French invasion of Russia
Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia, Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions. The Grande Armée was a large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages and this was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. The actions forced the French to rely on a system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food and these men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months, the continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done, on 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars until that point, involving more than 250,000 soldiers, the French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor, the Russians had evacuated the city, and the citys governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.
Napoleons hopes had been set upon an end to his campaign. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, the French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for an action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement
Siege of Figueras (1811)
Martínez and his men held out much longer than expected but were eventually starved into surrendering the fortress, which was near Figueres. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, on the night of 9 and 10 April 1811, a Spanish guerrilla force led by the priest Francesc Rovira i Sala seized the Sant Ferran Castle from its Italian garrison in a well-executed coup de main. Within a few days, the fortress was manned by 3,000 Catalan miquelets and 1,500 Spanish regulars, a furious Emperor Napoleon demanded that the strategic fort be retaken and 15,000 Imperial troops were amassed for the purpose. MacDonald pleaded with Louis Gabriel Suchet for reinforcements, but that general refused to send a single soldier, MacDonald made no attempt to breach Sant Ferrans walls by cannon fire, rather he waited for hunger to compel a surrender. With his food nearly gone, Martínez launched a breakout attempt, by the time the garrison capitulated,4,000 of the besiegers had died, mostly from malaria and other diseases.
Of the defenders,1,500 died from enemy action and hunger,2,000 marched into captivity, though the Spanish lost Sant Ferran in the end and failed to stop Suchet from capturing Tarragona, they tied up the entire VII Corps for the summer of 1811. On 2 January 1811, General of Division Louis Gabriel Suchet successfully wrapped up the Siege of Tortosa when its 3, Suchet left General of Brigade Pierre-Joseph Habert and a French garrison in Tortosa and marched his prisoners back to Zaragosa under escort. Freed from his responsibility to cover the siege, Marshal Jacques MacDonald moved his force toward Valls where he bumped into the enemy. In the Battle of Pla on 15 January, MacDonalds vanguard received a drubbing from General Pedro Sarsfields division, rather than avenge this setback, MacDonald elected to force-march his 12, 000-man corps to Montblanc on the night of the 16th. From there he moved to Lleida, annoyed with MacDonalds lackluster performance, Emperor Napoleon confined his sphere of operations to northern Catalonia and assigned the territories southwest of Barcelona to Suchet.
In addition, Napoleon insisted that MacDonald hand over 17,000 troops to his colleague, the emperor ordered Suchet to capture Tarragona and promised him a promotion to marshal if successful. Accordingly, Suchet completed the reorganization of his army and moved toward Tarragona in April 1811, but on 21 April, Suchet received the shocking news that the fortress of Figueres had been seized by the Catalan partisans. Both MacDonald and the governor of Barcelona, General of Division Maurice Mathieu begged Suchet to send help but were turned down, Suchet calculated that by the time he sent one or two divisions to help, a month would have passed. He predicted that Napoleon could more quickly send reinforcements from France to Figueres, when the emperor heard of Suchets action, he heartily approved of it. In 1811, the Sant Ferran fortress was about 60 years old, the powerful citadel was designed and constructed in the reign of King Ferdinand VI of Spain and named San Fernando. In the form of a bastioned enceinte, the fortress stood on a hill overlooking Figueres.
To reach the front gate, an attacker had to march up a slope on a road with several switchbacks. Sant Ferran fortress capitulated to the French Republican army of General of Division Dominique Catherine de Pérignon on 28 November 1794 and this event occurred eight days after the Spanish defeat in the Battle of the Black Mountain during the War of the Pyrenees
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
War of the Sixth Coalition
After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France. The War of the Sixth Coalition saw major battles at Lützen, the even larger Battle of Leipzig was the largest battle in European history before World War I. Ultimately, Napoleons earlier setbacks in Russia and Germany proved to be the seeds of his undoing, with their armies reorganized, the allies drove Napoleon out of Germany in 1813 and invaded France in 1814. The Allies defeated the remaining French armies, occupied Paris, and forced Napoleon to abdicate, the French monarchy was revived by the allies, who handed rule to the heir of the House of Bourbon in the Bourbon Restoration. This was not however the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon subsequently escaped from his captivity and returned to power in France, sparking the War of the Seventh Coalition in 1815. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia to compel Emperor Alexander I to remain in the Continental System, the Grande Armée, consisting of as many as 650,000 men, crossed the Neman River on 23 June 1812.
