Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia. Edited by H. Michael Tarver and Emily Slape. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2016. 2 vols. Acid free $198 (ISBN 978-161069-421-6). E-book available (978-1-61069-422-3) call for pricing.

Although a small, fractured kingdom during the fifteenth century, Spain's interest in exploration and expanding resources led to a more unified kingdom and later the largest Empire in the world. This early history has shaped the world significantly. The exchange of foods, animals, and natural resources throughout the world, the introduction of diseases to new territories, and the blending of indigenous and European cultures continues to shape our world in unique ways.

The Spanish Empire is both its own work and part of the Empires of the World series which looks at influential empires that have defined history. While other works have addressed the Spanish Empire, this one balances the variety and larger scope of James Olson's Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire (Greenwood, 1991) with the longer, more detailed entries of Merriman's Rise of the Spanish Empire (MacMillan 1925) while updating key issues and concepts.

Also, in contrast to the traditional alphabetical format of Olson or the chronological format of Merriman, this set is organized into seven areas of significance: Government and Politics; Organization and Administration; Individuals, Groups and Organizations; Key Events; Military; Objects and Artifacts; and Key Places for more integrated research studies. Each category includes an overview essay that provides a summary of key issues and ideas covered, and the glossary at the end of the second volume clarifies key terms. …

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