rise and fall of spain

In 1490 there was no such country as Spain, yet within a century it had become the most powerful nation in Europe and within another had sunk to the status of a third-rate power. Describe and analyze the major social, economic, and political reasons for Spains rise and fall. In 1490 there was no such country as Spain, yet within a century it had become the most powerful nation in Europe and within another had sunk to the status of a third-rate power. Spain experienced a social, economic, and political golden age during the sixteenth century. However, due to bad planning and decisions, Spain declined as a superior power. The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, in 1469, eventually united Spain under one crown and enabled the country to achieve a successful and productive monarchy. This marriage provided the financial means to fund foreign ventures as well as the royal support needed to maintain power overseas. The discovery of new lands was the major factor contributing to Spains success. In 1492, Christopher Columbus, sailing for Spain, discovered land in the Bahamas, which he named San Salvador and claimed for the Spanish Monarchy. His claims paved the way for future Spanish imperialism. Due to a rigid social structure in Spain, dominated by nobility, young, ambitious men sought to advance, socially and economically, through overseas expeditions. In 1519, conquistador Hernando Cortez invaded Mexico. Within three years, he captured the Aztec Empire, plundered their enormous amount of wealth, captured the Aztec leader, Montezuma, and claimed the land as New Spain. In the same year, Ferdinand Magellan was commissioned to find a new route to Asia, and in doing so sailed around the world, giving the Spanish cutting edge knowledge about sailing and the general geography of the world. Other young Spanish explorers came to the Americas and conquered large amounts of land, in the name of Spain…

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