"There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance." -- Goethe
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The original name for Spain was Iberia. The association is with the Ebro River. The Greeks called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the river Hiberus, according to Pliny. The Ebro river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, using the river as the border. In referring to this border, Polybius states that the "native name" is Iber. Historians claim not to know the original meaning of the word. It's because they don't want to know.
Ebro comes from Eber of the Bible. Eber was the progenitor of the Hebrews. The ancient Hebrews settled the peninsula of Iberia and gave it their name. Now you know! The White man settled Spain and Portugal.
The first agriculturalists on the Iberian peninsula arrived around 6000 BC. Before them, like other cultures, the people were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Around 4800 BC the first dolmen tombs begin to be built, being possibly the oldest of their kind anywhere.
Around 3000 BC copper, silver and gold started to be worked. Exchange with the Baltic nations and Northern Africa begins. Artificial caves are made to bury the dead. Around 2600 BC urban communities begin to appear, especially in the south. When the Early Bronze Age technology begins around 1800 BC the Argarian people lived in large fortified towns or cities of the southeast.
The two main historical peoples of the peninsula were the Iberians and the Celts. The Iberians inhabited the Mediterranean side from the northeast to the southwest, the Celts inhabited the Atlantic side, in the north and northwest part of the peninsula. In the inner part of the peninsula, where both groups were in contact, a mixed, distinctive culture—known as Celtiberian was present. In addition, Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountains. Other ethnic groups existed along the southern coastal areas of present day Andalusia. Among these southern groups there grew the earliest urban culture in the Iberian Peninsula, that of the Phoenicians in the southern city of Tartessos (perhaps pre-1100 BC) near the location of present-day Cadiz.
Around 1300 BC the proto-Celtic culture appears in the North-East, conquering all Catalonia and some neighboring areas. There appears to be interaction between them and Britain, France and other places.
By the eighth century BC there's evidence of local chiefdoms and a horse-riding elite. The Celtic culture expanded throughout the area. Since 600 BC the North-East is replaced by the Iberian culture.
The Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians all colonized parts of Iberia in order to make trade easier. The Phoenicians founded the colony of Gadir (modern Cadiz) near Tartessos, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in western Europe. It is traditionally dated to 1104 BC. The Phoenicians introduced the use of Iron, the potter's wheel, the production of olive oil and wine to Iberia. They were also responsible for the first forms of Iberian writing.
The Greeks founded the colony at what is now Marseilles around the eighths century BC. The Tartessian-Orientalizing culture began around 720 BC. One of the most significant elements of this culture was the introduction of the potter's wheel, weaving and architecture. Around this time agriculture experienced major advances with the introduction of steel tools and the yoke.
Iberians arrived at least by the 6th century BC. The name is a blanket term for a number of peoples belonging to a pre-Roman, Iron Age culture that lived in isolated communities based on tribal organization. They had a knowledge of metalworking, bronze and agricultural techniques. They traded in precious metals, including tin and copper. The Phoenicians established their first colony on the Iberian Peninsula in 1100 BC and probably made contact with Iberians about that time. Greek colonists made historical reference to the Iberians in the 6th century BC. There are another people known as Caucasian Iberians in the present day country of Georgia.
The Iberian people were organized in chiefdoms and states. They were influenced by the Greek in their monuments and architecture. The power and control seems to be in the hand of kings or reguli. Urbanism was important in the Iberian cultural area, especially in the southern fortified towns.
During the fourth century BC Rome began to rise in power. During the Second Punic War Hannibal marched with his armies, which included Iberians, from Africa through Iberia to cross the Alps and attack the Romans in Italy. Carthage was defeated and lost Iberia. Rome began its conquest and occupation of Iberia and began the era of Hispania.
Hispania was the name given by the Romans to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula which includes modern Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar and a small part of southern France. While the origin of the word is disputed is probably derives from the Canaanite Hebrew I-Shfania meaning "Island of the Hyrax" or "island of the hare or rabbit."
