Kevin Xu

Area inhabited/ruled [if members of your group emigrated, immigrated, or established settlement (colonies) outside of their home country you should include an explanation of that travel or settlement in this section; include places traveled and reasons for leaving home country
The Spanish inhabited the Iberian Peninsula. From the 8th century to the 15th century, parts of the Iberian Peninsula were inhabited by the Muslims. By 1512 most the kingdoms of present-day Spain were politically unified although not as the modern state. These are some important events in Spain’s history.
  • In 1400, Spain was called Castile. (shown in Map 1)
  • In 1492, Reconquista ended when Fernando and Isabel captured Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain.(shown in map 2)
  • In 1580, the unification of Iberia was completed when Carlo I’s son, Felipe’s II became king of Portugal.(shown in map 3)
  • At the end of the 15th century, the Renaissance finally arrived in Spain, through Italy. Spain was at the point of "unification."
  • During the 16th century, Spain became the most powerful European nation. Its territory was covering most of South and Central America, the Iberian Peninsula, Southern Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. (shown in map 3)
  • In 1640, under Felipe IV, the centralist policy of the Count-Duke of Olivares provoked wars in Portugal and Catalonia. Portugal became independent and Catholonia enjoyed a few years of French-supported freedom but was later sent right back to Spain. (shown in map 4)

Map 1
Map 2

Map 3

Map 4

Everyday Life

Farmers persist to struggle to earn a decent living to enable then to support their families. Donkey carts and wagons were used by farmers to transport families. The rich family’s young boys pent to school and got a good education. Women were allowed to work but they had a very low income. Slavery started in the 1400 when the Portuguese started to explore the coast of West Africa and to ship African blacks to Europe as slaves. The Portuguese also enslaved blacks on sugar plantations that they established on islands off the coast of West Africa. The Spaniards and the Portuguese then began to import blacks from West Africa as slaves. Other African blacks helped capture most of the enslaved Africans.

Social and Political Organization
During the 1400-1650 Spain had a lot of political power. During this time many things have changed. Spain in the 1400-1650s was a parliamentary monarchy. A parliamentary monarchy is a monarchy having a parliament. A parliamentary monarchy consists of a king and queen ruler and a senate. Here are some of the important events in the history of Spain.
  • In 1492, Christopher Columbus believed that he could steer a Westward course Across the Atlantic ocean to Asia. When he failed to gain support from Portugal he moved to Spain where politically favorable circumstances and good fortune led the catholic kings, Isabel and Fernando to agree to the venture. Columbus set forth commanding three small ships to go across the Atlantic Ocean. After a long drawn out journey, he landed on the Caribbean shore. This started the Spain conquest on Native America. This journey granted Christopher Columbus widespread European recognition and secured his Admiral of the Sea.
  • In 1519, the Spanish Fleet landed in Villa Rica De La Vera Cruz. By the month of November, commanded by Cortez, they had entered Tenochtitlan and arrested the Aztec emperor. Within two years Cortez had completely overthrown the Aztec empire. They secured control of Tenochtitlan and its surrounding areas.
In 1532, the Inca Empire had been conquered by Francisco Pizarro. His men kidnapped Emperor Atahualpa in exchange for a ransom of silver and gold. Once the ransom was paid though, Atahualpa was murdered. The Aztec and the Inca empires were conquered by the Spanish by the 16th century.


In 1400s, Spain was consisted of Christians, Muslims, and Jews living together. Spain used to be Islamic but the Christians pushed their frontier increasingly southward until their last victory over the last Islamic stronghold, Grenada, in 1492. In that same year, under the sponsorship of the catholic kings, Fernando and Isabel, Columbus encountered the new world. This began the formation of Spain's oversea empire at the exact time Christian Spain triumphed over Islam and expelled unconverted Muslims and Jews from Spanish soil. Ultimately, Jews and Muslims either converted to Catholicism or were expelled from Spain in 1492 and 1502, following the completion of the reconquista. Between 1609 and 1614, approximately 300,000 Moriscos—new Christians forcibly converted from Islam who continued to speak, write, and dress like Muslims—were expelled.The presence of gypsies arrived in Spain in fifteenth century.
Arts/Technology/Developed Culture
Spain’s artistic has recovered rapidly from the stultifying Franco years when many artists, writers, and musicians worked in exile. These are some of the important literature and poetry events.
  • There were many writers during the middle ages such as Cervantes's (1547–1616) Don Quixote; the works of Lope de Vega Carpio (1562–1635) and Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–1681).
  • There were many poets as well such as the poetry and plays of Federico García Lorca (1898–1936); and the works of five Nobel laureates in literature are but a few from different periods.
  • In the 16th century the Spanish welcomed the Italian renaissance. Spanish artists visited neighboring countries to learn first-hand knowledge of the latest anesthetic and technical development. Was perceived by people in churches since churches were the of art.