Background on Spanish History
I. Roman Period
  1. Iberia most Romanized part of Empire due to heavy colonization
    1. Spread of Latin language
    2. City-building as empire building and mark of civilization
    3. Late in the Roman period, the spread of Christianity
  2.  Gothic invasions of 400s lead to Visigothic kingdom
    1. Visigoth kings more rural, many cities decline
    2. Introduce a a well-developed system of law
    3. Power dispersed among local nobles
      1. Monarchy relatively weak
      2. regional differences enhanced
      3. Significant conflict between local nobles; major peasant uprisings
II. Muslim period
  1. Muslims conquer all of Portugal and almost all of Spain - 711
    1. North African Berbers take advantage of internal conflict in Visigothic kingdom
    2. Short on manpower, Muslims leave much of local leadership in place
  2.  Spain became center of learning, most advanced part of Europe
    1. Religious toleration allows for significant cultural exchange
    1.  Heir to heritage of Eastern and Western world
    2. Cordoba in particular attracts scholars of all faiths, important for Jewish culture
  3. Robust economy
    1. Complex irrigation systems create much agricultural wealth
    2. Significant developments in industry
    3. Muslims rebuild Roman cities and roads
  4.  Iberia marked forever - language, gender relations, family, architecture, machismo
III. Myth of the Reconquista
  1. Discord among Muslims enabled growth of Christian kingdoms, particularly after 1031
  2. Competing Christian kingdoms slowly advance south
    1. Castile, in central "Spain," becomes dominant
    2. Many of the techniques used to govern conquered lands will be repeated in Mexico
    3. inability to manage irrigation systems built by Muslims leads to shift towards ranching
    4. Relatively egalitarian legal system with well-defined rights and procedures
  3.  Leads to national self-image of crusaders for Christianity
  4.  Gives us the hidalgo personality
IV. Ferdinand and Isabella
  1. Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon marry in 1469
    1. Isabella gains the throne in 1474; Ferdinand in 1479
    2. This creates a merged kingdom, the basis for modern Spain
  2.  Reform government to weaken nobles
    1. An expanding bureaucracy
    2.  Manned by corregidores -- technocrats with legal training and frequently military experience
  3.  Religion
    1. Isabella known for deep piousness
    2.  Made alliances with conservative elements of Church
      1. she would back sweeping conservative reforms
      2.  in exchange, bishops would give her political support
    3. 3. Patronado
      1. deal with the Pope
      2.  Isabella would fund building, recruiting, reforms, etc.
      3.  in exchange, she got control over nominations for religious offices
      4.  this system would eventually be translated to New World
    4. 4. All lead to identification of faith with ‘nationality'
      1. to be loyal to the Crown is to be Catholic
      2. profound implications for the Americas
      3.  ensures religious conflict in Americas, and at home
      4.  Rise of the Inquisition to stamp out heresy, alternate religions (1480)
    5. 5. End of multi-religious Spain
      1.  Last Muslim stronghold, Grenada, defeated 1492
      2.  Jews expelled the same year
      3.  Some Jews stay -- forced to convert. These converts become targets of the Inquisition
      4.  Muslims eventually face same choice
      5.  This leads to problem of "New Christians" - more work for Inquisition
    6. A new nationalism laid on top of regionalism
      1. shared allegiance to a Spanish homeland
      2. Christian universalism
      3. Greater importance given to personal honor
      4. Xenophobia
      5. Racial purity
  4. Succeeded by Charles V in 1516
    1. First Hapsburg ruler of Spain
    2.  Actually from "Belgium"
    3.  Far flung empire in Europe
    4.  This ensured the extreme exploitation and relative neglect of Spanish America