Roman armies invaded Iberia in 218 BC but didn't complete their conquest until 19 BC under the Roman emperor Augustus. At that time Romanization proceeded quickly and Hispania was divided into three provinces. The Romans improved existing cities and established new ones. The economy expanded and Hispania served as a source of metals for the Roman market. The emperors Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius were all born in Hispania.
Christianity was introduced into Hispania in the first century and became popular in the cities in the second century. Rome continued to dominate the area until her empire collapsed in the west. The Iberian population turned to the Visigoths, a Germanic people, for protection when Rome could no longer spare legions to guard Iberia.
The Visigoths entered Hispania in 415 AD and established Toledo as the capital of their monarchy. Religion became a source of friction between the Catholic Romans and their Arian Visigothic overlords whom the Romans considered heretical. In 589, Recared, a Visigothic ruler, renounced his Arianism and accepted Catholicism assuring an alliance between his monarchy and the Romans.
The Moors of North Africa conquered most of Hispania with their Muslin armies between 711 and 718. Only a part of the north managed to resist them. Mass conversion to Islam proceeded at a stead pace and in the 10th and 11th centuries Muslims outnumbered Christians in the Muslim controlled areas. In the 12th century the Jews of Spain accounted for 90% of world Jewry but that percentage declined rapidly.
In the 10th century a massive conversion of Christians took place so that muladies (Muslims of ethnic Iberian origin) comprised the majority of the population of certain areas. By the 11th century the Christians were beginning to take back their power.
As early as 739 Muslim forces were driven from Galicia, which was one of medieval Europe's holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela. By 1085 with the capture of the city of Toledo the northern half of Spain was taken from the Muslims. By the 13th century the south fell to Christian Spain.
In 1469 the crowns of the Christian Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, were united by the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand. This led to the creation of the Kingdom of Spain. In 1478 the Canary Island were taken back from the Muslims and in 1492 Granada captured. Thus ended a 781 year presence of Islamic rule in Iberia. The Treaty of Granada guaranteed religious tolerance towards Muslims. That, of course, was also the year that Christopher Columbus made his voyage to the Americas. That same year Spain's Jews were ordered to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the Spanish Inquisition under the Alhambra Decree. Not long after, Muslims were also expelled under the same conditions.
Spain was Europe's leading power throughout the 16th century and most of the 17th. They reached their peak during the reigns of the first two Spanish Habsburgs, Charles I and Philip II. The Spanish Empire expanded to include most parts of South and Central America, America, southern and western portions of today's United States, the Philippines, Guam and the Mariana Islands, parts of northern Italy, southern Italy, Sicily, cities in Northern Africa, as well as parts of France, modern Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. It was the first empire about which it was said that the sun never set.
On April 9, 1609, King Philip II decreed the expulsion of the moriscos, the mixed race descendants of the Muslim population that converted to Christianity under threat of expulsion from Ferdinand and Isabella in 1502. The Moriscos had refused to integrate and didn't allow their children to be educated like the rest of society. They continued to give their children Arabic names. After several revolts the King finally expelled at least 250,000 of these mixed race Muslims. They were allowed to take their possessions, but their homes and land went to whoever owned them. If they burned their homes before they left they would be executed. Some wanted to enslave the moriscos instead of expelling them but the king rejected that plan.
For the most part the expulsion went well. Most were sent to northern Africa. About 10,000 managed to evade the authorities and stayed in Spain. According to a genetic study conducted in 2008, a noticeable proportion of morisco ancestry remains in Spain.
Spain was prospering economically under the Habsburg crown thanks to the trade with its American colonies, but involvement in wars with France, the Netherlands and England, culminating in the disastrous defeat of the "Invincible Armada" in 1588, caused difficulty for the country.
By the 16th and 17th centuries Spain was confronted by challenges including Barbary pirates from the Ottoman empire, disrupted life due to their slave raids and the renewed threat of an Islamic invasion. The Protestant Reformation dragged the kingdom into religiously charged wars. The Spanish Habsburgs had the country embedded in conflict that drained its resources.
