Spain is a European country with deep historical roots. Its well-known identity and extraordinary twists have resulted from a beautiful collection of marvels, such as the revelation of the Americas and its impartial position during the two world wars.

Simultaneously, there is a solid balance between Spanish history and the historical backdrop of other European nations; even though it never denied its diversity, Spain emerged as the United States at an early stage and played an essential role in some of the most amazing scenes in current European history.

Flag of Spain

Spain is known throughout the world as the country of countries. The Iberian Peninsula was once united by a group whose ancestors were most likely the Basques. Around the middle of the first thousand years BC, Celtic clans crossed the Pyrenees and settled.

The legend of Spain is one of Europe’s best. It accepts the incredible battles of the Middle Ages between Muslims and Christians, one of the world’s greatest empires, and, in the twentieth century, civil war, autocracy, and a stunning return to democracy.

It is incredibly easy to connect with Spain’s entrancing past as you explore and travel around the country, thanks to its numerous well-protected landmarks, historical sites, and phenomenal museums. Master different Spanish dialects to travel around the country with ease. Knowing the dialects will help you understand the natives and Spanish culture.

Timeline of Spanish history

Spain’s major historical events included periods when the entire country was a majestic world power transforming Europe, Africa, and the Americas and periods when it was a hotbed of progressive enthusiasm that nearly brought it to its knees.

The first human inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula, where Spain is located, appeared at least 1.2 million years ago, and Spain has been continuously occupied since then. Spain has been shaped and changed by its various owners (Visigoths, Christians, Muslims, England, and France, among others), and it has been both a magnificent world power and a country helpless in the face of its attacking neighbors.

The following are significant and critical moments in Spain’s historical timeline that played a significant role in discovering the solid and powerful democracy that it is today.

(206 -218 BCE) Second Punic War in Spain

During the Second Punic War, Spain became a battleground between the Romans and the Carthaginians, with both sides aided by Spanish locals. After 211, the incredible general Scipio Africanus crusaded, driving Carthage out of Spain by 206 and ushering in hundreds of years of Roman rule. This period was based on the subsequent Punic conflict in Spain.

(241 BCE) Carthage starts to conquer Spain

After being defeated in the first Punic War, popular Carthaginians turned their attention to Spain. Carthage’s ruler, Hamilcar Barca (died 228 BCE), began a mission of victory and settlement in Spain, establishing Carthage’s capital in Spain at Cartagena in 241 BCE.

After Barca died, Carthage was led by Hamilcar’s son-in-law, Hasdrubal, and when Hasdrubal died seven years later, in 221, Hamilcar’s son Hannibal (183-247BCE) continued the war.

(409–470 CE) Germanic people defeated Spain

With Roman control of Spain in confusion due to war (which created a fleeting Emperor of Spain at one point), German crews, the Sueves, Vandals, and Alans attacked. These were followed by the Visigoths, who attacked first for the benefit of the head in 416 and soon after to repress the Sueves; they settled and smashed the last supreme areas during the 470s, leaving the entire area under their control.

After the Visigoths were driven out of Gaul in 507, Spain became home to a thriving Visigothic empire, but one with little dynastic progression. In 711 CE, a Muslim force led by Berbers and Arabs attacked Spain from North Africa, taking advantage of the Visigothic empire’s near collapse.

(961–976 CE) Peek of Umayyad’s power

Muslim Spain came under the control of the Umayyad administration, which shifted from Spain after losing power in Syria and governed as Amirs and then as Caliphs until their demise in 1031. From 961 to 976, Caliph al-Hakem was most likely the power of their potential, both strategically and socially. Cordoba was their capital. Following 1031, the Caliphate was replaced by various replacement states.

(900-1250) the era of Reconquista

Christian powers from the north of the Iberian Peninsula fought against Muslim powers from the south and center, eventually defeating the Muslim states by the mid-thirteenth century. After this, Granada stayed in Muslim hands, and the Reconquista at last ended when it came in 1492.

(1250–1479) Spain was influenced by Aragon and Castile

During the final period of the Reconquista, three massive empires drove Muslims almost entirely out of Iberia: Portugal, Aragon, and Castile. Even though Navarre in the north and Granada in the south clung to independence, the last pair currently ruled Spain.

Castile was the most powerful kingdom in Spain, while Aragon was a confederation of several regions. They frequently fought against Muslim attackers and witnessed massive interior clashes.

