Spanish Empire was among the strongest empires and the largest in history. It was also among the first empires of the world. Spain was the center for European exploration as well as colonial expansion in the 16th and 15th centuries. It was also at the center of the opening of the major trade routes across oceans. For instance, trade between the Americas and Spain that took place across Atlantic Ocean as well as the trade between Mexico and Asia-Pacific through the Philippines across Pacific Ocean.
During the 16th Century, Habsburg Spain, was the center for the first worldwide global empire and superpower. Spain Empire had a popular cultural golden age in 17th century. The Utrecht Peace of 1713 stripped Spain off its territories in the Low Countries and Italy which saw it lose its power becoming the send nation in the continental politics.
Nevertheless, Spain Empire was able to maintain its large overseas empire till the start of independence declarations in Paraguay and Venezuela. The revolutions that followed the independence declarations split its territories in the Americas’ mainland. Despite this, Spain Empire remained significant with some fragments in America, Asia and the Oceania till the 1898 Spanish-American War and also in Africa until in 1975.
Spanish Empire was also called the Spanish Monarchy. It comprised of colonies and territories that were administered by a Spanish Crown in Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Oceania. It started during the exploration age as a major global empire. Under Spanish Habsburgs, the empire was at its peak in terms of economic and political power at the time when it became a leading global power.
Territorial reach of Spain Empire at that time were past Europe spanning to almost six centuries from the conquest of Canary Islands that occurred in 1402 and then first voyages into Americas in the 1942s and finally the loss of colonies in Africa in 1975.
Spain Empire underwent the greatest territorial losses in the beginning of the 19th century. This was when the Spain colonies in Americas started the struggle or fight for independence. As of 1900, Spain Empire had already lost the Pacific and Caribbean colonies. It was left with colonies in Africa only under its possessions.
Nevertheless, in all countries where Spain Empire exerted its colonial powers it left linguistic and cultural legacy. Today, there are more than 400 million people who speak Spanish as their native language making this language one of the most spoken native languages across the world.
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