- Rašto darbai, referatai ir rašiniai

All about Spain

9.7 (1 atsiliepimai)

13,858 žodžiai (-ių)
Anglų kalba

All about Spain page 1
All about Spain page 2
All about Spain page 3
Svarbu! Žemiau pateiktos nuotraukos yra sumažintos kokybės. Norėdami matyti visos kokybės darbą spustelkite parsisiųsti.

All about Spain


Spain (Spanish España), parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe, occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, and bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra; on the east by the Mediterranean Sea; on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. The British dependency of Gibraltar is situated at the southern extremity of Spain. The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary IIslands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa are governed as provinces of Spain. Also, Spain administers two small exclaves in Morocco—Ceuta and Melilla—as well as three island groups near Africa—Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera and the Alhucemas and Chafarinas islands. The area of Spain, including the African and insular territories, is 505,990 sq km (195,364 sq mi). Madrid is the capital and largest city.


Spain occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian Peninsula aand is bounded by water for about 88 percent of its periphery; its Mediterranean coast is about 1,660 km (about 1,030 mi) long, and its Atlantic coast is about 710 km (about 440 mi) long. The long, unbroken mountain chain oof the Pyrenees, extending about 435 km (about 270 mi) from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea, forms the border with France on the north; in the extreme south the Strait of Gibraltar, less than 13 km (8 mi) wide at its narrowest extent, separates Spain from Africa. The most important topographical feature of Spain is the great, almost treeless, central plateau, called the Meseta Central, sloping generally downward from north to south and from east to west, and with an average elevation of about 600 m (about 2,000 ft) above sea level. The tableland is divided into northern and southern sections by irregular mountain ranges, or sierras, of which the most important are the Sierra de Guadarrama, tthe Sierra de Gredos, and the Montes de Toledo. Between many of the mountains are narrow valleys, drained by rapid rivers. The coastal plain is narrow, rarely as much as 30 km (20 mi) wide and, in many areas, broken by mountains that descend to the sea to form rocky headlands, particularly along the Mediterranean coast, where the sole excellent harbor is Barcelona. The northwestern coastal area has several good harbors, particularly along the Galician coast. The six principal mountain cchains have elevations greater than 3,300 m (11,000 ft). The highest peaks are the Pico de Aneto (3,404 m/11,168 ft) in the Pyrenees and Mulhacén (3,477 m/11,407 ft) in the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain. The highest point in Spain and its insular territories is Pico de Teide (3,715 m/12,188 ft) on Tenerife Island in the Canary Islands. The lowest point is sea level along the coast.

The principal rivers of Spain flow west and south to the Atlantic Ocean, generally along deep, rocky courses that they have cut through the mountain valleys. The Duero (Douro), Miño, Tajo (Tagus), and Guadiana rivers rise in Spain and flow through Portugal to the Atlantic. The Guadalquivir River, flowing through a fertile plain in the south, is the deepest river in Spain and the only one navigable for any extent. The Ebro River, in northeastern Spain, flows into the Mediterranean Sea, and is navigable by small craft for part of its course. Most Spanish streams are too small for interior navigation, and, with courses below the general ground level, are of little use for irrigation. The rivers are, however, a good source of electric power.

A Climate

The climate of Spain is marked by extremes of ttemperature and, except in the north, generally low rainfall, and the variegated physical features of the country ensure pronounced climatic differences. The climate is most equable along the Biscayan and Atlantic coasts, which are generally damp and cool. The central plateau has summers so arid that nearly all the streams dry up, the earth parches, and drought is common. Most of Spain receives less than 610 mm (24 in) of precipitation per year; the northern mountains get considerably more moisture. At Madrid, winter cold is sufficient to freeze surrounding streams, while summer temperatures in Seville rise as high as 49°C (120°F). By contrast the southern Mediterranean coast has a subtropical climate. Málaga, in the extreme south, has an average winter temperature of 14°C (57°F).

B Natural Resources

The most valuable natural resource of Spain is the soil, with nearly one-third of the land suitable for cultivation. The country also has many mineral resources, including hard and brown coal, small petroleum and natural gas deposits, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, and potash.

C Plants and Animals

Only a small part of Spain is forested, and forests are located mainly on mountain slopes, particularly in the northwest. A common Spanish ttree is the evergreen oak. Cork oak, from which the bark may be stripped every ten years, is abundant, growing chiefly as second growth on timbered land. Poplar trees are grown throughout the country and the cultivation of olive trees is a major agricultural activity. Other Spanish trees include the elm, beech, and chestnut. Shrubs and herbs are the common natural vegetation on the central plateau. Grapevines flourish in the arid soil. Esparto grass, used for making paper and various fiber products, grows abundantly in both the wild and cultivated state. On the Mediterranean coast sugarcane, oranges, lemons, figs, almonds, and chestnuts are grown.

