Settlements from the older Stone Age, the paleolithic,
have been found on river terraces and in caves; among the
latter, over 40 pieces have preserved decor. The most famous
painted cave is Altamira, with polychromic images of bison,
horse, etc. from preferably the magdalenia (about
16,000-10,000 BC). From the following period, the
Mesolithic, settlements with painted stones are
The Hunting Stone Age lasted in Spain until about 5,500
BC; at this time, among other things, ceramic manufacturing
and arable farming in lowland terrain. Chronological
conditions are still somewhat unclear, e.g. the period is
estimated to be about 4,400–3,500 BC. both to the Neolithic
(peasant age) and copper age; a famous burial cave from this
time is Cueva de los Murciélagos near Córdoba. Megalithic
tombs and settlements of central character were now being
erected (compare the almeria culture). See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Spain.
During the 2000s BC performed in the Andalusia facility
Los Millares. The traces of its settlements, fortifications
and tombs indicate a society with access to irrigation
systems and metalworking (see the culture of losmillar).
During the Bronze Age (c. 2,500-1,300 BC), this was replaced
by the aristocratic El Argar culture, characterized by
fortified sites, tombs, distinguished ceramics and metal
weapons (see El Argar). In other areas, lace ceramic culture
and bell-cup culture, later also, as an element in the
north, appeared the urn field culture.
The Iron Age entered about 800 BC The Hallstatt culture
(Hallstatt C) appeared in the northwest and a Celtic
influence prevailed in Spain, but never became dominant. The
indigenous people, in later historical sources referred to
as Iberians, retained in part their cultural distinctiveness
but were nevertheless affected both by impulses from the
north (see Celts) and from the eastern Mediterranean.
The Phoenicians last founded during the 7th century BC
colonies in southern Spain. A mixed culture emerged at
Guadalquivir in Andalusia, probably dominated by Tartessos,
an urban society with military structure, ironmaking and
distinctive art. Its exact location is disputed.
Phoenicians - later mainly Carthaginians - and Greeks
were attracted to Spain mainly because of metal deposits in
the mountains. Rich finds of oriental bronze and ivory
objects from the 6th century BC has among other things made
at the La Joya tomb at Huelva. On the east coast, the Greeks
founded colonies, of which the Emporiae (c. 575 BC) became a
center for the import of, among other things. Greek vases,
which affected the local ceramic production.
Carthage and Rome
Carthage's influence lasted until 206 BC, when Rome
during the Second Punic War gained dominion over Gades
(Cadiz) and founded colonies in southern Spain, including
Italica near Seville, later (179 BC) and also Corduba
(Córdoba). With slave labor, the work was further developed
at the Iberian Peninsula's mines for gold, silver and
copper, including at Río Tinto. Rome also took over several
Celtic shrines. The Celts of the hinterlands made strong
opposition, but 133 BC their last stronghold, Numantia, fell
and Spain was incorporated into the Roman Empire. See
Early Middle Ages
The Pyrenees peninsula was drawn into the people's
migration period 409 when gliders, alans and vandals
penetrated north from the north. In 411 they divided the
peninsula among themselves, with the Alans in particular
getting large areas. However, the Romans retained control of
Hispania Tarraconensis in the northeast for some time. In
new wars 416–418, the Aliens and the Vandals were defeated
by the Visigoths, and 429 the first two peoples emigrated to
North Africa. As the Visigoths prioritized their empire in
southern Gaul, the peninsula was dominated by looting
gliders, but after a defeat against the Visigoths 456, the
influence of the gliders was reduced to Galicia. Instead,
the peninsula became a visigothic kingdom, which was
initially weak, with several autonomous territories.
Östrom conquered parts of the south coast in the
mid-500s. After the Aryan Goths transitioned to Catholicism
and the Visigothic kingdoms were strengthened, the Visigoths
subdued Galicia 585 and the south coast in the 620s and then
ruled the entire peninsula except the Basque Country. At
major national church meetings in Toletum (Toledo), the king
and church decided on legislation; among other things, an
extensive persecution of Jews began. The end of the
Visigoths came 711 when the Arabs invaded from North Africa.