(1479–1516) Ferdinand and Isabella united Spain

Popular as Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile married in 1469; both came to power in 1479, Isabella following a war. Although their role in uniting Spain, they consolidated Navarre and Granada into their properties later, so in any case, they united the kingdoms of Aragon, Castile, and a few other areas under one ruler.

(1520–1521) The Revolt of the Comuneros

When Charles V ascended to the throne of Spain, he made a point of not delegating power to foreigners, setting tax requirements, and setting off abroad to protect his promotion to the kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire. The urban areas rose up against him, finding immediate success, but after the revolution spread to the entire state and the honorability was undermined, the last gathered to defeat the Comuneros.

(16th and 17th Centuries) The “Golden Age of Spain”

The 16th and mid-17th centuries have been portrayed as Spain’s wonderful age, a period of social harmony, incredible creative endeavor, and a position as a politically influential state at the heart of a world kingdom, a time when tremendous goods streamed in from America, and Spanish militaries were dubbed as powerful.

Spain set the course of European politics, and the state helped finance the European conflicts fought by Charles V and Philip II as Spain shaped a piece of their enormous Habsburg kingdom, but fortune from abroad caused expansion, and Castile continued to fail.

(1700–1714) War of the Spanish succession

When Charles II died, he left Spain to Duke Philip of Anjou, the grandson of French ruler Louis XIV. The Habsburgs, a group of old lords who wanted to keep Spain among their many possessions, acknowledged Philip, but he was not accepted. Settlements in 1713 and 1714 ended the war; however, some areas of Spain’s royal family were lost. At the same time, Philip moved to consolidate Spain into a single entity.

(1793–1808) Wars of the French Revolution

France, having executed their empire’s king in 1793, appropriated Spain’s response (which had assisted the now-dead ruler) by declaring war. A Spanish incursion quickly became a French attack, and the two countries declared peace. Following this, Spain allied with France against England, resulting in an on-and-off war. England cut Spain off from their kingdom and trade domains, severely affecting the Spanish economy.

(1808–1813) War against Napoleon

The Franco-Spanish powers took Portugal in 1807, but Spanish soldiers remained in Spain and increased in number. When the king resigned for his child Ferdinand and later changed his mind, the French monarch Napoleon was summoned to intercede; he simply gave the empire to his sibling Joseph, a critical error. Some regions of Spain rose up in rebellion against the French, resulting in a military conflict.

War in Spain

(1820) Riego Rebellion

A general named Riego, who was preparing to lead his army to America on the side of the Spanish provinces, revolted and established the 1812 constitution. Ferdinand had dismissed the constitution then, but after the general moved to suppress Riego and even revolted, Ferdinand declared that “liberals” had now consolidated to change the country. Regardless, there was organized resistance, including creating a “rule” for Ferdinand in Catalonia, and in 1823, French powers intervened to restore Ferdinand to full power. They won easily, and Riego was established.

(1833–1839) First Carlist War

When King Ferdinand died in 1833, his heir apparent was a three-year-old girl named Queen Isabella II. Don Carlos, the last king’s brother, contested both the progression and the “realistic approval” of 1830 that granted her the seat.

Civil war broke out between his forces, the Carlists, and those loyal to Queen Isabella II. The Carlists were powerful in the Basque region and Aragon, and their war soon turned into a fight against liberalism.

(1834–1868) The government formed by “Pronunciamientos”

Following the First Carlist War, Spanish politics was divided into two major factions: the Moderates and the Progressives. During this time, politicians requested that the commanders remove the current government and install them in power; the officers, Carlist war leaders, did so in a move known as Pronunciamientos.

(1868) The Renowned Revolution

Another Pronunciamientos occurred in September 1868, when commanders and government officials denied the kingdom during previous systems took control. Queen Isabella was deposed, and the September Coalition was formed as a temporary government. 1869, a new constitution was drafted, and a new king, Amadeo of Savoy, was installed as ruler.

(1873–1874) The First Republic and Restoration

Ruler Amadeo resigned in 1873, frustrated by his inability to form a balanced government, as the political parties within Spain contended. The First Republic was broadcast in his place, but concerned military officials organized another Pronunciamientos to save the country from anarchy, as they accepted. They restored Isabella II’s son, Alfonso XII, to the throne, and a new constitution was enacted.

(1898) The Spanish-American War

The rest of Spain’s American kingdom, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, were defeated in this war with the US, which was acting as a partner to Cuban separatists. The disaster became known simply as “The Disaster,” and it sparked debate within Spain about why they were losing an empire while other European countries were building theirs.