The Spanish fauna includes the wolf, lynx, wildcat, fox, wild boar, wild goat, deer, and hare. Among the more famous domesticated animals are the bulls bred near Seville and Salamanca for bullfighting, the Spanish national sport. Birdlife is abundant, with varieties of birds of prey. Insect life abounds. Mountain streams and lakes teem with such fish as barbel, tench, and trout.

D Soils

Although Spanish soils need careful irrigation and cultivation, they are a rich and valuable resource. Semiarid chestnut-brown soils cover the central plateau, and red Mediterranean soils cover the southern area and the northeastern coastal region. A

gray desert soil, often saline, is found in the southeast. The forest of northern Spain has gray-brown forest soils, and the forest in the Cantabrian Mountains has leached podzolic soils.


The Spanish people are essentially a mixture of the indigenous peoples of the Iberian Peninsula with the successive peoples who conquered the peninsula and occupied it for extended periods. These added ethnologic elements include the Romans, a Mediterranean people, and the Suevi, Vandals, and Visigoths (see Goths), Teutonic peoples. Semitic eelements are also present. Several ethnic groups in Spain have kept a separate identity, culturally and linguistically. These include the Catalans (16 percent of the population), who live principally in the northeast and on the eastern islands; the Galicians (7 percent), who live in northwestern Spain; the Basques, or Euskal-dun (2 percent), who live chiefly around the Bay of Biscay; and the nomadic Spanish Roma (Gypsies), also called Gitanos.

A Population Characteristics

The population of Spain at the 1991 census was 38,872,268. TThe estimate for 2000 is 39,208,236, giving the country an overall density of 77 persons per sq km (201 per sq mi). Spain is increasingly urban, with 77 percent of the population in towns and cities.

B Political Divisions

Spain comprises 50 pprovinces in 17 autonomous regions: Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Basque Country (País Vasco), Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-León, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, and Valencia.

C Principal Cities

The capital and largest city is Madrid (population, 1998 estimate, 2,881,506), also the capital of Madrid autonomous region; the second largest city, chief port, and commercial center is Barcelona (1,505,581), capital of Barcelona province and Catalonia region. Other important cities include Valencia (739,412), capital of Valencia province and Valencia region, a manufacturing and railroad center; Seville (701,927), capital of Seville province and Andalusia region, a cultural center; Zaragoza (603,367), capital of Zaragoza province and Aragón region, another industrial center; and Bilbao (358,467), a busy port.

D Religion

Roman Catholicism is pprofessed by about 97 percent of the population. The country is divided into 11 metropolitan and 52 suffragan sees. In addition, the archdioceses of Barcelona and Madrid are directly responsible to the Holy See. Formerly, Roman Catholicism was the established church, but the 1978 constitution decreed that Spain shall have no state religion, while recognizing the role of the Roman Catholic Church in Spanish society. There are small communities of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims.

E Language Most of the people of Spain sspeak Castilian Spanish. In addition, Catalan is spoken in the northeast, Galician (Gallego, akin to Portuguese) is spoken in the northwest, and Basque (Euskara, a pre-Indo-European language) is spoken in the north. See Spanish Language, Catalan Language, Basque Language.

F Education The golden age of Spanish education occurred during the Middle Ages, when the Moors, Christians, and Jews established strong interreligious centers of higher education in Córdoba, Granada, and Toledo. The University of Salamanca (1218) served as a model for the universities of Latin America from the 16th century on, thereby extending the international influence of Spanish education. During the 16th century the University of Alcalá (founded in Alcalá de Henares in 1508 and moved to Madrid as the University of Madrid in 1836) was famous for its multilingual, parallel translations of the Bible. Important Spanish educators of that period include Juan de Huarte, a pioneer in the application of psychology to education; humanist and philosopher Juan Luis Vives, who interpreted new ideas on education and, in particular, advocated the education of women; and Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (see Jesuits). Others who made important contributions to education in the 19th and 20th centuries include Francisco Giner dde los Rios, who sought reforms in higher education and the schooling of women; Francisco Ferrer Guardia, a nationalistic educator who advocated reform and democratization of education; and philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, whose writings on the mission of the university have been translated into several languages. The Royal Spanish Academy (founded 1713) and the Royal Academy of History (1738) are well known for scholarly publications.