During the 710s, the Muslims became gentlemen across the
From 756, Muslim Spain, called al-Andalus, was
its own emirate (from 929 caliphate) during the Umayyad
dynasty, with Córdoba as its center. Most newcomers were
Berber, with whom the ruling Arabs often came into conflict.
The Christians, so-called mozarabas, and the Jews were not
persecuted until the middle of the 12th century. Agriculture
was improved through irrigation; Sheep management and horse
breeding were developed, as well as a luxury craft (leather,
silk). From the 9th century, Arabic poetry flourished.
Against this great power stood a few Christian little
kingdoms in the far north, founded by local noble families:
Asturias around 718, Pamplona (later called Navarra) in the
820s, and various counties (including Castile and Aragon).
Northern Catalonia ("Spanish Land") was conquered by the
Frankish Carolingians in the early 800s.
At the end of the 9th century, these Christian minorities
suffered heavily from Muslim campaigns during al-Mansur, but
at the beginning of the 11th century al-Andalus was divided
by civil war. Several Christian territories were temporarily
united under Sancho III Garcés of Pamplona, but upon his
death in 1035 this empire also collapsed. The Muslim petty
kingdoms, so called the Taifrik, were now exposed to the
expansion of the various Christian kings during the
so-called reconquista ('the conquest').
High and late Middle Ages
In the 11th century great successes were achieved in
reconquistan, but in 1086 the Christians were defeated by
the strictly Muslim Almoravids from North Africa, who united
al-Andalus. A Muslim split time led to renewed Christian
expansion in the middle of the 12th century, which was
halted by a new North African dynasty, the Almohads. After
it was defeated at the Navas de Tolosa in 1212 came a great
conquest phase, which in the middle of the century had
incorporated the entire peninsula except the kingdom of
Granada into Christianity; Granada was first conquered in
At the same time, however, the Christian kingdoms were at
war with each other, and alliances across religious
boundaries were common. The leading Christian rulers were
the king of Castile in the west and the Count of Barcelona
in the east; both came to dominate even the kingdoms other
than their own. From 1137, the Barcelona dynasty ruled over
Aragon. However, such personnel unions did not lead to
political assimilation, but the sub-states retained their
own institutions. These included the parliaments (cortes)
which gradually developed. In the 13th century, Catalonia
became a leading naval power with merchant colonies from
Alexandria to Bruges, and its rulers embarked on an
expansion that gave them control of Sicily (1282) and
Castile developed an export-oriented sheep management
during the late Middle Ages, which provided large incomes to
the high proportion that established itself in the newly
conquered areas. This led to Castile having a better economy
at the end of the Middle Ages than Aragon-Catalonia, whose
shipping was competed out of Genoa. Both the Castilian and
the Aragonese kings were forced to confer great privileges
on the nobility, and in Castile, conflicts between nobles
and strong kings led to civil war. The Muslims, called
Moors, were often allowed to stay, especially in the Kingdom
of Valencia (under the Aragonese crown). However, hostility
to Jews and so-called conversos (members of former Jewish
families who became Christians) increased during the late
Middle Ages. Several conversos held high positions in church
and state in the 15th century, which is why the royal power
was also threatened by this anti-Semitism.
The Great Power (1479–1714)
In 1479, the Aragonese and Castilian crowns were united
through a marriage alliance. Ferdinand II of Aragon and
Isabella I of Castile, the so-called "Catholic kings", built
up one of Europe's strongest states, where Castile came to
play a dominant role. A royal bureaucratic administration
was created, and the nobility lost much of its political
power (but retained its economic dominance). The church was
also organized under the state, and the Inquisition became
an important royal means of power. The regime received
popular support because of its persecution of Jews, who were
expelled in 1492, and Moors, who were forcibly baptized and
became so-called Moorish men. In 1492 Granada, 1504 Naples
and 1512 conquered most of Navarre.