Russia proclaimed a Patriotic War, while Napoleon proclaimed a Second Polish War, but against the expectations of the Poles, who supplied almost 100,000 troops for the invasion force, and having in mind further negotiations with Russia, he avoided any concessions toward Poland. Russian forces fell back, destroying everything potentially of use to the invaders until giving battle at Borodino where the two armies fought a devastating but inconclusive battle. Following the battle the Russians withdrew, thus opening the road to Moscow, by 14 September the French had occupied Moscow but found the city practically empty. Alexander I refused to capitulate, leaving the French in the city of Moscow with little food or shelter and winter approaching. In these circumstances, and with no path to victory. Total losses of the Grand Army were at least 370,000 casualties as a result of fighting and the weather conditions. By November, only 27,000 fit soldiers re-crossed the Berezina River, Napoleon now left his army to return to Paris and prepare a defence of Poland against the advancing Russians.
The situation was not as dire as it might at first have seemed, on 9 January 1812, French troops occupied Swedish Pomerania to end the illegal trade with the United Kingdom from Sweden, which was in violation of the Continental System. Swedish estates were confiscated and Swedish officers and soldiers were taken as prisoners, in response, Sweden declared neutrality and signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg with Russia against France and Denmark–Norway on 5 April. On 18 July, the Treaty of Örebro formally ended the wars between Britain and Sweden and Britain and Russia, forming an alliance between Russia and Sweden. However, when Napoleon marched on Moscow, neither Britain nor Sweden would give any support to Russia. The alliance existed only on paper, according to the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussia had to support Napoleons invasion of Russia
War of the Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war and its client states under Napoleon I, defeated an alliance, from 1803–05, Britain stood under constant threat of a French invasion. The Royal Navy, secured mastery of the seas, the Third Coalition itself came to full fruition in 1804–05 as Napoleons actions in Italy and Germany spurred Austria and Russia into joining Britain against France. Victory at Austerlitz permitted the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of German states intended as a buffer zone between France and central Europe. As a direct consequence of events, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when, in 1806, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated the Imperial throne, emerging as Francis I. These achievements, did not establish a peace on the continent. Austerlitz had driven neither Russia nor Britain, whose armies protected Sicily from a French invasion, Prussian worries about growing French influence in Central Europe sparked the War of the Fourth Coalition in 1806.
Europe had been embroiled in the French Revolutionary Wars since 1792, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the armies of the First Coalition in 1797. A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, but this too was defeated by 1801, in March 1802, France and Britain agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years all of Europe was at peace, many problems persisted between the two sides making implementation of the treaty increasingly difficult. Bonaparte was angry that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, the tension only worsened when Bonaparte sent an expeditionary force to re-establish control over Haiti. Prolonged intransigence on these issues led Britain to declare war on France on 18 May 1803, Bonaparte had already revived plans for an invasion of England in March 1803. Bonapartes expeditionary army was destroyed by disease in Haiti, and subsequently swayed the First Consul to abandon his plans to rebuild Frances New World empire, without sufficient revenues from sugar colonies in the Caribbean, the vast territory of Louisiana in North America had little value to him.
Though Spain had not yet completed the transfer of Louisiana to France per the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed on 30 April 1803. Despite issuing orders that the over 60 million francs were to be spent on the construction of five new canals in France, Bonaparte spent the whole amount on his planned invasion of England. The execution of Enghien shocked the aristocrats of Europe, who remembered the bloodletting of the Revolution. The statement is sometimes attributed to French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Sometimes the quote is given as, It was worse than a crime, pitt scored a significant coup by securing a burgeoning rival as an ally
Battle of La Bisbal
The Imperial troops were from the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of small German states that were allied to Napoleon. Part of a division led by Marie François Rouyer, Schwarzs brigade was almost completely wiped out, one of the few Allied casualties was the capable ODonnell, wounded in the foot. The battle occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, the action occurred amid the events leading up to the Siege of Tortosa in December 1810 and January 1811. As Louis Gabriel Suchet prepared to attack Tortosa, Marshal Jacques MacDonald was ordered to support him, the marshal cooperated by advancing into southern Catalonia with a large force. To distract MacDonald from his mission, ODonnell determined to raid northern Catalonia, the raid was a brilliant tactical success but it failed to deter the marshal from assisting Suchet. Finally, a logistical crisis forced MacDonald to withdraw to northern Catalonia, in June 1810, Marshal Pierre Augereau was replaced in command of VII Corps by Marshal Jacques MacDonald.
