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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 Between 1531 and 1536 Francisco Pizzaro entered
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