The European superpower position was consolidated through
marriage alliances, which in 1516 made the Habsburg
successor, the later (from 1519), Holy Roman Emperor Charles
V to the Spanish king under the name of Charles I. Since the
so-called revolt of the comuneros 1520-22 turned down was
the Castilian nobility loyal to the new dynasty. During
Charles I, the Castilian colonial empire was created in
Mexico and Peru, and Spanish priests spread Christianity in
the New World. Seville became one of the world's most
important trading cities, where large silver cargoes arrived
from the 1540s. However, income was wasted on war and luxury
consumption and led to inflation. The Castilian nobles were
uninterested in commerce and industry, which is why the
country's business despite the colonial rule did not
During Karl I and his son Philip II (1556–98), the
Spanish monarchy was Europe's leading power. Italy and the
Netherlands were controlled from Madrid, and Castilian
officials and soldiers scattered throughout Europe. Philip
II intervened in the French Huguenot Wars, defeating the
Turks at Lepanto in 1571 and conquering Portugal in 1580;
compare map of Europe 1648 by Europe (History). However, the
king also had hardships, such as the revolt against the
Castilian empire in the Netherlands in 1568 and the great
armadance defeat against England in 1588. The great war
expenditure led to increased taxes in Castile and repeated
state bankruptcies. Culturally, too, the Spanish empires
assumed a leadership position: monks and mystics renewed
Catholicism, and literature and art flourished with names
such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, El Greco and
In the 1600s, the Spanish superpower was lost through
failed wars against the Netherlands and France, and the
Pyrenees peace in 1659 confirmed that the Spanish monarchy
was no longer a dominant power. Many suburbs revolted
against Castilian oppression, for example, Catalonia 1640–52
and Southern Italy 1647–48. Portugal broke away in 1640.
Moriskerna had been expelled in 1609, which had negative
consequences for agriculture, and despite energetic attempts
at reform during the first minister grev-Duke of Olivares
1621-43 remained the most Spanish delrikena economically
During Charles II (1665–1700), epidemics and mistreatment
led to the decline of the people, and when Karl bequeathed
the Spanish kingdoms to a member of the French royal family
Bourbon, Louis XIV 's grandson Philip of Anjou (later Philip
V), enemies of France (mainly Austria, the Netherlands and
England) with war; see Spanish War of Succession (1701–14).
Within the Spanish monarchy, this international conflict had
the onset of civil war, when the suburbs of Aragon, Valencia
and Catalonia, who feared French centralism, recognized the
Austrian Archduke Karl as Spanish king (Charles " III ").
Therefore, the domestic political impact of Philip V's
victory on the Spanish war scene was that the autonomous
territories of these parts were abolished and that Spain
(except with regard to the Basque regions) was transformed
into a heavily centralized state. The peace in Utrecht in
1713 deprived the Spanish monarchy of the remainder of its
European possessions off the Pyrenees peninsula as well as
the Gibraltar and Menorca departed to Britain.
Spain under Bourbon and Bonaparte (1714-1814)
Two central goals of the Spanish bourbon during the 18th
century were to recapture what was lost in Utrecht and to
promote the country's development in the spirit of
enlightened despotism. Regarding the first objective, some
limited success was achieved thanks to the alliance policy
with France (see the Bourbon family treaty). Spain regained,
among others, Menorca and some influence in Italy. Economic
development was in turn promoted by an ambitious reform
effort, which reached its peak during Karl III (1759–88).
His capable ministers modernized the tax system, supported
agriculture, stimulated trade and industry, set up schools
and invested heavily in higher education. The last came to
include a fierce battle against the Jesuits, who were
expelled in 1767.