When the last Habsburg, King Charles II, died without descendant, the nephew of French King Louis XIV, Philip of Borbon, succeeded to the throne. As a consequence of the French Revolution, Spain declared war on the new republic but was defeated. Napoleon took the power in France and sent his troops against Spain in 1808. He established his brother Joseph as Spanish king, but the Spaniards fought a 5-year Independence War against the French. After Napoleon's definite defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Ferdinand VII was restored to the Spanish throne and reigned with rigid absolutism. When he changed the law of succession to the throne and his daughter Isabel was established as queen, his brother Charles rebelled against it and the War of Seven Years broke out. Economical recession and political instability were the consequences, Spain lost its colonies with the exceptions of Puerto Rico, Cuba and Philippines. The revolution of 1868 forced Isabel II to renounce the throne, and the First Republic was proclaimed. It lasted for just about one year. After a coup d'état Isabel's son, Alphonse XII, restored the kingdom. The rebellion of Cuba in 1895 resulted in a war against United States, with disastrous results for Spain. It lost its last overseas possessions.
Exploration in the Americas
On December 24, 1492, Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, wrecked on the coast of Hispaniola. Columbus left thirty-nine men and, on January 4, with his two remaining ships, he began his return journey to Spain. He assumed that the islands he found were his to declare for Spain's royalty: Isabella and Ferdinand. Pope Alexander VI granted them exclusive title to the lands in the papal bull of 1493 - the island people having no say in the matter.
Columbus made his second voyage to the Caribbean, with seventeen ships and 1,500 men, horses and dogs, arriving at his base on the island of Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1494, and he found the crewmen he had left behind had been slaughtered. Columbus established another settlement, on the north shore of Hispaniola, called Isabella.
In 1496 a permanent base for Spain in the "New World" was established at Santo Domingo. Columbus began his fourth and last journey to the Caribbean in 1502. He had found all of the Caribbean's major islands, and he believed that these islands lay off the coast of India.
By 1570 Hispaniola's indigenous population number at around 100,000 when Columbus arrived was down to around 300 due to disease brought from Spain that they had no natural immunity to fight against. Africans were brought in to replace the work force.
The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon had been bestowed with the task of finding and taking for the Spanish monarchy the island of Bimini and a legendary spring that gave eternal life and health. In March 1513 he set sail from Puerto Rico with three ships and about 200 men. In April they came upon a land that Ponce de Leon called "Pascua de Florida." in English: feast of flowers. He claimed Florida for Spain and fighting broke out between his men and local people.
Continuing his search for Bimini, Ponce de Leon found instead Andros Island. He returned to Spain and in September the King of Spain named him a Captain General. He returned to Puerto Rico and began again his search of the island of Bimini. In 1921 he landed again in Florida, on its western coast. He was met by hostile warriors who struck with a poisoned arrow. Ponce de Leon returned to Havana Cuba where he died of his wound.
And soldiers and colonists, including more than seventy married couples and twelve friars, had journeyed from Spain to Hispaniola, and there a successful colony was established. By 1515, the gold that could be mined in Hispaniola had dwindled. A search for gold elsewhere in the New World had begun. In 1519, Spain's authority in the Americas sent a 34-year-old adventurer, a former dropout from law school who had been in the Caribbean since 1504, Hernando Cortez (Cortéz), on a mission to Mexico. Cortez landed on the gulf coast of Mexico with 600 men, 17 horses and 12 cannon, and there he spent several months. He took sides in conflicts between local societies. He won presents from local people, including twenty women, one of whom became his mistress and interpreter. He founded the town of Villa Rica de las Vera Cruz (Veracruz), and he was selected by its town council as its chief military and judicial officer, establishing his independence from Spanish authority at Santo Domingo. From Vera Cruz, Cortez moved inland, toward the Aztecs at (Tenochtitlán).