(1923-1930) Rivera Dictatorship

With the military set to be the focus of a government investigation into their failures in Morocco and the king perplexed by a succession of dividing governments, General Primo de Rivera organized an overthrow; the ruler recognized him as a dictator. Rivera was supported by well-known figures who feared a Bolshevik uprising.

Dictatorship in Spain

(1931) Formation of the Second Republic

With Rivera gone, military officials found it difficult to maintain power, and an uprising aimed at overthrowing the government occurred in 1931. Rather than face civil war, King Alfonso XII fled the country, and a temporary alliance government declared the second republic. The Republic, Spain’s first true democracy, implemented effective reforms such as women’s voting rights and the separation of church and state.

(1936–1939) The Spanish Civil War

General elections in 1936 revealed a politically and geographically divided Spain divided between left and right movements. As tensions rose to the point of conflict, the right called for military intervention. One occurred on July 17, following the death of a conservative chief, but the coup failed as “unconstrained” opposition from Republicans and liberals countered the army; the result was a bloody civil war that lasted three years.

Spanish Civil War

(1939–1975) Franco’s Dictatorship

As a result of the civil war, Spain was governed by an authoritarian and moderate dictatorship led by General Franco. Opposition agendas were stifled through imprisonment and execution, and Catalan and Basque languages were forbidden. Franco’s Spain remained largely neutral during WWII, allowing the system to survive until Franco’s death in 1975.

(1975–1978) Return to Democracy

When Franco died in November 1975, he was succeeded by Juan Carlos, a beneficiary of the vacant throne, as arranged by the government in 1969. The new ruler was committed to democracy and cautious exchange, just as the presence of a sophisticated society seeking independence allowed for a referendum on political change, followed by a new constitution approved by 88% in 1978.

(1982-1989) Socialists Got Victory in Elections

Felipe González’s Communists won elections and remained in power until 1996. Key approaches include free education, an expanded welfare state, and the advancement of abortion laws. Spain also joined NATO, and in 1986, it joined the European Economic Community, which later became the European Union.

(2006-2010) Spanish economy entered Recession for the first time since 1993

After proposing that the army may make a move in Catalonia if the areas gained a lot of self-sufficiency, Lt Gen Jose Mena Aguado was fired as leader of the armed forces and retained powers.

The Spanish economy entered a downturn for the first time since 1993 due to his extraordinary actions against innocent people. This was Spain’s largest economic downfall throughout its history, stretching back decades.

(2011-2013) Formation of Mariano Rajoy Government

Mariano Rajoy became the leader of a newly formed government. Declare a new round of austerity measures to reduce the public budget by 16.5 billion euros (£14 billion) and nearly divide the public deficit from nearly 8% of GDP in 2012.

At the same time, Spain’s unemployment rate reached a new high of 27.2% of the labor force in the first quarter. The economy grows by 0.1% from July to September, officially lifting it from the slump.

Different Spanish-speaking countries have diverse historical backgrounds. Knowing history helps you understand the country’s culture and the personalities of locals. We have highlighted the Spanish history timelines in detail. Go through them to get insights into Spanish cultural heritage.

Some facts about Spain

  • Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union. It is approximately 506,000 square kilometers when Canary is included.
  • Spanish is the world’s second most widely spoken language. On average, there are 440 million native Spanish speakers worldwide.
  • The Spanish monarchy is a constitutional monarchy.
  •  There are 47 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Spain.
  • The famous La Tomatina festival, held in August, is one of the most well-known festivals celebrated in Spain. Every year, many visitors from all over the world attend the festival.
  • Spain did not participate in either the First or Second World Wars.
  • Spain is full of festivals, with the famous San Fermin festival being one of the most well-known.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the earliest known civilizations in the area that is now Spain?

The Iberian Peninsula, where Spain is located, was inhabited by various ancient cultures, including the Iberians and Celts. The Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians also established colonies in the region.

When did the Romans conquer Spain?

The Romans began their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 3rd century BC and completed it by the 1st century BC. Spain, then known as Hispania, became a vital part of the Roman Empire.

What role did the Visigoths play in Spanish history?

The Visigoths, a Germanic tribe, invaded and established a kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire. Their rule lasted until the Moorish invasion in the 8th century.


We hope you are now clear with the Spanish history and its major twists and trends. Take your time to absorb the historical timelines of Spain. This beautiful country has a rich history, and the facts associated with it are quite interesting.

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