Spain was drawn into the Revolutionary War in 1793, first
against France but from 1796 as the ally of this power. The
French-Spanish alliance suffered a great loss when its fleet
was defeated by Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805. The country
finally came to be de facto occupied by Napoleon I, who
needed it to have the continental system effectively
implemented. In 1808, Napoleon forced Charles IV and his son
Ferdinand to resign the crown and let his brother Joseph
Bonaparte ascend the faith of Spain. The news of Napoleon's
maneuvers triggered a public uprising in Madrid, which
became the beginning of the Spanish War of Independence
(1808–14). The battle against the French was conducted with
guerrilla warfare and with British support. In the conflict
there were many elements of clerical fanaticism, but it was
also during its course that the representatives of the
burgeoning middle class, gathered in a popular parliament,
cortes, in Cadiz wrote the Spanish Manifesto
"Manifesto": 1812 Constitution, which had the French
constitution of 1791 as a role model.
From Restoration to Republic (1814–74)
Ferdinand VII 's reign began a period marked by fighting
between liberals and absolutists. This was also when the
military interventions (pronunciamientos)
characteristic of Spain's modern history became commonplace.
A military rebellion in 1820 forced the reactionary
Ferdinand to take oaths of the 1812 Constitution, which he
had suspended upon his entry into power. However, he was
able to restore the monarchy as early as 1823 after a French
military intervention. Florida was sold to the United States
in 1819, and in 1824 the liberation process of the
Spanish-American colonies was completed, which had started
during the French occupation. The Spanish empire in America
now confined itself to Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The conflict between liberals and supporters of
absolutism was settled after Ferdinand's death in 1833
through a civil war, which on the surface involved a
dynastic dispute. The absolutists grouped around Ferdinand's
brother Don Carlos, who regarded himself as the legitimate
follower of the throne and did not acknowledge the change in
the succession that Ferdinand had made in 1830 to secure the
throne for his minor daughter Isabella. The Liberals, for
their part, took the widow of Queen Mary Christina and
Isabella's party. The Civil War, the first of the three
so-called Carlist wars, lasted seven years and ended with
the Liberals' victory (see further Carlists). During the
war, the Inquisition was definitely abolished, at the same
time that the church's land was withdrawn and sold, not
least as a means of sanitizing the troubled state finances.
After the liberal breakthrough, a new pattern of conflict
was formed: the liberals cleaved in a conservative and a
radical direction, moderado's and progresistas,
both led by military. After the fall of the war hero
Baldomero Espartero in 1843, just before Isabella II was
declared an official, power came to be mostly held by
moderados, whose strong man was General Ramón Narváez
(1800-68). In 1851, he entered into a significant
concordance with the Pope, which restored the Church's share
of its former influence to accepting the loss of the sold
church property. A modest economic expansion, largely
financed by foreign loans, took off in the 1850s
(agriculture, roads, railways, banking, etc.). The beginning
of industrialization coincided with a deterioration in the
conditions of the agricultural population after a sale of
the village population in 1855. Social unrest in the cities
and in the countryside, the increasingly reactionary
monarchy policy and a sudden deterioration of the
international economy led to Isabella being overthrown and
forced to leave the country.
In 1869, a constitutional constitution was adopted with,
among other things, universal suffrage for men, religious,
press and association freedom. Amadeus I was elected new
king in 1870 by the Savoy house. However, he abdicated as
early as 1873 because of the impossibility of forming stable
governments, the general unrest with, among other things, a
new carlist rebellion and the first Cuban war that was
ongoing since 1868. This political vacuum was filled with a
short-lived republic (1873-74), during which the political
situation was further aggravated by a revolt initiated by
Republican extremists, so-called cantonalists.