Cortez changed the name of Tenochtitlan to Mexico (Mexico City). In 1524, Cuauhtemoc, the ruler, was executed, ending the line of Aztec kings. Spanish men from the Caribbean flocked to Mexico, and they took Indian mistresses, who begat children, beginning the mix of Spaniard and Indian.
The lands that Columbus and Cortez had set foot upon they had claimed for the Spanish crown. And where lands had been claimed for them, Spain's monarchs claimed absolute authority. After Cortez, Spaniards roamed over northern Mexico and southern parts of what is now the United States, looking for another civilization as rich in precious metal as had been the Aztecs. By the mid-1500s Spanish authority was firmly established in Mexico, which had become known as New Spain. In New Spain the native populations had become a third what they were prior to the arrival of Columbus.
Spain's monarchy took seriously its power in the Americas, and they were concerned about competition from the monarchies of England and France. In 1526 another Spaniard, Lucas Vásques de Ayllón, tried to establish a colony in what today is South Carolina, a colony that failed.
Mendoza was impressed by the monk's report, and he organized and financed with his own money an expedition to New Mexico, to be led by the thirty-year-old governor of Nueva Galacia, Francisco de Coronado. The expedition included 225 cavalrymen, 62 foot soldiers, 1000 Indians and black slaves driving many head of cattle.
In 1540 the expedition journeyed north through what is today called Arizona. Coronado sent a scouting party that found the Grand Canyon and then returned to the group. Coronado found Hopi Indians and towns of adobe and rock belonging to the Pueblo Indians, who lived in multi-story houses, wore cotton clothing and grew corn. He wanted to be friendly with them and to win their acceptance of the divine rule of the king of Spain and of Christianity. The Pueblo Indians had already heard about Christians and feared Coronado's coming. They had put their magic out to prevent the approach of the Christians, but their magic failed. Rather than the friendship he wanted, Coronado fought to defend himself to acquire the provisions he needed to survive, and he fought to subjugate. For months war raged between the Pueblo Indians and Coronado's expedition, the Pueblo Indians defending their positions with copper head bolts shot from crossbows and arrows shot from longbows. The expedition ravaged crops. With superior weaponry the Spaniards managed to subdued those Pueblo who had not fled safely to the mountains, and in an effort to assert and advertised their authority, the expedition burned 200 Pueblo at the stake.
The Pueblo Indians rid themselves of Coronado by telling him of golden cities on the Great Plains to the east. Coronado and his men crossed Texas and found Comanche Indians and Apache hunting buffalo. An advance party journeyed into what is now Kansas, and they left some horses behind - horses that were to multiply on the plains and become the source of horses for plains Indians.
In 1539, Hernando de Soto, who had been second in command to Pizarro in South America, began his exploration of the Gulf of Mexico area. He had nine ships and 1,000 fighting men aside from his sailors - the best equipped expedition yet in the Americas. From Cuba de Soto explored Florida, then he journeyed through Alabama and north into what is now Tennessee, a wetter region than New Mexico and supporting a denser population of Indian farmers. The Indians were friendly to his expedition, but de Soto was often hostile. His expedition pillaged and stole what wealth it could - such as pearls. And he told local people that Christians were immortal.
In 1542, evidence to the contrary appeared. Near the Mississippi River, de Soto became ill and died. His men buried him in a large hole. Local people disinterred the body, found de Soto dead. They attacked what remained of the expedition, and the expedition escaped down the Mississippi and returned to Mexico.
Forty years after Coronado's disappointing expedition, some Franciscans, with soldiers for protection, journeyed from Chihuahua into New Mexico to save souls. All were killed by hostile Indians except for a few soldiers who returned and brought back with them reports of turquoise and silver ore, of land good for grazing and suitable for farming. A wealthy mine owner from Zacatecas, Don Juan de Oñate, decided to finance a colony in what was now called Neuva (New) Mexico. The government approved, believing it was a good idea to establish an outpost in Nuevo Mexico as protection against England's expansion. They recalled that in 1578 Sir Francis Drake, who had sailed through the Magellan Straits, raided ports from Peru to Panama and had landed on the coast of northern California.
