The history of Spain explained here starts with the creation of Roman Hispania, through the Hispania Visigoth, al-Andalus, the Christian kingdoms, the Hispanic Monarchy and the formation and fall of the Spanish empire, until the formation of the modern nation state.
20/07/2020| 29/05/2019 | Last update:
The history of Spain in the Early Modern Age comprises a period that begins with the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and the discovery of America (1492) and ends with the abdication of Charles IV and the outbreak of the War of the Independence in 1808. The conquest and colonization of America was one of the most important events of the Hispanic monarchy, which managed to control a great empire in both European and American lands. But the internal problems of the monarchy and the great expenses for the maintenance of the Empire brought to Spain numerous wars and economic failures during the modern age. The Old Regime, which was maintained throughout this period, combined with an Inquisition of unique characteristics in Europe and absolutism that was especially noted with the arrival of the Bourbons dynasty, are the main features of this period.
The history of Spain in the nineteenth century began following the path marked by the monarchs of the Bourbon dynasty: Philip V, Ferdinand VI, Charles III and Charles IV. Spain remained within the old schemes of the Old Regime and the absolutist government. But everything started to shake when the French Revolution broke out in the neighbouring country, which ruined all the plans of Charles IV. The invasion of the troops of Napoleon in the country and the proclamation of a new king, Joseph I Bonaparte, who did not count on the support of a part of the elites and the popular classes, took the country to the War of Independence. The Old Regime resisted disappearing but the first liberal revolution in Spain swept it at least for some years in the country. With the Restoration of absolutism on the part of King Ferdinand VII in 1814 the hopes of liberals to modernize the country were truncated.
The history of Spain in the twentieth century begins with the loss of the last colonies that still maintained the country (Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico) at a time when the European powers were distributed half the world. Politically Spain continues in the period of the Restoration, under the constitution of 1876, and the reign of Alfonso XIII (to the throne from 1886). The Constitution of 1876 will remain in force until 1931, despite being suspended during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.
The history of Spain is a compendium of influences from the different cultures that have inhabited the territory. The first settlers of the Peninsula were Celts and Iberians.