G Elementary and Secondary Schools Education in Spain is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16. The school system consists of preprimary schools (for children 3 to 5 years old), primary (ages 6 to 11), and secondary (ages 12 to 16, in 2 two-year cycles). Students may then take either a vocational training course for one or two years, or the two-year Bachillerato course in preparation for university entrance. The university system has three cycles. The first, leading to the degree of Diplomatura, lasts for three years. The second cycle lasts for two or three years and leads to the degree of Licenciatura. Students earning the degree of Doctor must complete the two-year third cycle and write a thesis.

In the 1998-1999 school year Spain’s primary schools were attended by 2.6 million ppupils, and secondary schools (including high schools and technical schools) by 3.9 million. About 30 percent of all children receive their education in the Roman Catholic school system.

H Higher Education Spanish institutions of higher education enrolled 1.7 million students in 1996-1997. The major universities of Spain include the University of Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Madrid (1971), the University of Barcelona (1450), the University of Granada (1526), the University of Salamanca, the University of Seville (1502), and the University of Valencia (1510).

I Culture

Any consideration of Spanish culture must stress the tremendous importance of religion in the history of the country and in the life of the individual. An index of the influence of Roman Catholicism is provided by the fervent mystical element in the art and literature of Spain, the impressive list of its saints, and the large number of religious congregations and orders. The Catholic marriage is the basis of the family, which in turn is the foundation of Spanish society.

Fiestas (festivals) are an outstanding feature of Spanish life. They usually begin with a high mass followed by a solemn procession in which venerated images are carried on the shoulders of the participants. Music, dancing, poetry, and singing often enliven

these colorful occasions. The fiesta at Valencia, the April fair in Seville, and the San Fermín fiesta at Pamplona are several of the more important ones. In contrast, the feast of Corpus Christi in Toledo and Granada and the Holy Week observances in Valladolid, Zamora, and Cuenca are solemn affairs. The bullfight, so important a part of Spanish tradition, has been called a fiesta brava. It is far more than a mere spectator sport; fans applaud not only the bravery oof the toreros but their dexterity and artistry as well.

J Painting

A number of great painters have lived and worked in Spain. Among the most famous are El Greco, noted for his late-16th-century painting View of Toledo (Metropolitan Museum, New York City); Diego Velázquez, known for his depictions of the 17th-century Spanish court; Francisco Goya, whose work in the late 18th and early 19th centuries greatly influenced the development of modern art; Salvador Dalí, surrealist painter; and Pablo Picasso, one of tthe most prolific artists in history and a major figure of 20th-century art.

K Literature See Spanish Literature.

L Libraries and Museums

The National Library in Madrid, founded in 1712 as the Royal Library, is the largest in Spain; it contains more than 4 mmillion bound volumes. Rare books, maps, prints, and the magnificent Sala de Cervantes, devoted to the writings of the great Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, are among the special collections of the library. The Library of the Royal Palace (1760) in Madrid has many rare editions from the 16th century as well as fine collections of manuscripts, engravings, and music. One of the most complete libraries in Spain is the Complutense University of Madrid Library, which was founded in 1341; it contains nearly 1.7 million bound volumes and more than 270,000 pamphlets. The Escorial Library near Madrid is known for its collection of rare books. The Archives and Library of the Cathedral Chapter in Toledo is famous for its ccollection of some 3,000 manuscripts from the 8th and 9th centuries and more than 10,000 documents of the 11th century.

One of the greatest art collections in the world is in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The collection is particularly rich in works by El Greco, Velázquez, Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and Goya; by Italian painters Sandro Botticelli and Titian; and by Dutch painter Rembrandt. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is a museum of contemporary art named for tthe current queen of Spain.

Spanish pottery, brocades, tapestries, and ivory carvings are in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, which houses also the most notable library on archaeology in the country. The National Ethnological Museum in Madrid contains objects from former Spanish possessions, including Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, and Bolivia. Other museums in Madrid include the Natural Science Museum and the National Museum of Reproductions of Works of Art. Situated in Barcelona are the Maritime Museum and the Archaeological Museum, which has a large collection of prehistoric, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Visigothic art. In late 1997 the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened along the waterfront of the Basque city of Bilbao. The museum, which is noted for its unusual design by American architect Frank Gehry, houses a collection of modern art.

M Music

Spanish music has a vitality and a rhythm that reflect the many influences on the culture by the Christians and the Moors. The zarzuela, a form of opera, was introduced in the 17th century. A leading composer during the 18th century was Antonio Soler, and, during the 20th century, Joaquín Turina and Manuel de Falla were noted for their advanced styles. Famous Spanish performers of the 20th century include guitarist AAndrés Segovia and cellist Pablo Casals. Popular Spanish instruments include the guitar, tambourine, castanets, and the gaita, a kind of bagpipe. Spanish dance styles (each with its own music) include the bolero, the flamenco, the jota, and the fandango. See Spanish Dance.


