Spain: Then and Now Essay

Spain: Then and Now Essay

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The Mediterranean peoples were aware of Spain from very early times. Civilization in Spain actually dates back to the Stone Age. There were many people who inhabited Spain most notably the Basques. Later the Carthaginians settled on the east coast and in the Balearic Islands, where Greek colonies also sprang up. In the 3d century BC, the Carthaginians under Hamilcar Barca began to conquer most of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearics and established Cartagena as capital.

In the Punic war the Roman army defeats Hannibal and the Carthaginian Empire is inhibited. (It is actually said they ground the stones of Carthage). By the 1st century Roman rule was complete. But this was not an entirely terrible thing, Rome brought, as they did to many colonies both peace and prosperity. But in Spain the most lasting legacy of the Romans would be the introduction of Christianity to Spain.

In the 5th century the Germanic tribes sweeping from the north began to invade Spain. The Visigoths, with little interruption would be the rulers of Spain for two hundred years. Because the Visigoths were Christian this was a more peaceful invasion than the one to come. During this time Spain establishes a Christian monarchy, much like the one it would have throughout the Medieval period.

This strong Christian following created a terrible clash with the Moors who began invading in 756. Spain became a divided region: the Moors, the Basque, the Umayyad, and some Europeans under Charlemagne each held a peace of Spain. Spain remained a largely divided nation until the 12th and 13th centuries.

In the 12th and 13th centuries the Christian factions began regrouping and reorganizing through marriage, inheritance and a little force. In 1492 t...


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...yalist supported the Republican government with hardly any aid from the democratic countries. With no outside support the Loyalist, though valiant, were doomed. 1939, they gave up and largely fled the country.

Although Spain under France financially aided The Axis powers in WWII they remained in this war, like the first inactive. Though not recognized by the Democratic powers at first, Spain bought the US for a few bases and economic aid, and soon joined the United Nations.

In the 1950's and 60's, tensions again increase and the dictatorial government begins to chafe the people. In 1966, a Constitution balancing power and enacting freedoms was drawn up. Juan Carlos I succeeded Franco in 1975.

Today Spain is attempting to enact political reform and join the rest of the Western world. It is again trying to unite itself peacefully and appropriately.

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