The changing role of women in Spain

By Sarah Jane O’Connor The role of women in Spain has changed dramatically throughout history. General Francisco Franco (Spanish dictator who ruled Spain for 36 years) and the Catholic Church influenced the role of women in Spain during the time of his rule. Once...

History of Spain: José María Aznar

Following the 1996 Spanish general election the Spanish conservative Popular Party, led by José María Aznar, formed a new government and brought to an end thirteen years of rule by the Socialist Workers’ Party. As a teenager, José María Aznar was a member of the...

Spanish History: Spain & The EU

Spain joined The EU in January 1986. The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states, established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993. The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states...

History of Spain: Spain & NATO

Following a referendum, the newly democratic Spain joined NATO on 30th May 1982. NATO stands for “North Atlantic Treaty Organisation” and is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4th April 1949. The NATO...

History of Spain: ETA & The Basque Country

ETA stands for “Euskadi Ta Askatasuna” which means “Basque Homeland & Freedom” in Basque and is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organisation. The group was officially founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional the Basque...

Spanish History: The Franco Dictatorship

Francisco Franco was born in Galicia in 1892 and was a military general who became Spanish head of state after the Spanish Civil War and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death on 20th November 1975. General Francisco...

History of Spain: The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War is one of the most famous periods in the history of Spain and was fought from 17th July 1936 to 1st April 1939. Elections in 1936 revealed a Spain divided, politically and geographically, between the left and right wings. Tensions threatened to...

Spanish History: Spanish-American War

“The Spanish–American War” was a conflict that lasted from April 25th to August 12th, 1898, between Spain and the United States. Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and American public opinion was growing angry at reports of...

History of Spain: The Carlist Wars

“The Carlist Wars” in Spain were the last major European civil wars in which pretenders fought to establish their claim to a throne. Three times during the period from 1833 to 1876 the Carlists — followers of Carlos V — fought for God, King and Country and the cause...

Spanish History: The Peninsular War

“The Peninsular War” was a contest between France and the allied powers of Spain, Great Britain and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the period of “Napoleonic Wars” following the French Revolution of 1789 when France was rapidly becoming the main...

Spanish History: Portuguese Restoration War

“The Portuguese Restoration War” was the name given to the war between Portugal and Spain that began with the Portuguese revolution of 1640 and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon in 1668. This ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal and Spain under the...

Spanish History: Revolt of the Catalans

In 1640 Catalonia rose up against the crown of Felipe IV, motivated by fiscal, political and long-standing historical issues in what is known as “The Revolt of the Catalans” or “Reapers´ War”. This was a very volatile period not only in Spanish History, but also all...

Spanish History: The Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada was a massive fleet of Spanish ships that sailed against England in 1588. Their intention was to overthrow Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England and stop English involvement in the Spanish Netherlands and English attacks on Spanish trade and...

Spanish History: Spanish Golden Age

The 16th and 17th centuries are often called “The Spanish Golden Age” (“El Siglo de Oro”). It was a period in Spanish history when Spain was all powerful and all conquering. As a result of the marriage of “Los Reyes Católicos”, their Habsburg (Austrian dynasty)...

History of Spain: The Spanish Empire

The Spanish Empire consisted of the territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia or Oceania. At the peak of its power, it was one of the largest empires in world history, comprising The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium,...

History of Spain: The Moors

The Moors attacked Spain from North Africa in 711, taking advantage of the collapse of the Christian Visigoth Kingdom and stayed for 800 years. Hispania became part of the caliph of Damascus, which was the capital of the Muslim world, and was renamed “Al-Andalus”. It...

History of Spain: Roman Hispania

The Roman conquest of Hispania (Spain and Portugal) began mainly due to the actions of the Carthaginians who were growing alarmingly powerful in the Mediterranean. After the First Punic War (264-241 BC) the Romans had defeated Carthage and claimed Sicily, Sardinia,...

History of Spain: The Carthaginians

Carthage in North Africa was founded in 814 BC by the Phoenicians. The Carthaginians were sea traders who brought back copper from Cyprus, horses from Anatolla (part of Turkey), ivory from India and tin and silver from Spain. Cadiz (then known as “Gades”) was their...

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