Spain has traditionally been an agricultural country and is still one of the largest producers of farm commodities in Western Europe, but since the mid-1950s industrial growth has been rapid. A series of development plans, initiated in 1964, helped the economy to expand, but in the later 1970s an economic slowdown was brought on by rising oil costs and increased imports. Subsequently, the government emphasized the development of the steel, shipbuilding, textile, and mining industries. Spain derives much income from tourism. The gross domestic product in 1998 was $553.2 billion. The national budget in 1997 included revenues of $175.3 billion and expenditures of $210.2 billion. On January 1, 1986, Spain became a full member of the European Community (now the European Union, or EU).

A Agriculture

Agriculture is a mainstay of the Spanish economy, employing, with forestry and fishing, 8 percent of the labor force. The leading agricultural products are grapes, used to make wine, and olives, used to make oolive oil. In 1999 Spain’s agricultural harvest (with production in metric tons) included fruits, particularly grapes, olives, oranges, and almonds (13.6 million); cereal grains such as barley, wheat, and rice (17 million); vegetables such as tomatoes and onions (11.6 million); and root crops, primarily potatoes and sugar beets (3.2 million).

Climatic and topographical conditions make dry farming obligatory for a large part of Spanish agriculture. The Mediterranean provinces, particularly Valencia, have irrigation systems that represent the work of many generations, and the formerly arid coastal belt has become one of the most productive areas of Spain. Combined irrigation and hydroelectric projects are found particularly in the valley of the Ebro River. Large sections of Extremadura are irrigated by means of government projects on the Guadiana River. Small-farm irrigation from wells is common.

The raising of livestock, especially sheep and goats, is an important industry. In 1999 livestock on farms included 23.8 million sheep, 21.7 million pigs, 6.1 million cattle, and 260,000 horses.

B Forestry and Fishing

The cork-oak tree is the principal forest resource of Spain, and the annual production of cork, more than 52,000 metric tons in the late 1980s, placed Spain among the world leaders. The yield of Spain’s forests is insufficient

for the country’s wood-pulp and timber needs.

The fishing industry is important to the Spanish economy. The catch, 1.3 million metric tons in 1997, typically consists mostly of sardines, mussels, tuna, hake, and squid.

C Mining The mineral wealth of Spain is considerable. In 1998 production, in metric tons, included hard and brown coal (26.1 million), iron ore (0.3 million), zinc (128,100), copper (40,000), and lead (24,000). Spain also produced 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) of gold and 65 metric tons of silver. In aaddition, 3.9 million barrels of petroleum were extracted. The principal coal mines are in the northwest, near Oviedo; the chief iron-ore deposits are in the same area, around Santander and Bilbao; large mercury reserves are located in Almadén, in southwestern Spain, and copper and lead are mined in Andalusia.

D Manufacturing

Among the leading goods manufactured in Spain are textiles, iron and steel, motor vehicles, chemicals, clothing, footwear, ships and boats, refined petroleum, and cement. Spain is one of the world’s leading wwine producers, and the annual output in the early 1990s was about 3.7 million cu m (983 million gallons). The iron and steel industry, centered in Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, and Avilés, produced about 12.7 million metric tons of crude steel aand 5.7 million tons of pig iron annually in the early 1990s.

E Energy Conventional thermal plants primarily fueled by coal or refined petroleum generated 48 percent of Spain’s electricity in 1998. Hydroelectric facilities produced 19 percent, and nuclear installations, 31 percent. Total output of electricity was 179 billion kilowatt-hours.

F Currency and Banking The unit of currency is the peseta (149 pesetas equal U.S.$1; 1998 average), formerly issued by the Bank of Spain (1829). The country is served by a large number of commercial banks. The principal stock exchanges are in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia. Spain and ten other members of the European Union (EU) are in the process of changing over from their national currencies to the single currency of the EEU, the euro, for all transactions. The euro began to be used on January 1, 1999, for electronic transfers and for accounting purposes. Euro coins and bills will be issued in 2002, at which time the peseta will cease to be legal tender.

In addition to adopting the euro, the EU member countries also established the European Central Bank (ECB). On January 1, 1999, control over Spanish monetary policy, including things such as setting interest rates and regulating the money supply, wwas transferred from the Bank of Spain to the ECB. The ECB is located in Frankfurt, Germany, and is responsible for all monetary policies of the European Union. After the changeover, the Bank of Spain joined the national banks of the other EU countries that adopted the euro as part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).