The Restoration (1874–1931)
After a couple of military coups in 1874, Isabella's son
Alfons XII was proclaimed king. The Carlisters were
definitely oppressed in 1876, and peace after the Cuban
uprising could end in 1878 with the Cuban rebels. The
political stability achieved was secured by the Constitution
of 1876, which aimed to bridge the constitutional conflicts
between moderados and progressives, soon renamed
conservatives and liberals. The foreground of the
Restoration was the conservative Antonio Cánovas del
Castillo. Internal peace and favorable economic conditions
had a positive impact on business, which developed rapidly
from the 1880s. Characteristic of the industrialization that
then broke through in Spain, however, was that it
essentially took place on the country's periphery - in
Catalonia (textiles and wine) and in the iron-rich Basque
province of Vizcaya.
After the death of Alfon XII in 1885 and during the reign
of Alfon XIII until 1902, the government was led by widow
queen Maria Christina. The Conservative and Liberal parties
agreed in 1885 to regularly release each other in power
under an artificial system (turno pacífico), which
led to electoral fraud and corruption, especially after the
introduction of universal male suffrage in 1890. In addition
to official political life, during the 1880s and 1890s, the
labor movement, which was dominated by anarchists, and
regionalism, developed. The latter was born in Catalonia,
where the cultural and linguistic character was still alive.
Here was a dissatisfaction with the free trade policy
(1869–91) and the little influence that the Catalan
bourgeoisie had in national politics. The demand for Catalan
self-government was raised by radical politicians and
intellectuals and eventually by industrialists and
bourgeoisie. Regionalism brought a cultural boom that was
unparalleled in the rest of Spain.
At the beginning of the 1890s, the political situation
became again troubled, including with political
assassinations. The loss of the colonies of Cuba, Puerto
Rico, Guam and the Philippines after the Spanish-American
War of 1898 led to a serious political and moral crisis.
During the second period of the Restoration, 1898–1923, a
new generation of conservatives, including Antonio Maura y
Montaner (1853–1925), and liberal politicians, including
José Canalejas y Méndez, sought to address criticism of the
monarchical regime of reforms, including the regulation of
child labor, strike right and a limited autonomy for
Catalonia. However, these reforms had limited impact and, in
addition, resulted in the two monarchical parties being
divided and weakened.
After 1898, Spain sought to compensate for its colonial
losses by consolidating and expanding its empire in Morocco.
In 1904 a French-Spanish treaty was signed, which made parts
of Morocco a Spanish sphere of interest (from the 1912
Protectorate of Spanish Morocco). Spain observed neutrality
in the First World War and experienced temporary economic
The political climate deteriorated again in 1917. The
strongest center of concern was Barcelona, where social and
regional contradictions increased. A military hardship in
Morocco in 1921 finally propelled the military with General
Miguel Primo de Rivera to co-operate with Alfons XIII to
seize power and establish a dictatorship in 1923. Primo de
Rivera initially enjoyed some popularity, he definitely
incited a rebellion in Morocco in 1925, improved government
finances and realized an ambitious program of public works.
However, he was less successful in his attempts to
institutionalize his regime and provide it with a strong
political base. Finally, when the army even withdrew his
support, Alfon dismissed XIIIin 1930 in the hope of being
able to save the monarchy. But by this time the king's
reputation was already badly damaged. The opposition of
liberal monarchists, republicans, socialists and Catalan
left-wing nationalists formed an alliance, and after an
overwhelming republican victory in the 1931 municipal
elections (in the major cities), Alfons XIII embarked on a
national flight, and a republic could be proclaimed.
The Second Republic and the Civil War (1931–39)
A left-wing constituent assembly adopted in 1931 a
democratic but also anti-clerical constitution. Niceto
Alcalá Zamora was elected President of the Republic; the
head of government became the radical bourgeois politician
Manuel Azaña. In a situation characterized by economic
stagnation and mass unemployment, the government sought to
implement far-reaching social, agricultural and educational
reforms. In addition, Catalonia was granted extensive
autonomy. However, the reaction to the reform policy did not
wait, and the election to cortes in 1933 was won by the
center and right parties. A revolutionary rise in Catalonia
and Asturias in 1934 was brutally defeated.
In the February 1936 elections, the leftist forces
prevailed, grouped into a so-called people front. Reform
work was resumed, but now the large masses of workers and
peasants were focused on revolution and conservative Spain
on preventive extra-parliamentary countermeasures. A
semi-successful military uprising in July 1936 became the
starting point for the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). In many
of the areas where the uprising was cut off, power passed to
the anarchists. Only in 1937 was the central government in
the Republican zone able to restore its authority. However,
this was done with the support of the Communists, who grew
strong as a consequence of the military assistance received
by the Republic from the Soviet Union.
The so-called nationalist side managed to secure its
cohesion better than the Republicans with Francisco Franco
as both head of state and government and commander-in-chief
from October 1936. In April 1937, Franco managed to unite
the various fascist and conservative forces in a single
party, Falangen, under his leadership. The nationalist
side's stronger cohesion and the massive military support it
received from Hitler and Mussolini were crucial to Franco's
Franco dictatorship (1939–75)
After Franco's takeover of Spain, Spain was ruled by a
dictatorial regime with fascist traits. Despite sympathy for
the Axis powers, the country did not participate in World
War II. When the war turned to the advantage of the Allies,
Franco began to provide his regime with a constitutional
framework; among other things, cortes were revived, but only
as an advisory congregation.
After the peace settlement, however, Spain was subjected
to a worldwide blockade. However, the Cold War enabled
Franco to gradually break the country's isolation. Through
an agreement with the United States in 1953, Spain received
significant military and financial assistance. In 1955 Spain
joined the UN and in 1959 the OEEC (later OECD). Business
began to develop after 1957 when Franco deprived the
phalangists, who were supporters of autarchy and tough
government, all influence over economic policy and gave it
to a new generation of "technocrats", many of them members
of the Catholic lay organization Opus Dei.
In the 1960s, Spain experienced an economic downturn (the
tourist boom). The economic success initially strengthened
the regime, but eventually economic and social modernization
became more and more difficult with Francostat's
authoritarian and clerical nature. By the end of the decade,
the opposition to Franco was already strong enough to make
him relapse to old methods of repression (state of emergency
and more). From that time, the regime also began to be
abandoned by its own: the church, a significant part of the
business community, and numerous politicians and high
bureaucrats. In 1969, Prince Juan Carlos of Bourbon (Alfons
XIII 's grandson) was named Franco's successor. With a view
to securing the regime's survival after his death, Franco
appointed Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco in 1973 to the head of
government. However, the plans were crossed by the Basque
separatist organization ETA, which murdered the Admiral that
Spain since 1975
After Franco's death in 1975, Juan Carlos I became king.
In the summer of 1976, the head of government Carlos Àrias
Navarro (1908–89) had to resign for Adolfo Suárez. He
immediately took on the task of returning Spain to
democracy. In November 1976, Cortes enacted a law that
abolished the most important institutions of the Franco
regime and announced general elections. Suárez complied with
the Democratic opposition's demand for political freedom and
amnesty, which eventually agreed to take part in the
elections. The new cortes adopted in November 1978 a
democratic and decentralized constitution.
In the 1979 election, Suárez became the Democratic Center
Union, the UCD, the largest party, followed by the Socialist
Party, the PSOE. In the same year, Catalonia and the Basque
country were granted self-government, and a tax reform
crucial to democracy consolidation was implemented. Suárez
resigned in January 1981 both as head of government and
party leader. A coup d'état in February 1981 could be
stopped after King Juan Carlos's determined intervention.
The successor to the head of government was Leopoldo
Calvo-Sotelo (1926–2008). Spain then joined NATO.
The October 1982 election was won by the PSOE, which got
the absolute majority in cortes. UCD was almost completely
wiped out, while the conservative Alianza Popular (later
Partido Popular) became the largest opposition party. The
Socialist government under Felipe González worked to realize
the promised Cambio (the "change") with a moderate
reform program that included the modernization of the army.
