THE HISTORY OF SPAIN ACCORDING TO RIET
PREHISTORIC Supposedly, the first tribe of people who lived in what is present day Spain are the Basques (Vascos). One of the theories explaining the origins of the Basques suggests they descended from prehistoric Cro-Magnon man, whose cave-paintings have been preserved at Altamira and inhabited the area ca. 40,000-30,000 B.C.
Cro what? You’ve all heard of Neanderthals, right? Neanderthal Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) were discovered first in Germany's Neander Valley in 1856. They emerged between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, give or take, in the early and middle Paleolithic era, and they used tools, albeit very simple ones. Often they resorted to using rocks (or flakes broken off of rocks by hitting them with other rocks), bones, and sticks. And they used fire, too! Neanderthals were more muscular than the later Homo sapiens, and their skulls were flatter, with broad noses and pronounced ridges on the forehead (which is why, to us, they look rather dim). They were also capable of speech, but recent physiological discoveries indicate that their voices were high pitched and nasal, not the baritone grunts we normally associate with cavemen. Despite their similarities to us, they were not—repeat, not—a step on the way to us. They were a dead-end offshoot of an earlier common ancestor, and they eventually lost out to their smarter, more advanced cousins: Cro-Magnons.
Cro-Magnon are the guys who came after. You know, look in the mirror! As for Cro-Magnons, they're pretty much just like us. They take their name from a cave in France where Louis Lartet found them in 1868. (Well, he found their skeletons. They had died a while before.) Unlike Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons are not a separate species from Homo sapiens. In fact, they're the earliest known European example of our species—living between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago—and are actually modern in every anatomical respect. They did, however, have somewhat broader faces, a bit more muscle, and a slightly larger brain. So how'd they utilize their larger noggins? Cro-Magnon man used tools, spoke and probably sang, made weapons, lived in huts, wove cloth, wore skins, made jewelry, used burial rituals, made cave paintings, and even came up with a calendar. Specimens have since been found outside Europe, including in the Middle East.
La Cueva de Altamira An example of prehistoric art known as Upper Palaeolithic, from 30,000 to 25,000 BP, bone projectiles and stone blade tools were used, producing the first artistic artefacts and the first decorated walls (La Peña de Candamo). The artistic apogee, known as Magdalenian, corresponds to the end of the Ice Age, from 17,000 to 13,000 BP. This was the period of the major works in the decorated caves, with a great variety of motifs and techniques of representation
INVADING TRIBES Eastern and Central Europeans, who moved to Spain in search of a milder climate, were the predecessors of the Iberians The Iberians were not a clearly defined culture, ethnic group or political entity. The name is instead a blanket term for a number of peoples belonging to a pre-Roman Iron Age culture inhabiting the eastern and southeastern Iberian peninsula and who have been historically identified as "Iberian". Although these peoples shared certain common features, they diverged widely in some respects. They would later intermingle with Celtic invaders
THE CELTS The Celts in the Iberian peninsula were traditionally thought of as living on the edge of the Celtic world of the La Tène culture that defined classical Iron Age Celts. Earlier migrations were Hallstatt in culture and later came La Tène influenced peoples. Celtic or (Indo-European) Pre-Celtic cultures and populations existed in great numbers and Iberia experienced one of the highest levels of Celtic settlement in all of Europe. They dwelt in northern, central and western regions of Iberian Peninsula, but also in several southern regions. The Roman province of Hispania included both Celtic speaking and non-Celtic speaking tribes. Some closely fit the concept of a tribe. Others are confederations or even unions of tribes.
PHOENICIANS Phoenicians were a people who occupied the coast of the Levant (eastern Mediterranean). Their major cities were Tyre, Sidon, Byblos (present day Lebanon), and Arwad (present day Syria).
Thus the Phoenicians crossed the strait as early as the 9th century BC, founding colonies in Andalusia, chiefly at Cadiz and Tartessus (possibly the lost city of Tarshish mentioned in the Bible). Tarshish in the Bible The ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, told us about the virtual sea of mud and debris where once brave Atlantis stood. The German archaeologist Adolph Schulten thought that Tartessus was the historical Atlantis and set about searching for the ruins. Alas, he never did find the ancient city. It remains undiscovered to this very day.
