The Kingdom of Spain is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy ruled by the Italian King Carlos I of Spain and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and a member state of the European Union, United Nations, NATO, OECD and WTO. Metropolitan Spain takes about roughly 80% of the Iberian peninsula stretching out of Southwest Europe into the Atlantic Ocean, sharing it with Portugal by the west and northwest, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar by the south, Andorra and France to the northeast and has 17 autonomous communities. Overseas territories include the Balearic Islands near Spain's east coast in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands 100 kilometres (62 miles) of the west coast of Morocco and Western Sahara in Africa on the Atlantic Ocean, and two cities, Ceuta (by Gibraltar) and Melilla bordering Morocco. Nowadays, Catalonia and Basque County, are having pro-independence movements.
About 1.2 years ago, hominids arrived to the Iberian peninsula and modern humans in about 35,000 years ago. Three Indo-European groups, the Iberians in the northeast and southeast, the Celts in the north, centre, northwest and southwest, and the Basques in the Pyrenees mountain range at the border of modern-day Spain and France. Ancient Greeks and Phoenicians were establishing colonies and Carthage, mainly based on the North African Coast, conquered a good portion of the peninsula until taken by the Romans as Hispania on the defeat of the Punic Wars. As a result, Celtic and Iberian culture blended with Roman culture and were a major export of gold, wool, olive oil and wine. Many Roman emperors were born in Hispania, and Christianity was introduced in the area on 1 AD and became popular in cities the next century.
In the early 5th century, Germanic people invaded Hispania and established kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula: from 409 to 585 the Kingdom of Suebi on Galicia and Portugal, from 418 to 720 the Visigothic Kingdom on most of the Iberian peninsula, Andorra and southwestern France (including Monaco) and the Vandals, who settled in most part of Andalusia. Temporarily from 552 to 624 in an effort for Justinian to recreate the old Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire conquered the Mediterranean Coast of Eastern Iberia. Later on in 661, the Umayyad Caliphate, in threat of the Abbasid Caliphate that conquered the Islamic Empire, fled to Iberia and established the Emirate of Córdoba from 756 to 929, taking in most portion if Iberia parts of Morocco, with the Kingdom of Asturias from 718 to 924 by a Visigothic nobleman the northwest coast of Iberia, covering Galicia and Portugal and the Kingdom of Navarre from 824 to 1620, when it was merged to the Kingdom of France. When Christian princes move Asturias' capital from Oviedo to Leon, the Kingdom of Leon was established in 924 and the Kingdom of Castile in 1037. Then, in 1230, the Crown of Castile is established with the unification of Leon and Old Castile and the Reconquista of Al-Andalusia follows until the small kingdom of Granada in 1238, which is later merged into Castile in 1492. Kingdom of Aragon, which was a merge of the Kingdom of Barcelona from 801 to 1162 and the Kingdom Aragon formed on 1035.
Castile was the first nation to discover the New World, conquering Mexico (southwestern USA and Florida included) the West Indies, western and Southern South America, and the Philippines. Finally in 1715, Castile and Aragon merge to make the New Kingdom of Spain under Philip V under the Nueva Planta decrees during the Enlightenment period of Spain, and made major political reforms. Under his rule, economy had increased from depression of the 16th century. The Age of Enlightenment reached Spain in 1750. Later during the Peninsular War in 1808, King Ferdinand VII was replaced by Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte, but Ferdinand returned to power in 1814. Later on in 1868, liberals wanted to coup Queen Isabella II and later King Amadeo I of Spain, establishing the First Spanish Republic from 1873 to 1874 when Alfonso XII and XIII rule as a constitutional monarchy. Another republic arose in 1931, but because of the Republican's failure in the Spanish Civil War in 1939, Spain was under an authoritarian dictator Francisco Franco. After his death in 1975, Italian Juan Carlos I, king until this day rules Spain and was separated into 17 autonomous communities.
I made this!Oxfordshire 1972 08:11, December 24, 2011 (UTC)