G Foreign Trade

In 1998, Spain imported goods valued at $133.1 billion and exported goods valued at $109.2 billion. Principal imports include machinery, mineral fuels, transportation equipment, food products, metals and metal products, and textiles. Exports include motor vehicles, machinery, basic metals, vegetable products, chemicals, mineral products, and textiles. Chief buyers of Spain’s exports are France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the United States; leading sources for imports are France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States, and Japan.

H Tourism

The climate, beaches, and historic cities of Spain are an attraction for tourists, which make a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Spain received 47.7 million visitors in 1998, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The $5 billion tourists spent helped make up for Spain’s considerable trade deficit.

I Transportation Spain had 346,858 km (215,528 mi) of roads, and 3389 passenger cars for every 1,000 inhabitants, in 1997. Rail service over 12,294 km (7,639 mi) of track is provided by both government-owned and private companies. In 1992 a high-speed railway line from Madrid to Seville began operating. The government-controlled Iberia Airlines operates domestic and international services. The airline, which needed financial rescue by the government in the mid-1990s, also serves Spain through a number of subsidiaries. In 2000 the merchant marine consisted of 1,502 vessels; the total capacity of the fleet was 1.3 million gross registered tons.

J Communications In 1997 Spain had 331 radios and 409 television sets in use for every 1,000 people. The country also had 87 daily newspapers, with a combined daily circulation of 3.9 million. Influential dailies include El País and A.B.C., both published in Madrid, and La Vanguardia and El Periódico, issued in Barcelona.

K Labor In 1998 the Spanish labor force included 17.3 million people. Some 30 percent were employed in manufacturing, mining, and construction; 8 percent in agriculture, forestry, and fishing; and 62 percent in services. Unemployment soared as high as 20.6 percent during this period. In the early 1990s, about 10 percent of Spain’s workforce was unionized.

V GOVERNMENT In the late 1970s the government of SSpain underwent a transformation from the authoritarian regime of Francisco Franco (who ruled from 1939 to 1975) to a limited monarchy with an influential parliament. A national constitution was adopted in 1978.

A Executive The head of state of Spain is a hereditary monarch, who also is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Executive power is vested in the prime minister, who is proposed by the monarch on the parliament’s approval and is voted into office by the Congress of Deputies. Power is also vested in a cabinet, or council of ministers. There is also the Council of States, a consultative body.

B Legislature In 1977 Spain’s unicameral Cortes was replaced by a bicameral parliament made up of a 350-member Congress of Deputies and a Senate of 208 directly elected members and 47 special regional representatives. Deputies are popularly elected to four-year terms by universal suffrage of people 18 years of age and older, under a system of proportional representation. The directly elected senators are voted to four-year terms on a regional basis. Each mainland province elects 4 senators; another 20 senators come from the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla.

C Political Parties Spain has many political parties. Two major groups

are the Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the Popular Party (a conservative party that absorbed the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party). Other significant parties include the United Left (a coalition of left-wing parties) and the Catalan and Basque nationalist parties.

D Local Government The 1978 constitution allowed for two types of autonomous regions, each with different powers. Catalonia, the Basque provinces, and Galicia were defined as “historic nationalities” and used a simpler process to achieve autonomy. The process for other regions wwas slower and more complicated. While the autonomous regions have assumed substantial powers of self-government, the issue of regional versus central governmental power is still under negotiation.

Each of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions elects a unicameral legislative assembly, which selects a president from among its own members. Seven autonomous regions are composed of only one province, the other ten are formed of two or more provinces. Each of the provinces, 50 in all, has an appointed governor and an elected council. EEach of the more than 8,000 municipalities is governed by a directly elected council, which elects one of its members as mayor.

E Judiciary The judicial system in Spain is governed by the General Council of Judicial Power, presided over by the ppresident of the Supreme Court. The country’s highest tribunal is the Supreme Court of Justice, divided into 7 sections; it sits in Madrid. There are 17 territorial high courts, one in each autonomous region, 52 provincial high courts, and several lower courts handling penal, labor, and juvenile matters. The country’s other important court is the Constitutional Court, which monitors observance of the constitution.

F Health and Welfare The Law of Family Subsidy, enacted in 1939, provides Spain’s workers with monthly allowances proportionate to the number of children in the family; the necessary funding is collected from employers and employees. A program of old-age pensions and health and maternity benefits has been in effect since 1949. A fund derived from public collections provides ffor the support of the poor, nursery schools, and health clinics. Spain has 1 physician for every 241 inhabitants and 1 hospital bed for every 250 people.