MacDonald was instructed to drive toward Tarragona while his colleague General of Division Louis Gabriel Suchet was to lead the III Corps to capture Tortosa, Suchets corps had successfully concluded the Siege of Lerida on 13 May and the Siege of Mequinenza on 5 June. Located on the Ebro River, Tortosa lay on the highway between the provinces of Catalonia and Valencia. By seizing the city, Napoleon hoped to sever the link between the two areas, before Suchet could implement the plan, he was compelled to return to Aragon to suppress the guerillas. He first needed to restock his empty depots with supplies from France and it was August before either commander was ready to carry out their emperors strategy. MacDonald marched his army of 16,000 troops south to support Suchets operations against Tortosa. MacDonald left General of Division Louis Baraguey dHilliers with almost 10,000 soldiers to garrison Barcelona, in addition, there were 18,000 troops manning the defenses of other cities and holding open the road to France.
Captain General Henry ODonnell commanded the Spanish Army of Catalonia, seeing that MacDonald was too strong to directly confront, ODonnell resolved to operate against the unsuspecting Imperial forces in the north. By doing so, he hoped to draw MacDonald away from Tarragona, Colonel Charles William Doyle sailed north with 500 foot soldiers aboard the British frigate HMS Cambrian, the Spanish frigate Diana, and other vessels. Captain Francis William Fane of the Cambrian commanded the Allied naval squadron, in early September, ODonnell managed to elude the garrisons of Barcelona and Girona without being noticed. Fanes Anglo-Spanish naval expedition struck first on 10 September, an amphibious force rowed ashore at Begur and captured 50 men and a coastal artillery emplacement. Alerted by this raid, General of Brigade François Xavier de Schwarz ordered his units to beef up their defenses. His brigade comprised two battalions each of the 5th Confederation of the Rhine and 6th Confederation of the Rhine Regiments, the brigade numbered 1,700 men with 18 artillery pieces
Siege of Tarragona (1811)
In the Siege of Tarragona from 5 May to 29 June 1811, Louis Gabriel Suchets French Army of Aragon laid siege to a Spanish garrison led by Lieutenant General Juan Senen de Contreras. A British naval squadron commanded by Admiral Edward Codrington harassed the French besiegers with cannon fire, Suchets troops stormed into the defenses and killed or captured almost all the defenders. The action took place at the port of Tarragona on the east coast of Spain during the Peninsular War, emperor Napoleon offered Suchet a marshals baton if he could capture Tarragona, so the French general pursued his goal vigorously. He methodically overran the outer works as he drove his siege parallels forward. The French general easily fended off weak attempts to relieve the city by land, near the end of the siege, the French troops captured the lower city in a surprise attack and the garrisons survivors retreated to the upper city. At the end, Suchets men stormed into the city amid scenes of horrific slaughter. The loss of this base and so many Spanish troops crippled the Army of Catalonia.
Napoleon duly awarded Suchet the coveted rank of marshal, one authority gave French losses as 4,300 killed and wounded out of an army of 21,634 men, including General of Division Jean-Baptiste Salme killed. Total Spanish losses numbered between 14,000 and 15,000, of these,8,000 were captured and the rest were killed, wounded, or died of disease. During the butchery attending the final assault, the French attackers massacred numerous civilians including 450 women and children, a second authority asserted that total Spanish losses were 15,000, of whom 7,000 were killed outright. French losses were given as 1,000 killed and 3,000 wounded or sick, the Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War. ISBN 0-7126-9730-6 Ojala, Jeanne A. Suchet, The Peninsular Marshal, ISBN 1-85367-276-9 Juan Senen Contreras Jean-Baptiste Salme
Battle of Castalla
In the Battle of Castalla on 13 April 1813, an Anglo-Spanish-Sicilian force commanded by Lieutenant General Sir John Murray fought Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchets French Army of Valencia and Aragon. Murrays troops successfully repelled a series of French attacks on their hilltop position, the action took place during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Castalla is located 35 kilometers north-northwest of Alicante, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington wanted to prevent Suchet from reinforcing the other French armies in Spain. He ordered, whose army had built up to over 18,000 Allied troops. Murrays maneuvers were ineffective and prompted Suchet to lash out at his force, the French marshal fell upon a nearby Spanish force, beating it with heavy losses. Suchet focused on crushing Murray, one of the British brigadiers, Frederick Adam conducted a splendid rear guard action on 12 April, allowing Murray to draw up his army in a formidable defensive position near Castalla. On the 13th, Suchets frontal attacks were repulsed with losses by British troops under Adam and John Mackenzie.