Others follow……… The Greeks settled along the Mediterranean coast, and the Carthaginians would follow suit, occupying the Balearic Islands at the same time. By the 3rd century BC, under the leadership of General Hamilcar Barca, the Carthaginians set out to conquer most of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearics, establishing Carthago Nova as their capital.
But all good things must come to an end…….. The Roman victory over Hannibal Barca, son of Hamilcar, in the second Punic War (218-201 BC) led to the expulsion of the Carthaginians from Hispania. Hannibal's Journey You remember Hannaibal? He’s the guy who marched an army, which included elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, but a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced him to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated
The Romanization of Spain Roman empire 100 bc By the 1st century AD Roman control was virtually complete. With the exception of the Basques, the whole Iberian population would be romanized. Emperor Augustus finally brought the conquest of Hispania to an end in the year 9 AD. Hispania served as a granary for the Roman market, and its harbours exported gold, wool, olive oil, and wine.
Roman Tidbits Christianity was introduced between the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and coexisted with pagan rites. St Paul had expressed a wish to evangelize Spain and he is supposed to have visited the country with that purpose, while the apostle St James the Greater became the patron saint of the nation. Pagan and Christian literature in Latin were increasingly nourished by contributions from Spanish writers, including Seneca, Martial, and Quintilian. Some Roman Emperors were actually Spanish, Trajan, Hadrian and Theodosius I The decline of Rome began in the 3rd century AD, and over the next two hundred years Gothic peoples from the north gradually extended their realm across the Empire; Spain was invaded by the West Goths (Visigoths).
Visigoths The Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410.
Led by Ataulf (412) the Visigoths left Italy and marched into southern Gaul, from where they crossed the Pyrenees into northern Spain. The conquest of Spain was completed by King Euric (466-84), under whom Visigothic power attained maximum splendor. Toledo became the new capital of the kingdom, from which point on the history of the Visigoths would be essentially linked to that of Spain.
After being weakened by warfare with the Franks and the Basques, and by Byzantine penetration in southern Spain, in the late 6th century the kingdom recovered its vigor under kings Leovigild (568-586) and his son Recarred(586-601), whose conversion to Catholicism favored the unification of the Visigothic and the Hispano-Roman communities in Spain. Visigothic common law was imposed around the year 654 by King Recceswinth (653-672) upon Gothic and Roman subjects alike. Recceswinth succeeded to the throne without election, thereby violating the Visigothic tradition enjoining election of the king by the nobility The church councils of Toledo became the main force in the government, and royal power was accordingly undermined.
Civil war ensued, following which Recceswinth's successor King Wamba (672-680) was deposed. The next few years would be rife with civil disturbances, and when the throne was seized by the last king, Roderick (known as Don Rodrigo) in 710, his rivals appealed to the Muslim leader Tarik ibn Ziyad. The battle near Medina Sidonia won by the Muslims in 711 signalled the end of the Visigothic kingdom and inaugurated the Moorish period Medina Sidonia today
MOORS Arab laws entitled the Christians to religious freedom, employment at court, public office, and military service. One third of the twelve thousand men forming the select and splendidly equipped guard of the Moorish caliph were in fact Christians The custom of naming a successor from an extensive progeny provoked numerous court intrigues, as a result of which the caliphate broke up into small independent kingdoms (reinos de taifas). The continual feuds between these realms marked the onset of Christian 'reconquest'.
The Spanish Reconquest Christian troops prepared to advance by land. They advanced steadily throughout the 9th century At the end of the 11th century they had reached the Tagus river at Toledo
La Reconquista 1a parte by the 13th century the only kingdom still in Moorish possession was that of Granada. La Reconquista 2a parte The marriage of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella had managed to unite all the crowns of Spain, which could once again proclaim itself a Christian land.
THE SPANISH INQUISITION The Spanish Inquisition was established in 1478 as a court for the detection of heretics Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition!
The Spanish Inquisition in a Nutshell The Spanish Inquisition – Full Documentary
The notorious hatred between Jews and Christians led the inquisitors to believe that their actions actually saved Jews from the hideous fate awaiting them in the underworld The Spanish government and its religious officials proclaimed the need for a pure and unified Spanish-Christian race, forbidding intermarriage between Christians or converts and Jews, which would destroy their ideal of purity of blood (limpieza de sangre)
The political justification for the Spanish Inquisition was the existence of a threat to the monarchy in financial terms, 13th-century Spain was not a prosperous land. Continued warfare in Spain and Italy, not to mention the conquest of Granada, had drained the country's resources. Both the monarchy and the government feared a public outcry if such signs of weakness became obvious, especially in view of the increasing wealth and power of the Jewish community, overtly successful, some of whose members enjoyed greater social prominence than Spanish Christians.
