When writing a research paper on Spain, more than likely you will want to focus on the geography and people of Spain. With a population of more than 40 million, Spain is one of the financial and cultural centers of Western Europe. However, it took thousands of years for Spain to reach its current status. And while Spain has a rich history, it is one that is steeply shaped by Spain's geography. Have Paper Masters custom write you a research paper on Spain or use the ideas below to get you started with your own term paper or essay on Spain.
Early Tribes of Spain
Because Spain was situated on the Iberian Peninsula, which is at the crossroads between Africa and Europe, Spain in its earliest history saw numerous influxes of tribes from both regions:
- At first the Iberians came from what is today Libya mainly because of the rich metal resources and agricultural opportunities afforded by Spain.
- The Celts came from Northern Europe to form a common tribe called the Celtiberians.
- Shortly afterward, the Phoenicians saw the vast mining wealth in Spain and invaded to capture this wealth and set up ports along the coast of Spain from which they could ship the metals they mined.
- The Greeks also attempted to colonize Spain and were met by resistance from the Phoenicians.
- The Romans, which had conquered the Greek civilization by this point, raised a border dispute with all people that opposed Rome or Greece and thus drove the Phoenicians out of Spain and established Roman cities there.
The Romans brought Christianity to Spain at this point. Because Rome's empire was too large, they had difficulty maintaining control over Spain and Germanic tribes gained control over parts of Spain.
In the 8th century, the Arab people invaded most of Spain displacing the Roman and Germanic populations that had existed in Spain. This Muslim people came in search of the agricultural opportunities in Spain. The Christians remained in northern Spain where they were able to build fortresses in the mountains and resist the Muslims. Christian churches and cities were built to protect key mountain passes or to act as fortresses either in the mountains or behind rivers that acted as protective moats. From these mountain fortresses, the Christians eventually reconquered Spain from the Muslims. Following the reconquest, Spain consisted of two tribes, Castilla and Aragon, that were eventually united by marriage. This marked the beginning of Spain's Golden Age.
The Aggression of Spain
During this period, Spain took advantage of its many open harbors to the Mediterranean and built a vast armada that allowed Spain to control the seas and establish itself as one of the foremost world powers. It is during this time that Spain captured tremendous amounts of gold from North and South America and Spain began colonizing these areas of the world. As a result, Spain began incorporating some of these cultures into its own culture. However, in 1588, the Spanish Armada was defeated and Spain began to lose its status as a world power. Nevertheless, Spain continued to explore North and South America and managed to retain its power until Napoleon invaded Spain in the early 19th century. This ended Spain's role as a dominant world power and only England's defeat of Napoleon was able to free Spain from the French. Near the end of the 19th century, the United States defeated Spain and essentially drove Spain from North America, including key islands such as Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The first half of the 20th century saw Spain involved in civil war and uprising in which various groups seized control of the country. Spain then existed as a dictatorship, which damaged the country economically, until the mid-1970s. Since that time, Spain has elected its leaders and has joined the European Union to create an economic union with Europe, thus returning Spain to its early roots where it had shared interests with the rest of Europe. Thus, Spain's history has come full circle from an extension of European and African tribes to an isolated world power to a return to a united part of Europe as it exists today.