The French withdrew and Murray did not follow up his victory, alone among Napoleons marshals, Suchet won his baton by his victories in Spain. However, he avoided cooperating with his fellow French commanders and acted as though the provinces of Aragon, even so, General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess Wellington knew that if Suchets forces intervened in the battles in central and northern Spain, things might go badly for the British army. So Wellington requested that amphibious operations be directed against the east coast of Spain in order to keep Suchets men occupied. Since the summer of 1812, an 8, 000-strong Anglo-Sicilian force, joined by about 6,000 Spanish troops from Minorca, the army frequently changed generals but did nothing to contribute to the Anglo-Allied war effort. In February 1813, Murray was appointed to command the reinforced 18, in early April, after making some indecisive maneuvers, Murray posted his small army at Villena, northwest of Alicante. Meanwhile, Suchet decided to surprise the British general and his Spanish allies, the French marshal split his force into two columns, sending one column under General of Division Jean Isidore Harispe to attack a Spanish force at Yecla.
A second column under Suchets personal command marched against Murray at Villena, on 11 April 1813, Harispe fell upon General Mijares and his 3,000 Murcians at Yecla. In a surprise attack led by the 4th Hussar and 24th Dragoon Regiments, two infantry battalions were virtually annihilated. The French admitted losses of 18 killed and 61 wounded, Murray heard about the disaster by noon that day. He immediately beat a retreat toward Alicante, dropping off a 2, on the morning of 12 April, Suchet captured a Spanish battalion at Villena and set out in pursuit of Murray. At Biar, the French came up with Adams rearguard but were unable to overrun the well-handled force, in a brilliant five-hour action, Adam successfully fended off his French pursuers, allowing Murray to concentrate his army at Castalla
Battle of Cervera (1811)
In the Battle of Cervera a Spanish force led by Luis Roberto de Lacy attacked a series of Imperial French garrisons belonging to the VII Corps of Marshal Jacques MacDonald. The actions were successful and netted nearly 1,000 enemy prisoners. The clashes occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, the largest garrison was located at Cervera which is located about 55 kilometres east of Lleida, Spain. Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet struck another blow against the Catalans when his troops seized the miquelet base in the Battle of Montserrat on 25 July 1811. The unpopular but vigorous Lacy quickly reorganized the 8, 000-man remnant of his army into three divisions under Generals Baron de Eroles, Pedro Sarsfield, and Francisco Milans del Bosch. With the Royal Navys assistance, Lacy seized the Medes Islands at the mouth of the Ter River on 12 September, on 4 October 1811, Lacys forces captured 200 Imperial troops at Igualada on the highway between Barcelona and Lleida. Continuing west, the Spanish column seized a French convoy near Cervera on the 7th, Lacy overwhelmed the garrison of Cervera on 11 October, bagging another 645 prisoners.
Finally, on the 14th the Spaniards took 150 more captives at Bellpuig, after these defeats, the French evacuated the monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat on Montserrat Mountain. A History of the Peninsular War Volume IV
The wars resulted from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars, which had raged on for years before concluding with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Napoleon became the First Consul of France in 1799, Emperor five years later, inheriting the political and military struggles of the Revolution, he created a state with stable finances, a strong central bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. The British frequently financed the European coalitions intended to thwart French ambitions, by 1805, they had managed to convince the Austrians and the Russians to wage another war against France. At sea, the Royal Navy destroyed a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805, Prussian worries about increasing French power led to the formation of the Fourth Coalition in 1806. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July, although Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, it did not bring a lasting peace for Europe.
Hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia, the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, the Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. Unwilling to bear the consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse and retreat of the Grand Army along with the destruction of Russian lands. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France, a lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 and he was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again, the Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The Congress of Vienna, which started in 1814 and concluded in 1815, established the new borders of Europe and laid out the terms, Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a de facto military dictatorship. The Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleons assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, for its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britains Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him, the so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth