Spain History

By | March 8, 2021

Spain is located in the southwestern part of Europe and has a total land area of 505,990 square kilometers. According to homosociety, it has a population of around 46 million people. The capital city is Madrid and the official language is Spanish. The currency is the Euro (EUR). The main industries in Spain are tourism, automotive, banking and finance, telecommunications, energy production, chemicals and textiles. Education and health care are provided free to all citizens by the government. There is also a wide range of religions practiced in Spain including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and traditional Spanish beliefs.


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 characteristic.

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.

  • COUNTRYAAH.COM: Provides latest population data about Spain. Lists by Year from 1950 to 2020. Also includes major cities by population.

Spain Life Expectancy 2021

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 further Hispania.

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 peninsula.

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 1492.

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 Sardinia (1326).

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 develop.

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 Diego Velázquez.

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 undeveloped.

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 prosperity.

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 1939 victory.

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 year.

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 minority government.

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.

Historical overview

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 settlements.
700s BC The Iron Age is entering. In the north, a Celtic influence is asserted, while Phoenician, later also Greek, colonies are built along the coasts.
206 BC The Roman Empire becomes the sole foreign interest in Spain. The indigenous population is strongly opposed.
197 BC The Roman area of interest is divided into the provinces of Hispania citerior and Hispania ulterior.
133 BC The Celtiberian fortress Numantia falls, and Spain is gradually incorporated fully into the Roman Empire.
409 AD The Pyrenees peninsula is invaded by gliders, alans and vandals.
456 The Visigoths become masters of the peninsula.
711-721 The Visigothic Empire is being suppressed by Muslims.
756 Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) becomes an emirate during the Umayyad dynasty.
1000’s The Christian kingdoms initiate a reconquista of al-Andalus.
1086 The Almoravids from North Africa halt the reconquest.
1137 The Province of Barcelona (Catalonia) and the Kingdom of Aragon are united in a staff union (the “Aragonese Crown”).
1212 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.
1479 The Castilian and Aragonese crowns are united in human union; however, outwardly united Spain remains divided into separate kingdoms.
1492 Granada is conquered by the Muslims, the Jews are expelled from the country and Christofer Columbus, in Spanish, reaches America.
1516-56 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.
1571 The Turks are defeated at Lepanto.
1580-1640 Portugal is occupied.
1588 The attempt to invade England with the help of the “big armada” fails.
1640s Severe political crisis with rebellion (Catalonia, southern Italy, Portugal) and military hardships.
1659 Pyrenees peace: Spain loses its superpower to France.
1701-14 The Spanish War of Succession leads to land resignations in Europe. Spain becomes a heavily centralized state.
1759-88 Period of reform under the reign of Karl III.
1793 Spain is drawn into the Revolutionary War.
1808-14 France occupies Spain and is fought with guerrilla warfare. The Spanish-American colonies begin to liberate themselves.
1812 Liberal Constitution.
1833-49 Civil War: First and Second Carlist Wars.
1850 Industrialization begins.
1868-69 The reactionary monarchy under Isabella II is overthrown; a constitutional constitution is adopted.
1872-76 The Third Carlist War.
1873-74 The First Republic is followed by the Bourbon House restoration.
1898 The Spanish-American war leads to the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
1914-18 Spain is neutral during the First World War.
1923-30 Dictatorship under Miguel Primo de Rivera.
1931 Electoral victory for the Republican left, the Second Republic is proclaimed, democratic and decentralized constitution is adopted and extensive reform work is initiated.
1936 Election victory for the people front. With a military revolt the Spanish civil war begins.
1939 The Nationalist side wins the civil war and the Franco dictatorship is established.
1939-45 Despite sympathy for the Axis powers, Spain is neutral during World War II.
1953 Spain enters into military and economic cooperation with the United States.
1955 Spain joins the UN.
1960 Economic success for Spain.
1975 Franco dies. Juan Carlos I becomes king.
1976-78 Democracy is reintroduced.
1979 The Basque Country and Catalonia are granted autonomy.
1981 Spain joins NATO.
1982 The Socialist Party gains government power through elections.
1986 Spain becomes a member of the EC.
1996 The Socialist government led by Felipe González is replaced after the election of a right-wing coalition led by Partido Populars José María Aznar.
2002 The currency peseta is replaced by the euro.
2004 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.
2011 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.
2014 King Juan Carlos I abdicates in favor of his son Felipe who is sworn in as a new king with the title Felipe VI.
2017 Three acts of terror against, among others, the pedestrian street La Rambla in Barcelona where at least 19 people and over 130 are injured.