G Defense Spain maintains armed services equipped with modern weapons; military service of nine months is compulsory for males aged 21 to 35. In 1998 the country had an army of 120,000, a navy of 36,950, and an air force of 29,100. A paramilitary Civil Guard had a strength of 75,000. The Spanish government has cclose defense ties with the United States, which maintains naval and air bases in Spain. The country became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1982, and reaffirmed that alliance in a public referendum in 1986.


The earliest records of an aboriginal past in the Iberian Peninsula are Paleolithic cave paintings, found in the region of the Bay of Biscay and the western Pyrenees, which exhibit a remarkable degree of animation and skill. Distinctly different from this development in the north was the later Neolithic Almerian culture (3000? BC) of southeastern Spain, which was akin to that of prehistoric Africa. The southern region became the first invasion point for the Iberians, originally a North African people, who, about 1000 BC, became the most prominent ethnologic element in the peninsula and gave it its name. The second most important people in the peninsula were the Celts, who entered it in a mass migration from France. The Celts almost completely absorbed the indigenous inhabitants of the central region and, to a lesser extent, those of the northern mountains. A subsequent intermingling of Celts and Iberians formed the so-called Celtiberians, living chiefly in the central region, the west, and along tthe northern coast.

A Antiquity and Middle Ages

The first of the eastern Mediterranean peoples known to have voyaged to the peninsula were the seafaring Phoenicians, probably in the 11th century BC. The Phoenicians established a colony on the site of present-day Cádiz. Traders from Rhodes and the Greek cities followed, establishing colonies on the Mediterranean coast and occasionally venturing into the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, then known as the Pillars of Hercules. In the second half of the 3rd century BC the African state of Carthage began to exploit the peninsula. Under the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, a large part of the peninsula was conquered in a campaign from 237 to 228 BC, and in the latter year Carthage founded the city of Barcelona. Other colonies were established, notably Carthago Nova (now Cartagena). The expansion of Carthage in the peninsula was viewed unfavorably by Rome. In 219 BC, violating a previous Carthage-Rome agreement delimiting Carthaginian territory, the Carthaginian general Hannibal destroyed the Greek colony of Saguntum (now Sagunto) and precipitated the second of the Punic Wars. Carthage was forced to evacuate the peninsula in 206 BC. Nine years later Rome divided the peninsula into two provinces, Hispania Citerior, iin the valley of the Ebro River (northeast), and Hispania Ulterior, in the plain penetrated by the Guadalquivir River (south). The tribes of the extreme north did not surrender their independence to Rome until 19 BC. Under the Romans, Hispania took its final form as three provinces: Lusitania, approximating modern Portugal; Baetica, in the south, approximating western Andalusia; and Hispania Tarraconensis, the central plateau and the north, northwest, and the eastern coast above Cartagena. From the final submission of the Iberian tribes until the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire in the late 5th century AD, Hispania was one of the most prosperous areas of Roman power. Its farms were a major source of Roman grain, and from its mines came iron, copper, lead, gold, and silver.

A1 Visigothic Spain

In AD 409 Teutonic invaders crossed the Pyrenees. Alans, Vandals, and Suevi swept over the peninsula. The unity of Hispania under Rome was destroyed, not to be entirely recreated for more than a thousand years. In an attempt to stem the havoc brought by the invasions, Rome appealed to the Visigoths, who in AD 412 brought their armies into the region and within seven years became the dominant power. The Visigothic

kingdom of Toulouse, a nominal vassal of Rome, was established in 419, and at its fullest extent included the territory from the Strait of Gibraltar north to the Loire River in present-day France. For three centuries (419-711) the king of Toulouse implanted Roman culture and Christianity in the peninsula. Euric ruled at the height of Visigothic power in the 5th century and codified the Roman and Gothic law. Leovigild, who reigned from 569 to 586, effected the final subjugation of tthe Suevi tribes and united the Roman and Visigothic elements of the peninsula into a single people. Between 586 and 601, Leovigild’s son Recared established Roman Catholicism as the official state religion.

A2 Spain Under the Moors

In 711 a Berber Muslim army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa into the Iberian peninsula. Roderick, last of the Visigothic kings of Spain, was defeated at the Battle of Río Barbate. By 719 the invading forces were ssupreme from the coast to the Pyrenees. Their progress northward was arrested at a battle fought in France, between Tours and Poitiers, in 732 by the Frankish ruler Charles Martel. The first years of their rule, the Moors, as the BBerber conquerors came to be known, held the peninsula (except for Asturias and the Basque Country) as a dependency of the Province of North Africa, a division of the caliphate of Damascus. After 717 the country was ruled by emirs, appointed by the caliphs, who were frequently neglectful of their duties; misrule resulted in the appointment and deposition of 20 successive emirs during the subsequent 40 years. This state of affairs was ended by a struggle between the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties for control of the caliphate. The last of the Spanish emirs, Yusuf, favored the Abbasids, but the local officials of the empire supported the Umayyads. The Umayyad faction invited Abd-ar-Rahman I, a member of the family, to become tthe independent ruler of Spain. In 756 Abd-ar-Rahman founded the powerful and independent emirate, which later developed into the caliphate of Córdoba.

