January 21, 2022

Spain, in long form the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: España and Reino de España respectively), is a transcontinental sovereign state in Southern Europe — and, depending on definitions, in Western Europe — which occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula. In 2019, it was the twenty-eighth most populous country in the world, with 47 million people. Spain is bordered to the northeast by the Pyrenees, which constitute a natural border with France and Andorra; to the east and southeast by the Mediterranean Sea, to the south-southwest by the British territory of Gibraltar and the strait of the same name, the latter separating the European continent from Africa. Portugal borders Spain to the west while the Atlantic Ocean borders the country to the west-northwest; finally the Bay of Biscay bathes the northern coast. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, bordering Morocco. With an area of ​​504,030 km2, Spain is the most extensive country in Western Europe and the European Union after France as well as the third in Europe behind Ukraine and France if the the European part (according to the definitions) of Russia is excluded. Due to its location, the Spanish territory has been subject to many external influences, often simultaneously, from prehistoric times to the birth of Spain as a country. Conversely, the country itself has been an important source of inspiration for other regions, mainly during the modern era, when it became a colonial empire that left a legacy of almost 500 million Spanish speakers in this day. Spain as a country was born from the dynastic union in the 15th century of two sovereign states, the Crowns of Castile and Aragon - themselves built throughout the Middle Ages by the union or the conquest of initially distinct political, cultural and linguistic entities, which are found in the multiple historical nationalities recognized by the current Constitution of the Spanish State — and the absorption in 1492 of the Kingdom of Granada and in 1512 of the Iberian part of the Kingdom of Navarre . This set becomes a unitary state in 1715-1716 by the dissolution of the two Crowns in application of the decrees of Nueva Planta. The Spanish Catholic monarchy, which then possessed an immense colonial empire, was, from the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century, a great political and economic power. In particular, it experienced significant cultural influence throughout Europe during the Spanish Golden Age (16th century-17th century). Spanish influence subsequently declined, particularly throughout the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century with the loss of its colonies, the rise of nationalisms and the multiplication of political, economic and social crises which culminated in the Civil War of 1936 to 1939 followed by a long period of Francoist, conservative, militarist and National Catholic dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. Following the democratic transition initiated by the death of Francisco Franco in 1975 and the cultural movement that accompanied it, the Movida, Spain became a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democratic regime. It is a developed country with the fourteenth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP (sixteenth at purchasing power parity), and a "very high" standard of living (23rd in the HDI ranking in 2012). It is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Latin Union, NATO, OECD and WTO. In 2013, 21.6% of the Spanish population lived in poverty.


Iberians and Celtiberians in contact with civilizations

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