Spain

Article

November 28, 2021

Spain (in Spanish España), (in Spanish Reino de España; in Basque Espainiako Erresuma; in Catalan Regne d'Espanya), is a sovereign state, member of the European Union since 1986. Parliamentary monarchy, Spain is located in the western extremity of Europe and occupies almost the entire Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of ​​505514 km² and as of 2020 it has 47431256 inhabitants. It borders to the north-east with France (from which it is separated by the Pyrenees range) and Andorra, to the south with the British possession of Gibraltar, to the west with Portugal and, through its exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, with Morocco. It is also bathed in the north by the Atlantic Ocean and in the south by the Mediterranean Sea. In the international context, Spain has territorial disputes with Portugal (border municipality of Olivere and Selvagge Islands between Madeira and the Canary Islands), with the United Kingdom (for Gibraltar), and with Morocco (for Ceuta and Melilla). Finally, the exclave of Llívia belongs to Spain, as well as the island of the Pheasants in the Bidasoa river (in the same area as France). The capital of the country is Madrid, which has held this function continuously since 1561, except for a five-year period between 1601 and 1606. The official language of the state is Spanish; other languages ​​(eg Catalan, Basque) or dialects (eg Valencian), are, as the constitution states, "official within the respective autonomous communities in accordance with their statutes". In some important phases of European history, Spain played a significant role, such as in the period of the Reconquista, in which the Christian kingdoms of the internal regions of the Iberian Peninsula progressively pushed away from the territory the Arab occupiers who, having settled in Iberia since the eighth century, they were definitively removed in 1492, by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. From the beginning of the 16th to the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish monarchy was at the head of a vast colonial empire that spanned all five continents. Drastically reduced in size and population, this empire nevertheless managed to survive until the end of the nineteenth century (Spanish-American war) and beyond. Between 1808 and 1812 the victorious rebellion of the Spanish people against Joseph Bonaparte, who Napoleon had installed on the throne of Spain to effectively annex the Iberian Peninsula, laid the foundations for the slow rebirth and modernization of Spain, however interrupted. for forty years following the civil war of 1936 against the Spanish republican government led by coup forces supported by the Vatican and the Nazi-fascist governments of Italy and Germany; between 1936 and 1975 Spain experienced the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and only after the latter's death did the country return to democracy with the return to a parliamentary system and the establishment to the throne of the sovereign Juan Carlos of Bourbon; the country's democratization process was consolidated with the entry of Spain into the European economic community in 1986 and, subsequently, into the European Union. In 2021, the ruler of the country is Philip VI, of the Bourbon-Spain dynasty, who took over in 2014 from his father Juan Carlos, who abdicated his functions after 38 years of reign. The prime minister is also the socialist Pedro Sánchez, head of the government since 2018.

Etymology

The name of España derives from the Latin Hispania, a term used by the Romans since the 3rd century BC. to indicate the entire Iberian Peninsula and all the provinces, which they have constituted, which will subsequently conform it. This term gradually came to impose itself on the Greek one of Iberia, which passed to have (and still has) purely geographical connotations. However, since the word Hispania has no root that could be linked to ancient Latin or Indo-European, there has been much speculation on its possible origins, which have given rise to numerous hypotheses.

Phoenician hypothesis

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