Buildings in downtown Madrid, Spain.

Dennis Jarvis / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Location of Spain

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. During the nineteenth century the political scene in Spain came to be dominated by the military, and in the twentieth century two dictatorships occurred: Rivera’s in 1923 – 30 and Franco’s in 1939 – 75. Franco kept Spain out of World War 2 and survived in power; he planned a transition back to monarchy for when he died, and this occurred in 1975 – 78 with the re-emergence of a democratic Spain.

Key Events in Spanish History

Key People from the History of Spain

  • Ferdinand and Isabella 1452 – 1516 / 1451 - 1504
    Known as the Catholic Monarchs because of their faith, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile married in 1469; both came to power in 1479, Isabella after a civil war. They united the kingdoms of Aragon, Castile and several other regions under one monarchy and sponsored the journeys of European explorers, helping to establish a wealthy Spanish empire.
  • Franco 1892 - 1975
    Franco came to power after emerging as leader of the victorious right wing Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He cannily avoided entering World War 2 on the side of Hitler, who many regarded as a natural ally, and instead survived in power until 1975. He harshly suppressed many supposed enemies.

Rulers of Spain

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Your Citation
Wilde, Robert. "Spain." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Wilde, Robert. (2020, August 28). Spain. Retrieved from Wilde, Robert. "Spain." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 1, 2023).