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When you cross the mountains that divide France from Spain you step into another world Europe ends at the Pyrenees and the land beyondthe mountains has a character and personality that are strikingly different The sun beats down mercilessly on a country that is beautiful The Civil War in the late 1930s brought General Franco to power as dictator He ruled the country until he died in 1975 Spain became a democracy after the death Until the mid 1900s Spain was one of the most undeveloped countries in Europe Spain mostly contained small unsuccessful farms because of the dry soil During the 50s and 60s Spain took on a rapid stage of economic development and is now an industrial nation Today more people work in construction and manufacturing than on farms 1000s BC 400s BC 200s BC 400s AD 711-18 1000s 1479 1492 1512 1556-98 1588 1808 1808-14 1810-25 1898 1931 1936-39 1950s-60s 1975 1978 1982 1998 2000 The Phoenicians began to colonize Spain The Carthaginians conquered much of Spain The Romans drove the Carthaginians from Spain The Visigoths took Spain from the Romans The Moors conquered almost all of Spain Christian kingdoms began to drive the Moors from Spain The kingdoms of Aragon and Castile united bringing almost all of what is Spain now under one rule Spanish forces conquered Granada the last center of Moorish control in Spain Christopher Columbus sailed to America and claimed it for Spain Kind Ferdinand V seized the Kingdom of Navarre completing the unification of what is now Spain The Spanish Empire reached its peak and began to decline under the reign of Philip II The English Navy defeated the Spanish Armada Napoleons armies seized Madrid English Portuguese and Spanish forces drive the French from Spain during the Peninsula War All Spains American colonies except Cuba and Puerto Rico revolted and declared their independence By this time Spain had lost almost all its empire Spain loses Cuba Puerto
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