During the establishment of Moorish power, a remnant of Christian rule was preserved in the northern portion of the peninsula. The most important Christian state of the northern peninsula, the small kingdom of Asturias, was founded about 718 by Pelayo, a Visigothic chieftain. Pelayo’s son-in-law, Alfonso, conquered nearly all the region known as Galicia, recaptured most of León, and wwas then crowned Alfonso I, king of León and Asturias. Alfonso III greatly extended these territories during his reign, which ended in 910. During the 10th century the region of Navarre became an independent kingdom under Sancho I. As the kings of León expanded their domains to the east in the early 10th century, they reached Burgos. Because of the castles built to guard the frontiers of newly acquired territory, this region became popularly known as Castilla, or Castile. Under Count Fernán González the region became independent of León, and in 932 the count declared himself the first king of Castile. In the 11th century a considerable part of Aragón was captured from the Muslims by Sancho III, king of Navarre, who also conquered León and Castile, and in 1033 he made his son, Ferdinand I, king of Castile. This temporary unity came to an end at Sancho’s death, when his domains were divided among his sons. The most prominent of Sancho’s sons was Ferdinand, who acquired León in 1037, took the Moorish section of Galicia, and set up a vassal county in what is now northern Portugal. With northern Spain consolidated, Ferdinand, in 1056, proclaimed himself emperor of Spain ((from the Latin Hispania), and he initiated the period of reconquest from the Muslims.

A3 The Christian Reconquest

The Umayyad dynasty had ruled Muslim Spain for about three centuries. The greatest of its rulers was Abd-ar-Rahman III, who in 929 proclaimed himself caliph. His capital, Córdoba, became the most splendid city in Europe except for Constantinople (present-day Ýstanbul), and Spanish civilization during the Moorish supremacy was far in advance of that of the rest of the continent. Numerous schools were built, many of them free and for the education of the poor. At the great Muslim universities medicine, mathematics, philosophy, and literature were cultivated; the work of Greek philosopher Aristotle was studied there long before it was well known to Christian Europe. An extensive literature developed, the caliphs themselves being poets and authors of note, and art and architecture flourished (see Islamic Art and Architecture). The Umayyads also encouraged commerce and agriculture and constructed effective irrigation systems throughout the southern region.

The Umayyad dynasty ended with the death of Hisham III in 1036 and the caliphate split into a number of independent and mutually hostile Moorish kingdoms, including Córdoba, Granada, Seville, Toledo, Lisbon, Zaragoza, Murcia, and Valencia. The dissolution of the central Moorish ppower enabled the Christian kings of northern Spain to gain the advantage, subduing some Moorish states and making others tributary. A temporary revival of central power was instituted by the Abbadids of Seville between 1023 and 1091. Alfonso I of Castile led his attacking armies south and by 1086 was master of Toledo. Abbad al-Mutamid, as Abbad III of Seville, then asked the aid of the Almoravids, a Muslim sect of North Africa. The Almoravids crossed to Spain, but after defeating Alfonso in 1086 they turned against the Spanish Moors, and by the beginning of the 12th century the Almoravid ruler was the sovereign of Muslim Spain. The Almoravid dynasty was, however, short-lived, and its power passed to a second African sect, the Almohads, who invaded Spain in 1145 and became masters of the Muslim areas within five years. The Christian kings, meanwhile, continued their advance. In a great battle fought on the plains of Toledo in July 1212, the Almohads were defeated by the united Christian power and expelled from Spain shortly thereafter. The Moorish power was then limited to some ports around Cádiz and to the kingdom of Granada, which endured until 1492 and was one of the

greatest and most splendid of Muslim realms.

Except for these regions, Spain for the next two centuries consisted of two great kingdoms: in the west Castile and León, including Asturias, Córdoba, Extremadura, Galicia, Jaén, and Seville; and in the east, Aragón, including Barcelona, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. Both realms were characterized, as a legacy of their previous history, by a diversity of dialects, by composite populations (including Christians, Moors, and Jews), and by divergent political forms.