In 1986 Spain joined the EC. Despite continuing terrorist
attacks from mainly ETA, growing trade union dissatisfaction
with economic policy and high unemployment, and (after 1990)
a number of notable corruption cases, González was
re-elected in 1986, 1989 and 1993.
However, during its last term, the Socialist government
was dependent on the support of the Catalan nationalists.
The 1996 election was won by the conservative Partido
Popular (PP), who, contrary to expectations, did not get his
own majority in parliament. Therefore, its pragmatic party
leader José María Aznar must seek Catalan CiU leader Jordi
Pujolssupport. The Aznar government benefited from the
favorable international economic climate. In 1997, the
Financial Times published a report on the Spanish economy
entitled "Spain is doing well". The phrase was immediately
adopted by Aznar as the government's motto. The high level
of unemployment, which until now has been the biggest
problem in democratic Spain, alongside terrorism, began to
decline noticeably for the first time. Aznar won a major
triumph when Spain was accepted as a member of EMU in 1998.
A few days before the 2004 elections, a major terrorist
attack on Madrid's subway occurred, which killed 191 people.
The incumbent government accused the Basque separatists and
ETA of the deed, although it was clear early on that an
Islamist group was behind the deed. This misjudgment
combined with a popular dissatisfaction with Spain's support
for the US-led "war on terror" resulted in an unexpected
election loss for Aznar and the PP. Socialists regained
power after eight years in opposition and PSOE's new leader
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero became prime minister in a
The PSOE was able to form a government even after the
2008 election, but the parliamentary situation was unstable
when the government's backing parties had left. The economic
situation worsened in the years after 2008, when Spain, like
several Other Countries in Europe, was drawn into a
government financial crisis that led, among other things, to
deepening government debt, imploding real estate markets and
rampant unemployment. The package of measures presented by
the Zapatero government met with great resistance and
resulted in protest demonstrations and strikes. Ahead of the
November 2011 election, the opinion situation was bleak for
the PSOE, which also lost big, at the same time as the PP
made a record choice and gained its own majority in
Congress. The new Prime Minister was appointed PP's party
leader Mariano Rajoy; he managed to remain in place despite
widespread political turbulence in 2015-17 but was forced to
resign in June 2018 following a vote of no confidence
triggered by several corruption scandals.
New Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE), who formed a
weak minority government that lost a budget vote in Congress
in February 2019, prompted Sánchez to announce new elections
for April. PSOE went ahead while PP made a historically poor
choice. Pedro Sánchez failed to form government, announcing
another new election until November. The election became the
fourth to be held within four years. The PSOE retained its
position as the largest party, but since none of the parties
received enough votes to form a government on their own, the
PSOE needed to invite Unidas Podemos to a joint government
to take government power. The coalition government was sworn
in in January 2020.
On June 26, 2014, Felipe VI was sworn in as a new king
after Juan Carlos I abdicated.
Spain was hit by three terrorist acts on July 17, 2017.
At least 13 people were killed when a van mowed down
pedestrians in Barcelona. An explosion in a building in
Alcanar, 20 miles from Barcelona, a few hours earlier, where
at least one person was killed, was also linked to the
attack. Eight hours after the deed, a car was walking on the
boardwalk in Cambrils, 12 miles southwest of Barcelona. Five
terrorists were shot dead in connection with the act. A
total of at least 19 people were killed and over 130 were
injured in the three attacks.
|about 500,000 BC
||Homo erectus in Spain.
|about 250,000 - about 40,000 BC
||Locations belonging to the Moustérien culture
along the Mediterranean coast demonstrate the
Neanderthal's presence in Spain.
|about 40,000 - about 5500 BC
||Modern man is performing in Spain. Painted cave
settlements, including Altamira in the north.
|about 4000 BC
||The megalithic tomb-building almeria culture in
the south introduces the use of copper.
