferdinand and Isabella ruled Spain in a joint ruling, converted Muslims to Christianity, sponsored Christopher Columbus’s journey to a New World, had a family and Isabella even had time for education. Isabella and Ferdinand were devout Catholics that pushed and strived for Christianity in Spain. Despite their extreme measure to push for Christianity, their time in reign was the Golden Age of Spain.