B Spain in the Early Modern EEra

In 1469 the marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand V of Aragón initiated the developments that made Spain a great power. They became joint rulers of Castile in 1474 and of Aragón in 1479, although no actual union of the two kingdoms occurred and each monarch exercised sovereign power only in his or her own realm. Aragón, the smaller and poorer kingdom, tended to be neglected. Attention was focused instead on strengthening royal authority in richer and mmore populous Castile. Also important for the pious monarchs (who took the title “Catholic Kings”) was the establishment in 1478 of the Inquisition to enforce purity of the faith. The Inquisition was also a powerful tool for increasing and consolidating rroyal power. Inquisitors were royally appointed, invested with both civil and church power, exempt from normal jurisdiction, and served by a multitude of informants and bodyguards. Proceedings were secret and the property of the condemned was confiscated and distributed among the crown, the Inquisition, and the accusers.

In 1480 Isabella convoked a great Cortes (parliament) at Toledo, which laid the legislative basis for royal absolutism in Castile. Laws were recodified, the judicial system was reformed, and the power of the nobility was weakened. Moreover, administrative structures and methods of recruiting state officials were professionalized, making Castile perhaps the most modern large state of its time. Royal power was consolidated further during a ten-year war against Granada, the last Moorish stronghold, on tthe Iberian Peninsula. These efforts culminated in 1492, when first Granada fell, politically unifying all of Spain, and then religious uniformity was imposed through the forcible conversion or expulsion of Jews, some 150,000 of whom chose to leave, and the remaining Moors. Still, a seemingly minor act, the sponsoring of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus to find a westward route to the Indies, had the greatest historical consequences.

B1 The Making of a World Power

The new strength of Castile became evident in iits ability to simultaneously create a huge overseas empire and achieve control in Europe. Columbus’s voyages, which aroused great excitement, brought disappointing results for the next two decades. Then Spain’s spectacular expansion in the Americas began. The most important events were the destruction of the Aztec empire in Mexico by Hernán Cortés from 1519 to 1521, the conquest of the Inca empire of Peru by Francisco Pizarro from 1532 to 1533. By the 1550s Spain controlled most of the South American continent, Central America, Florida, Cuba and, in Asia, the Philippine Islands. The empire was the means by which Christianity first spread across the Atlantic. It also brought enormous wealth to Spain when, after the 1530s, rich silver and gold mines were discovered.

Spain’s expansion in Europe began even before this wealth became available. Relying on brilliant diplomacy as well as on the military commanders and techniques forged in the war against Granada, King Ferdinand was chiefly responsible for making Spain into a major European power. The main opponent was France, both along the frontiers that separated the two states and also in Italy, where Aragón’s traditional interests were threatened by French efforts to dominate the peninsula. The struggle began with tthe successful campaign of 1495 to 1497 in southern Italy and continued intermittently for two decades, until Ferdinand’s death. By then Spain had won control of southern Italy, all Navarre south of the Pyrenees, and farther north, the regions of Cerdagne and Roussillon. Ferdinand also arranged strategic alliances with other royal houses hostile to France, marrying one daughter to the heir to the English throne and another, Joanna, to a Habsburg, Philip of Burgundy, later King Philip I of Castile. Isabella’s death in 1504 nearly upset the process of expansion as Castile’s crown passed to Joanna, who had become mentally deranged. Ferdinand, anxious to keep Castile united with Aragón, tried to gain the regency on the grounds of her madness. He was circumvented by Philip who, supported by the Castilian nobles, became ruler in his wife’s stead. In 1506, however, Philip died and Ferdinand again assumed sole direction of the two kingdoms. Ferdinand died in 1516 and was ...

Šiuo metu matote 50% šio darbo.

Matomi 6929 žodžiai iš 13858 žodžių.

Panašūs darbai

Education is very important

for all people. I think that the government schould give priority to education, because it is very important. If a lot of people would be more educated the scale of state would be superior....

2 atsiliepimai

Breakdancing a form of African American dance that emerged from the hip hop culture of the South Bronx, New York, during the mid-1970s. Drawing upon several African American dance forms, brea...

2 atsiliepimai
Formula 1

Racing General Information Racing Strategies Chassis Aerodynamics Construction Brakes Wheels and Tires Safety Safety Features of the Car Safety Devices of the Drivers Powertrain Engine Tec...

1 atsiliepimai
Paragraph: Television is a good companion for lonely people.

[TOPIC – tema, tai apie ką bus kalbama] Television is a good companion for lonely people. [SUPPORT #1 – pirmas pagrindimas, įrodymas] Lonely people do not go out very often so televisio...

4 atsiliepimai

Content: Drugs: causes, consequences, users 2 Subculture 2 Drug addict categories and drug taking motives 3 Drug effects and consequences 4 What are drugs? 6 How many young women/teenagers a...

1 atsiliepimai
Atsisiųsti šį darbą