Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975

Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975

Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975

Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975

Synopsis

This authoritative reference book looks at the process by which Spain extended its influence throughout the modern world. It provides more than 1,200 brief descriptive essays covering colonies, individuals, political institutions, legislation, treaties, conferences, wars, revolutions, technologies, social and religious groups, and military battles. References at the end of each entry provide sources of additional information for those wishing to pursue the subject further. Cross-references within the text, designated by an asterisk, will help the reader to find related items.

Excerpt

On October 12, 1992, the Western world will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's historic voyage across the Atlantic and his discovery of the New World. His landfall on San Salvador in 1492 launched the era of European imperialism and set in motion a series of far-reaching changes that have brought about the increasing social and economic integration of the world. Before Columbus's voyage, the world had been divided into a series of island communities that had relatively little contact with one another; after his voyage, the world began to share new forms of social, biological, political, cultural, and economic interaction. The Spanish language, first confined to the Iberian peninsula, was destined to become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and Roman Catholicism was about to acquire a global foothold. Spain became an international power whose culture and political institutions shaped world affairs for more than two centuries. By the mid-eighteenth century, Spanish fortunes on the world scene began to decline, for a variety of reasons, and the inevitable contraction of the far-flung empire began. From the position as the preeminent power on earth, Spain declined to political insignificance on the world stage.

The Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975, is designed to provide a ready reference tool for students and scholars. Its major focus is the people, institutions, and colonies of the Spanish empire, from Castile's expansion to the Canary Islands in 1402 to the surrender of Spanish Sahara in 1975. The dictionary provides brief descriptive essays on a variety of topics--colonies, individuals, political institutions, legislation, treaties, conferences, wars, revolutions, technologies, social and religious groups, and military battles. Essays on individual colonies usually end with the winning of independence, the formal incorporation into the body politic of Spain, or the sale or loss of the colony to . . .

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