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By Bente de Witte, Zefrin van der schuit Wytze sligting and Markus Zijlstra

Spain, Asturias – History. Our look at the history of Spain, Asturias

Asturias Asturias is a part of Spain in the North, that was first founded by king Pelayo of Asturias. He ruled it from 718 until his death. Through his victory at the Battle of Covadonga in 722, he is the one who began the Spanish Reconquista, the Christian recapture of the Spanish land from the Moors. He established an independent Christian state in opposition to Moorish hegemony. The Asturian flag shows the 'Cruz de la Victoria', which means 'Cross of Victory'. According to the tradition, king Pelayo wore this cross during the battle of Covadogna, which is the battle of independence for Asturias. In 908 the Asturian King Alfonso III ordered that the original wooden -oak- cross be clad in gold and precious stones. so that's why the cross is yellow on the flag.

Romans, Visigoths and Moors First Spain belonged to the Romans. The Romans have left their mark on Spain. They had a huge impact on the culture of the country. On its food, roads, water supply and much more. The aqueducts for example are very impressive buildings. 300 years later, a people from Eastern Europe, called the Visigoths, started to fight Spain. They lived in Spain from the 4th century till the 6th century very many Spanish names come from the Visigoths, like Alfonso and Fernando. The Moors started to conquer Spain in the 8th century. The moors were very developed. They had a really beautiful architecture they built a lot of palaces. They also developed agriculture very much.

The Reconquista The Reconquista was a reaction of the Christians to the overtaking of Spain by the Muslims. The Muslims conquered all of Spain except for Asturias, which got successfully defended by the Christians in the Battle of Covadonga in 722. The battle was for a long time not evolving, until the caliphate broke down is smaller states. This made it possible for the Christians to go the offensive and the pope gave his blessing to crusades. 1085 was the most important year in the Reconquista, because in that year the Christians conquered the old capital of the Visigoths.

In 1482 the crusade to Grenade began, in 1492 the key of Grenada was handed to Ferdinand II van Aragón by emir Abu Abdallah.

Spain's colonies Beginning with Columbus in 1492 and continuing for nearly 350 years, Spain conquered and settled most of South America, the Caribbean, and the American Southwest. After an initial wave of conquistadors—aided by military advantages and infectious diseases that decimated the native populations— defeated the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas, Spain organized a huge imperial system to exploit the land, labour, and mineral wealth of the New World. The Spanish empire became the largest European empire since ancient Rome, and Spain used the wealth of the Americas to finance nearly endless warfare in Europe, protecting the Americas with a vast navy and powerful army and bringing Catholicism to the New World. The growth of a racially mixed society eventually caused rifts to develop between Spain and its American colonies, and by 1824, all of Spain's New World colonies except Cuba and Puerto Rico had fought for and won their independence.

The 80-Years War The 80-years war was a revolt from the Netherlands against Spain, it lasted from 1568 until 1648, the Netherlands wanted to be free from the Habsburgs’ rules, which included extremely high taxes and denied help from the government. Under guidance of the exiled Willem of Orange, the northern provinces pushed the Hapsburgs back and established The republic of the seven united Netherlands. The war ended with the Peace of Münster, when the Republic was recognized as an independent country.

Spain republic Spain has been a republic twice. The first Spanish republic. This republic lasted from 1873 until 1874, the republic came to existence after king Amadeo I abducted his crown. But the country’s people weren’t republic, it was all chaos. The period was filled with hectic and violence. There were 4 presidents who ruled Spain, but after a coupe d’état Manuel Pavía established an unified republic. This quickly ended though, because Manuel Pavía wanted to establish a national government. Most parties rejected this and so the instability again began, this was effectively already the end of the republic. The real end, however, was at 29 December when brigadier Martinez Campos pronounced for Alfonso, son of queen Isabel, and the army rejected to act against him.

Second Spanish republic. This republic lasted from 1931 until 1939. This republic started because the voters were disappointed in the monarchy, king Alfonso XIII had supported the tyranny of Miquel Primo de Rivera. On 14 April 1931 Alfonse XIII abducted his crown and so the second Spanish republic began. The republic was formed out of republicans and social democrats. But the government was antimilitary, they forced the officers to quit their jobs. The military didn’t want this anymore and on 17 and 18 july 1936 the army, under command of general Emilio Mola did a coupe d’état, this only succeeded for a part, in Barcelona and Madrid the rebels got defeated within 24 hours. This caused the country to rebel as well and on 1939 the republic fell and Spain came under the reign of the dictator Franco.

The dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1936–1975) Spain was officially neutral during World War II, under Franco’s rule. It remained largely economically and culturally isolated from the outside world. There was one official party (Falange). Labour unions were banned and all political activity using violence or intimidation to achieve its goals was forbidden. Spanish rule in Morocco ended in 1967. Though militarily victorious in the 1957–1958 Moroccan invasion of Spanish West Africa, Spain gradually gave up its remaining African colonies. Spanish Guinea was granted independence as Equatorial Guinea in 1968. The Moroccan enclave of Ifni had been ceded to Morocco in 1969. Two cities in Africa, Ceuta and Melilla remain under Spanish rule and sovereignty. The later years of Franco's rule, Spain began to catch up economically with its European neighbours. Franco ruled until his death on 20 November 1975. After this, control was given to King Juan Carlos.

Conclusion The history of Spain was eventful with a lot of battles. Asturias also played a major role in one of them, the Reconquista. The country had its ups and downs, but always played a major role in Europe and the whole world.

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