the second largest country in the EU,
is located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula surrounded by the Cantabric Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. Spain has a fascinating history, interesting current events,
and a rich literary history.
Spain’s history has a mixture of accomplishments and failures. From 1599 to 1600,
a massive plague took the lives of nearly a quarter of the population of Seville, the fourth largest province in Spain. The Great Plague of Seville caused the labor force to decline rapidly. This became the greatest plague in the seventeenth century.
King Phillip lll of Spain and Portugal reigned from 1598 to 1621. He had Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas de Lerma, his main adviser, complete his work for him. Due to this Lerma ran Spain in his stead, meaning he made the important decisions. The website Encyclopedia Britannica states, “His father revealed his disappointment when he remarked that his son was unfit to govern the kingdoms God had given him and would instead be governed by them.” Office1 In 1609, Lerma commanded the banished of Moriscos. 275,000 Moriscos left Spain by 1614. Not only did he banish them, Lerma also took their land is hope for his own personal benefit. An Italian ambassador recalled Philip intention was “not to wage war so that he can add to his kingdoms,
but to wage peace so that he can keep the lands he has”
(Kamen 110).Office2 This shows how Phillip didn’t fulfill his duties as King. Spain’s main achievement in the 16th century was that they control more land in Europe than any other country. In 1578, King Philip lll took hold of the Portuguese throne, along with their territories, which included parts of South America, East Asia,
the Iberian Peninsula was ruled by one,
King Phillip lll.
The first long-lasting settlement in America was St.
Augustine in Florida.
This Spanish fort was the base camp to house the Spaniards that came to America with the purpose of converting native Indians to Roman Catholicism.
There are a wealth of interesting things happening in Spain today. As the European Union’s fastest growing country as of this year, Spain?s economy has been on the top of its game. On the other hand, unemployment is one of Spain’s biggest national problems.
12, 2017, Robert Ledger’s article Three problems facing Spain’s government today states:
Although the figure (currently 17.2%) has dropped from an eye-watering 26.3% in 2013, including a steep fall this year, the figure is still unsustainable. There is also a suspicion that the recent improvement is due to temporary – not full-time – jobs, encouraged by the PP’s labour market reforms. Office3
The pro-independence Catalan European Democratic Party called for a referendum, or a direct vote on a specific issue, on October 1,
2017. Their leader’s, Charles Puigdemont, office position was suspended by the Spanish government.
Spain’s Golden Age,
or Siglo de Oro,
is the high point of Spanish literature. This Golden Age is usually dated from
1554, the printing of Lazarillo de Tormes, to
1681, the death of Pedro Calderon. Lazarillo de Tormes, anonymously written, is one the of three works considered to form the foundation of a novel. This time period ran through the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Pedro Calderon, born in Madrid in January
17, 1600. He is known for his plays,
El médico de su honra (The Doctor of His Honor) in
1635, La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream) in 1635
and La hija del aire (The Daughter of the Air) in 1653).
He also wrote religious plays and operas. Alexander A. Parker, Britannica writer and Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Texas at Austin, writes:
To have found a dramatic form that conveys the doctrines of the Christian faith gives Calderón a special place in literature, but his greatness is not confined to this. The depth and consistency of his thought, his supremely intelligent craftsmanship and artistic integrity, his psychological insight, and the rationality and humanity of his moral standards make him one of the major figures of world drama.