The Kingdom of Spain is located in the extreme southwest of
the European continent, and occupies approximately 85-percent
of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain is bordered on the west by Portugal,
in the Northeast by France, and by the great wall of the Pyrenees
Mountains. The Iberian Peninsula that the Spanish inhabited
was occupied by various other civilizations, including the Phoenicians,
Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims, and Spain is
now associated with having a very rich, eclectic culture as
development of Christian society and culture in the first 300
years following Islamic conquest in Spain was slow, but major
changes occurred for the Spanish in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The population grew, communication with northern Europe intensified,
commerce and urban life gained in importance, and the kingdoms
of the Castile, Aragon, and Navarre, and Portugal emerged as
the governing bodies of the Iberian Peninsula. These kingdoms
reached the frontiers that they would keep, with minimum amount
of alteration, until the end of the Middle Ages, when Isabella
I became Queen of Castile.
Isabella began participating in the royal court at the age of
13; and when Portugal, Aragon, and France offered their marriage
candidates, she favored Ferdinand of Aragon. Isabella ascended
to the throne as Queen of Castile to rule sensibly and with
a prudent political program. Her unification of the states of
the Iberian Peninsula into a single entity, the maintenance
and control over the Strait of Gibraltar, policy of expansion
into Muslim North Africa, reform of Spanish Catholicism, and
support for the exploration and expansion in the unknown was
evidence of her wisdom and capabilities as Queen.
On October 12, 1492 Columbus, with the blessing and financial
backing of Isabella, sought a route to the legendary rich markets
of China and Japan, but instead discovered what would become
known as "The New World", the present day Americas.
This voyage gave way to a new golden age of expeditions and
conquest, as the Americas contained gold, a valuable resource
that Spain happened to be desperately bereft of at the time.
Following Columbus' lead, a Spanish military group known as
Los Conquistadores, 'The Conquerors', were directed by Hernan
Cortes to the New World with the soul purpose of seeking out
new frontiers and riches in the unknown. The Conquistadores
undertook their expeditions in the vast landmasses of the Americas
at their own expense, risking their lives without aid from the
Spanish royalty. Their conquests included campaigns in Guatemala,
Peru, Cuzco, Columbia, Chile, the Bay of Honduras, and as far
as the Pacific Coastal regions. The Conquistadors, however,
were given to fighting and searching for gold, and were swiftly
replaced by administrators and settlers from Spain who governed
in their place.
Once the Spanish Kingdom established its presence in the Americas
their operations inevitably became high-profile targets of pirates
and other raiders who were endorsed by European powers such
as England. The Monarchy of Spain endeavored to retaliate by
building an armada of warships that was dubbed "The Invincible
Armada". The armada was a collection of over 130 naval
warships and transport-ships, which contained approximately
8,000 seamen and 19,000 soldiers. King Philip II directed this
armada to invade England when the various and frequent raids
on Spanish commerce in the Caribbean became intolerable. England's
success in repelling the Spanish fleet saved England and the
Netherlands from potential consolidation into the Spanish empire,
but despite the armadas' defeat, the blow dealt by the Spanish
upon England's reputation as the greatest European power was
Thereafter, Spain declined in power quickly; and by the 19th
century, Spain became somewhat marginal in international politics.
Spain's period of imperial power and exploration left a legacy
that consisted of 18 Latin American states, Puerto Rico, and
the ever-growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States
today. In 1969 Spain transitioned into a constitutional monarchy
by way of a democratic constitution and is now recognized for
its eclectic culture as well as for the glory and mystique that
it once possessed in its youth.
In Civilization III: Play the World, the
Spanish are considered a Commercial and Religious civilization,
therefore, they start with Alphabet and Ceremonial Burial and
have significant bonuses to cultural and commercial activities.
See the developer update on
Civ-specific abilities for more on these bonuses.
Following Columbus, a Spanish military group known as Los Conquistadores,
'The Conquerors', were directed by Hernan Cortes to the New
World with the soul purpose of seeking out new frontiers and
riches in the unknown. The Conquistadores undertook their expeditions
in the vast landmasses of the Americas at their own expense,
risking their lives without aid from the Spanish royalty. Horses
adorned with many bells enabled the Conquistadores to launch
indomitable offenses against the American Indian natives who
had never seen a horse before the arrival of the Conquistadores.
Spanish-Conquistador conquests included campaigns in Guatemala,
Peru, Cuzco, Columbia, Chile, the Bay of Honduras, and the Pacific
A Spanish city must have horses to build a Conquistador. They
replace the Explorer and are fast, military scouts that treat
all terrain as if it were a road.