The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The history of Spain is one of the most attractive fields that lie open to the historical student. Its variety is infinite, and the possibilities of new and important discoveries are unexhausted. To most Americans the principal interest of the subject will inevitably centre around Spain's activities as a great conquering and colonizing power; for the increased importance of the countries of Iberian origin has been perhaps the most remarkable political and economic fact in the recent development of the Western Hemisphere. Popular attention has been focussed as never before on their language, government, and commerce during the past twenty years; and much progress has also been made in the line of historical investigation. The labors of writers and students, however, have thus far been directed chiefly to the more recent periods of the Revolutions and of national independence. The long centuries of colonial administration have been less thoroughly explored, and the history of Spain herself, which forms the background for the entire picture, has not hitherto been considered from the standpoint of the great Empire which sprang from her.

The following pages are an attempt to supply this deficiency. It is my purpose to carry the story, in four volumes, down to the death of Philip II, under whose rule the Spanish Empire attained its greatest territorial extent, through the annexation of Portugal and of her dominions. The long . . .

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