|about 2000 BC
||The metal-using El Argar culture is
characterized by of heavily fortified elevation
||The Iron Age is entering. In the north, a Celtic
influence is asserted, while Phoenician, later also
Greek, colonies are built along the coasts.
||The Roman Empire becomes the sole foreign
interest in Spain. The indigenous population is
||The Roman area of interest is divided into the
provinces of Hispania citerior and
||The Celtiberian fortress Numantia falls, and
Spain is gradually incorporated fully into the Roman
||The Pyrenees peninsula is invaded by gliders,
alans and vandals.
||The Visigoths become masters of the peninsula.
||The Visigothic Empire is being suppressed by
||Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) becomes an
emirate during the Umayyad dynasty.
||The Christian kingdoms initiate a
reconquista of al-Andalus.
||The Almoravids from North Africa halt the
||The Province of Barcelona (Catalonia) and the
Kingdom of Aragon are united in a staff union (the "Aragonese
||The victory at Navas de Tolosa begins a major
Christian phase of expansion: in the middle of the
13th century the entire peninsula except the kingdom
of Granada was recaptured.
||The Castilian and Aragonese crowns are united in
human union; however, outwardly united Spain remains
divided into separate kingdoms.
||Granada is conquered by the Muslims, the Jews
are expelled from the country and Christofer
Columbus, in Spanish, reaches America.
||Karl I reigns as the first king of the Habsburg
House. The Spanish monarchy becomes the leading
superpower in Europe, and in America the Aztecs and
Inca peoples are conquered. Great riches in silver
are brought from America to Spain from the 1540s.
||The Turks are defeated at Lepanto.
||Portugal is occupied.
||The attempt to invade England with the help of
the "big armada" fails.
||Severe political crisis with rebellion
(Catalonia, southern Italy, Portugal) and military
||Pyrenees peace: Spain loses its superpower to
||The Spanish War of Succession leads to land
resignations in Europe. Spain becomes a heavily
||Period of reform under the reign of Karl III.
||Spain is drawn into the Revolutionary War.
||France occupies Spain and is fought with
guerrilla warfare. The Spanish-American colonies
begin to liberate themselves.
||Civil War: First and Second Carlist Wars.
||The reactionary monarchy under Isabella II is
overthrown; a constitutional constitution is
||The Third Carlist War.
||The First Republic is followed by the Bourbon
||The Spanish-American war leads to the loss of
Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
||Spain is neutral during the First World War.
||Dictatorship under Miguel Primo de Rivera.
||Electoral victory for the Republican left, the
Second Republic is proclaimed, democratic and
decentralized constitution is adopted and extensive
reform work is initiated.
||Election victory for the people front. With a
military revolt the Spanish civil war begins.
||The Nationalist side wins the civil war and the
Franco dictatorship is established.
||Despite sympathy for the Axis powers, Spain is
neutral during World War II.
||Spain enters into military and economic
cooperation with the United States.
||Spain joins the UN.
||Economic success for Spain.
||Franco dies. Juan Carlos I becomes king.
||Democracy is reintroduced.
||The Basque Country and Catalonia are granted
||Spain joins NATO.
||The Socialist Party gains government power
||Spain becomes a member of the EC.
||The Socialist government led by Felipe González
is replaced after the election of a right-wing
coalition led by Partido Populars José María Aznar.
||The currency peseta is replaced by the euro.
||Terrorist attack on Madrid's subway where 191
people are killed.
||The Social Democratic Party is back in office
led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
||Partido Popular wins the election and Mariano
Rajoy becomes Prime Minister.
||The Basque separatist movement ETA announces
that it is putting down its weapons for good.
||King Juan Carlos I abdicates in favor of his son
Felipe who is sworn in as a new king with the title
||Three acts of terror against, among others, the
pedestrian street La Rambla in Barcelona where at
least 19 people and over 130 are injured.