Spain and Portugal 1648 CE

Spain is a united country with a vast overseas empire.

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What is happening in Spain and Portugal in 1648CE

The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in 1469 united Spain, and the two monarchs set about creating a strong centralized state. Within a few years the last Muslim state, Granada, had been conquered (1492), and the Spanish government installed the Inquisition to bring about the Christianization of the conquered territory.

In 1492 also, Christopher Columbus, sailing in the service of Spain, discovered the New World. In the following decades Spain acquired an enormous new empire in Central and South America, whose gold and silver made her the wealthiest and most powerful nation in Europe.

Under king Philip II (1556-98), Spain used this power to champion the Catholic Church against the Protestants. He attempted to put down rebellion in the Netherlands (from 1581) and despatched a huge fleet, the Great Armada (1588), to bring England back into the Catholic fold. He also conquered his smaller neighbour, Portugal. However, his and his successors’ wars failed in their objectives and sapped Spain’s wealth and strength, and she is no longer the leading power in Europe. Portugal has recently regained her independence from her larger neighbour (1640).

Next map, Spain and Portugal in 1789

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