In April 1598, Don Juan de Oñate and 400 soldiers - 130 of them with wives and children - 10 Franciscan friars, 83 carts and 7,000 head of stock, arrived in Nuevo Mexico, Oñate proclaiming Spanish dominion over the area and its inhabitants.
The settlers lived crowded together in buildings with Pueblo Indians. Then they convinced Pueblo Indians from across the river to move into San Juan, and they moved across river to buildings that the Pueblo had vacated and renamed that village San Gabriel. The first irrigation ditch dug by the Spaniards in Nuevo Mexico began on August 11, 1589, and construction of the first church began on August 23.
The Spanish Empire at one time included most of South America, Mexico, much of the Southwestern United States, the pacific and Caribbean coasts of North America, even Alaska. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish possessions in America began a series of independence movements, which culminated in Spain's loss of all of its colonies on the mainland of North, Central and South America by 1825. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines were occupied by the United States following the Spanish-American War of 1898, ending Spanish rule in the Americas. The Spanish settled in many different places all over America.
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon, who first had come to the New World on the second voyage of Columbus, sights land on March 27. Between April 2 and 8, in the vicinity of present day St. Augustine, he names the land "Pascua Florida" because of its discovery "during the time of the Feast of Easter."
1516-1561 Florida is explored by Spaniards, including Ponce de Leon, Panfilo de Navarez, and Don de Luna Y Arellano. Hernando de Soto lands in Florida on May 30, 1539, with nearly 600 men near Tampa Bay. De Luna establishes a colony on the shores of Pensacola Bay in 1559. This settlement is abandoned two years later and antedates by six years the founding of St. Augustine, which becomes known as the first attempt at permanent colonization in Florida. Fray Luis Cancer de Barbastro, a Dominican priest is killed by Indians near Tampa Bay in 1548. He is the first known churchman to die for his faith in this country.
1564 Rene oulaine de Laudonniere of France builds a fort which he names Caroline for Charles IX, on the St. John's River, which is known to the French as the River of May.
1565 Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain enters a harbor which he calls San Augustin on August 28; he captures Fort Caroline which becomes San Mateo, a Spanish outpost. He also massacres the shipwrecked French forces of Admiral Jean Ribault on Anastasia Island. San Augustin will become known as St. Augustine, and will be settled continuously after Menendez leaves part of his troops there before his foray on Fort Caroline.
1566 Intensive and continuing efforts are begun by Jesuit priest to convert the Indians of the area to the Christian faith. The mission system in Florida begins soon after the establishment of St. Augustine - nearly 200 years before the first mission in upper California is built.
1567- 1568 Dominique de Urgues of France launches an expedition to avenge the dead of Fort Caroline and Anastasia Island. He captures San Mateo, hangs the Spanish, and returns to France.
Spanish Immigration to America
In colonial times, as previously noted, the first settlement was in Florida, followed by New Mexico, California, Arizona, Texas and Louisiana. In 1598 when the first New Mexican town was established, there were about 1,000 Spaniards north of Mexico. Their descendants are estimated at about 900,000 today. A substantial number of the first settlers to New Mexico were descendants of Spanish Jews who had been compelled to leave Spain.
Immigration to the United States was slow but steady with an increase during the 1850s and 1860s. Due to civil wars in Spain larger numbers of Spanish immigrants entered the country in the first part of the 1900s. By 1910, 27,000 had arrived, by 1920 an additional 68,000. Approximately 250,000 came in all. They concentrate mainly in New York City, Florida, California, the Mountain West and the industrial areas of the Midwest.
for more information please see http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h17-am.html and http://www.floridahistory.com/inset11.html and http://florida.com/history1.htm and http://www.red2000.com/spain/primer/hist.html
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