The Canary (Canarias) Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwestern African mainland, and the Balearic (Baleares) Islands, in the Mediterranean, also are parts of Spain, as are Ceuta and Melilla, two small enclaves in North Africa (northern Morocco) that Spain has ruled for centuries. The flow of many Iberian streams has been reduced artificially by water extraction for purposes such as irrigation. Dividing the northern and southern Mesetas are the Central Sierras, one of the outstanding features of the Iberian massif. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The mountains fall steeply on the northern side but descend in terraces to the Ebro River trough in the south. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Profile of Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco, The Four Marriages of King Philip II of Spain, Catherine of Aragon - Early Life and First Marriage, What Is Autocracy? However, it then fell. A Short History of Spain and Portugal Chapter 1. The Phoenicians arrived in the 9th century BC, followed by … Historical Summary of Spain Spain was invaded by Napoleon and saw struggles between an allied force and France, which the allies won, but this triggered independence movements among Spain’s imperial possessions. This updated edition traces that history from prehistoric times to the present, focusing particularly on culture, society, politics, and personalities. NOW 50% OFF! HISTORY OF SPAIN including The Catholic Monarchs, The Spanish Inquisition, The fall of Granada, Columbus and the monarchs, Columbus sets sail, San Salvador, Cuba, Hispaniola, Three last voyages, The Tordesillas Line, Spaniards in a new world, The legacy of Ferdinand Attractively illustrated throughout, Spain: A History is the best historical account of Spain currently available for general readers. In Imperial Spain, J.H. Previous Next. The outer zones of the Pyrenees are composed of sedimentary rocks. Brown forest soils are restricted to humid Galicia and Cantabria. With the steady erosion of its continental and overseas empire throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, however, Spain was all but forgotten in world affairs, save for the three years that the ideologically charged Spanish Civil War (1936–39) put the country at the centre of the world’s stage, only to become ever more insular and withdrawn during the four decades of rule by dictator Francisco Franco. Much of the region is traditionally given over to cattle ranching and grain production; it was in this rural setting that Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote tilted at the tall windmills that still dot the landscape in several places. The short, swift streams of Galicia and Cantabria, draining to the northwestern and northern coasts, respectively, have only a slight or, at most, modest summer minimum. The southern Meseta Central (the Meseta of Castile–La Mancha) is some 330 feet (100 metres) lower. Spain maintains an embassy in the United States at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037 (tel. The Andalusian capital of Sevilla (Seville) is famed for its musical culture and traditional folkways; the Catalonian capital of Barcelona for its secular architecture and maritime industry; and the national capital of Madrid for its winding streets, its museums and bookstores, and its around-the-clock lifestyle. Yet Spain was also a battlefield for countries fighting for other causes. to circa 475 C.E. ) According to Spanish legend, when children lose a baby tooth, a mouse will exchange it for presents. Nearly half of Spain is moderately or severely affected, especially in the arid east (Almería, Murcia), as well as in much of subarid Spain (the Ebro basin). Carr ,Raymond ed., Spain: A History Oxford 2000 Esdaile, Charles J Spain in the Liberal Age: From Constitution to Civil War, 1808-1939 Oxford 2000 Lynch, John Bourbon Spain 1700-1808 Oxford 1989 Early History. Teide Peak on Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The human history of the area now known as Spain is a long one. A village in Andalusia, Spain, showing housing typical of the region. Married women wear wedding rings on their right hands asopposed to the left hand. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Part of Alpine Europe, the Pyrenees form a massive mountain range that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bay of Biscay, a distance of some 270 miles (430 km). Spain has some of the oldest as well as some of the youngest rocks of Europe. Franco had said that everything would sort itself out but the country was not a good economic state. There are two major depressions, that of the Ebro River in the northeast and that of the Guadalquivir River in the southwest. The rich cultural and political life of Spain has emerged from its complex history, from the diversity of its peoples, and from continual contact with outside influences. The highest peaks, formed from a core of ancient crystalline rocks, are found in the central Pyrenees—notably Aneto Peak at 11,168 feet (3,404 metres)—but those of the west, including Anie Peak at 8,213 feet (2,503 metres), are not much lower. From about 900 BC a seafaring people called the Phoenicians who came from what is now Lebanon traded with what is now Spain. The Iberian Peninsula was first inhabited around 800,000 BC and proved to be a much-desired piece of real estate through the centuries, as evidenced by the large number of foreign invaders that chart Spain’s history. The timeline and period of the Muslim Conquest of Spain. 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