A New World Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa (located in Italy today) in 1451 to Domenico Colombo, a middle class wool-weaver, and Susanna Fontanarossa. Though little is known about his childhood, it is apparent that he was well-educated because he was able to speak several languages as an adult and had considerable knowledge of classical literature. In addition, he studied the works of Ptolemy and Marinus to name a few. Columbus first took to the sea when he was 14 years old and this continued throughout his younger life. During the 1470s, he went on numerous trading trips that took him to the Aegean Sea, Northern Europe, and possibly Iceland. During Columbus´s first voyage on the Atlantic, 1476, the commercial fleet he was with was attacked by French sailors off of the coast of Portugal. His ship was burned and Columbus was forced to swim ashore. The sailor settled in Lisbon and married FelipaPerestrello, the two had one son, Diego, in 1480.
The family stayed in Lisbon until 1485, when Columbus' wife Filipa died. From there, Columbus and Diego moved to Spain where he began trying to obtain a grant to explore western trade routes. Columbus leaves Portugal to see if he can get support in Spain. in January 1492 when the last Muslim stronghold in Granada was captured. With the momentum of victory, the royal court decided to finance Columbus. He was outfitted with the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña. In August of 1492 Columbus set sail from Spain´s coast and was at sea for 36 days until landing on a Bahamian island in the Caribbean Ocean, claiming it for Spain. Cristóbal Colón (CristoforoColombo)
The Azteca and the Inca empires in Mexico and Peru were conquered by Spain in the 16th century, while the territory that would eventually became the US was explored by Hernando de Soto and Cabeza de Vaca.
In 1532 the Inca Empire was conquered by Francisco Pizarro, whose men kidnapped Emperor Atahualpa in exchange for a ransom of gold and silver; once the ransom was paid, however, Atahualpa was murdered.
MEANWHILE, IN THE OLD WORLD.......... Upon the death of Ferdinand II of Aragon (Ferdinand V of Castile) in 1516, the Spanish crown and the Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Navarra and Naples were inherited by his grandson Charles. As a direct descendant of the Austrian House of Habsburg, Charles I of Spain, soon assumed the rule of Austria and the Low Countries. In 1519 he was elected Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V, ensuring from that moment on the Roman Empire for the Habsburg Dynasty.
Charles V abdicated in 1556, dividing his dominions between his son Philip II, who inherited the majority of his domains, and his younger brother Ferdinand, who became ruler of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. The Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, known in Spain as "the House of Austria", thereby retained power over most of the empire. That same year Charles V entered the monastery of Yuste, where he died in 1558. Look at that chin!!!
The Spanish Empire reached its peak under King Felipe II, who unified the Spanish territory and lands: from the Philippines to the Americas as well as Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and some of present day Germany. This peak of glory, however, would be followed by a period of endless wars that drained Spain of its wealth and consumed increasing sums of gold and silver from the American colonies. Other European wars were waged under Philip II, including a war between Spain and England. The Great Armada was unable to conquer England, and the 'invincible' armed fleet would be destroyed in 1588, as a result of which Spain's political decline became increasingly notorious. Philip II was not a deft politician, nor would his heirs (Philip III and Philip IV) prove to be.
The death of Charles II, who had reigned from 1661 to 1700, marked the end of the Habsburg dynasty. Philip of Anjou (Philip V), grandson of Louis XIV, was crowned King of Spain, a decision that prompted disputes over the European balance of power leading Spain, France, England and Austria into the War of the Spanish Succession. The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and the Treaty of Rastatt (1714) signaled the end of the war and for Spain entailed the loss of Flanders, Luxemburg, Franche-Comté , Milan, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Minorca and Gibraltar.
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR Why? Because we said so! On April 25, 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result Spain lost its control over the remains of its overseas empire -- Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines Islands, Guam, and other islands.
SPANISH CIVIL WAR The Players Franco & the Nationalists
If you want to see a movie that takes place during the Spanish Civil War, watch El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth) Rated R for graphic violence – Ask your parents!