Spanish History Timeline

This Spanish history timeline or chronological history of Spain lets you look for specific dates and see what was happening in Spain at that time.

After Rome defeated Carthage in the Second Punic War they began a 600 year Roman occupation of Spain.

AD 410
Barbarian tribes from the north take control of the Iberian Peninsula (Suevi, Vandals)

AD 466
Visigothic rule over the Iberian Peninsula begins

AD 711
Moorish invaders arrive from North Africa and soon destroy the Visigoths

A major coup for the reconquest with the fall of Seville to Fernando III. Granada is the only remaining Moorish state

Isabella (heir to Castile) and Fernando (heir to Aragon) get married which unites the peninsula’s two most powerful states

The Catholic Kings (Reyes Católicos) begin the Spanish Inquisition

In January, Granada falls to the Reyes Católicos, ridding Spain of the Moors. In April, having guaranteed religious tolerance, the Reyes Católicos begin to expel Jews who refuse to convert to Catholicism. And in October, with funding from the Reyes Católicos, Columbus lands in the Bahamas

Carlos I rules Spain as the first Habsburg monarch

The reign of Carlos I’s son, Felipe II, when the power of the Spanish Empire was at its peak. The Spanish Armada was in 1588

Felipe V became the first Bourbon King of Spain

War of Spanish Succession

Spain declared war on France following the beheading of Louis XVI (he was Carlos IV’s cousin). Two years later they became pals and promised to support the French against the British

At the Battle of Trafalgar a French-Spanish fleet was defeated by Nelson which effectively ended Spanish sea power

Spain was occupied under Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte who forced out Carlos IV. This resulted in the Peninsular War (Spanish War of Independence) in which the French were forced out with help from British and Portuguese forces under the Duke of Wellington

Most of the Spanish Empire collapsed as countries gained their independence

The First Republic ends in chaos and the monarchy is restored

General Miguel Primo de Rivera leads a mild dictatorship

The Second Republic results from a republican victory at the polls and King Alfonso XIII goes into exile in Italy

The Spanish Civil War in which General Franco lead his Nationalist troops to victory over the Republicans. An estimated 350,000 people died in the war

Franco’s brutal dictatorship isolated Spain from the rest of Europe. Franco pledged support for Hitler in WWII. Only US aid in return for locating four military bases in Spain set the country on the road to economic improvement. The arrival of foreign tourists was crucial in promoting economic growth

Franco died and was succeeded by King Juan Carlos I

Adolfo Suárez was prime minister during this period which is referred to as the ‘transition’

A centre-left government (PSOE) was led by Felipe Gonzalez. Spain joined the EU in 1986

José Maria Aznar’s centre-right party (PP) achieved an impressive period of economic development

Just three days after the terrorist bombing in Madrid (11th March), José Luis Zapatero reversed the poll predictions to gain power with PSOE

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