Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
Battle of Malplaquet
The Battle of Malplaquet was a battle of the War of the Spanish Succession, fought on 11 September 1709, which opposed the Bourbons of France and Spain against an alliance whose major members were the Habsburg Monarchy, the United Provinces, Great Britain and the Kingdom of Prussia. The Dutch-British army and Austrians were led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugène of Savoy, while the French were commanded by Marshal Villars and Marshal Boufflers; each side had about 90,000 troops, were encamped within cannon range of each other near the Belgian border. The Austrians attacked at 9 am; the Dutch broke off to attack the French right flank and succeeded with heavy casualties to distract Boufflers enough so that he could not come to Villars' aid. Villars was able to regroup his forces, but Marlborough and Eugène attacked again and forced Villars to retreat by 3pm; the Allies had suffered so many casualties in their attack. By this time they had lost twice as many as the French, it was the bloodiest battle of the war, prevented the Allies from invading northern France.
After a late start to the campaigning season owing to the unusually harsh winter preceding it, the allied campaign of 1709 began in mid June. Unable to bring the French army under Marshal Villars to battle owing to strong French defensive lines and the Marshal's orders from Versailles not to risk battle, the Duke of Marlborough concentrated instead on taking the fortresses of Tournai and Ypres. Tournai fell after an unusually long siege of 70 days, by which time it was early September, rather than run the risk of disease spreading in his army in the poorly draining land around Ypres, Marlborough instead moved eastwards towards the lesser fortress of Mons, hoping by taking it to outflank the French defensive lines in the west. Villars moved after him, under new orders from Louis XIV to prevent the fall of Mons at all costs – an order for the aggressive Marshal to give battle. After several complicated manoeuvres, the two armies faced each other across the gap of Malplaquet, south-west of Mons.
The Allied army consisting of Dutch and Austrian troops, but with considerable British and Prussian contingents, was led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy, while the French were commanded by Villars and Marshal Boufflers. Boufflers was Villars' superior but voluntarily serving under him; the allies had about 86,000 troops and 100 guns and the French had about 75,000 and 80 guns, they were encamped within cannon range of each other near what is now the France/Belgium border. At 9.00 am on 11 September, the Austrians attacked with the support of Prussian and Danish troops under the command of Count Albrecht Konrad Finck von Finckenstein, pushing the French left wing back into the forest behind them. Prince Eugene was wounded twice in the fighting; the Dutch under command of John William Friso, Prince of Orange, on the Allied left wing, attacked the French right flank half an hour and succeeded with heavy casualties in distracting Boufflers enough so that he could not come to Villars' aid.
Villars was able to regroup his forces, but Marlborough and Savoy attacked again, assisted by the advance of a detachment under General Henry Withers advancing on the French left flank, forcing Villars to divert forces from his centre to confront them. At around 1.00 pm Villars was badly wounded by a musket ball which smashed his knee, command passed to Boufflers. The decisive final attack was made on the now weakened French centre by British infantry under the command of the Earl of Orkney, which managed to occupy the French line of redans; this enabled the Allied cavalry to advance through this line and confront the French cavalry behind it. A fierce cavalry battle now ensued, in which Boufflers led the elite troops of the Maison du Roi, he managed six times to drive the Allied cavalry back upon the redans, but every time the French cavalry in its turn was driven back by British infantry fire. By 3.00 pm Boufflers, realising that the battle could not be won, ordered a retreat, made in good order.
The Allies had suffered so many casualties in their attack. By this time they had lost over 24,000 men, including 6,500 killed twice as many as the French. Villars himself remarked on the enemy's Pyrrhic victory via the flip-side of King Pyrrhus' famous quote: "If it please God to give your majesty's enemies another such victory, they are ruined." A first-hand account of the Battle of Malplaquet is given in the book Amiable Renegade: The Memoirs of Peter Drake on pages 163 to 170. Captain Drake, an Irishman who served as a mercenary in various European armies, served the French cause in the battle and was wounded several times. Drake wrote his memoirs at an advanced age. By the norms of warfare of the era, the battle was an allied victory, because the French withdrew at the end of the day's fighting, left Marlborough's army in possession of the battlefield, but with double the casualties. In contrast with the Duke's previous victories, the French army was able to withdraw in good order and intact, remained a potent threat to further allied operations.
As Winston Churchill noted in Marlborough: His Life and Times: “The enemy had been beaten... But they had not been routed, they retreated. They were beaten, but they boasted.” Indeed, Villars wrote to Louis XIV that another such French defeat would destroy the allied armies, historian John A. Lynn in The Wars of Louis XIV 1667–1714 terms the battle a Pyrrhic
Albacete is a city and municipality in the Spanish autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha, capital of the province of Albacete. It is in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, in the region known as the Meseta Central within the historic region of La Mancha, in the smaller historic region of La Mancha de Montearagón. With a population of 173,050 in the municipality proper, 219,121 in the larger metropolitan area, it is the largest city in both the province and the region of Castilla–La Mancha, indeed one of the largest of inland Spain, being included in the 20 largest urban areas in Spain; the municipality of Albacete is the seventh largest in Spain by area, being 1,125.91 km2. Albacete is the economic and judicial capital of Castilla–La Mancha, being home to the regional High Court of Justice; the writer, novelist and literary critic Azorin described the city of Albacete in a poem as "The New York of La Mancha". The origins of the city are uncertain, with the earliest proof of settlement dating to the time of Al-Andalus, when the settlement was named البسيط, meaning "The Flat" in the Arabic referring to the flat land around.
The city increased in prominence in the early 20th century during the Spanish Civil War due its strategic importance as national headquarters of the International Brigades. In the past Albacete was famous for its clasp knives, made more famous after a mention in the Garcia Lorca poem Reyerta published in Romancero Gitano in the thirties. At present, Albacete is a modern capital with large areas for green areas. Further its flat area and the elimination of architectural barriers have led it to be one of the most accessible cities across the country, with better quality of life and one of the safest; the entertainment is one of the hallmarks of the capital of Albacete, with large areas of party as La Zona, El Campus or Los Titis hosting thousands of albaceteños and visitors throughout the year, highlighting their hectic and active day and night life by enjoying famous throughout Spain. Other of its attractions in this regard are the traditional Tascas de la Feria or the castizo outdoor market of Los Invasores.
Albacete is a commercial and industrial city reflected in its extensive commercial area that includes more than 556 723 people from 154 municipalities. Its privileged location, halfway between Madrid and the Mediterranean coast, makes it the main logistical hub and communications for Southeast Spain, with great connections by motorways and air, which connects points of the Spanish geography; the city has many festivals and traditions, among which we would highlight the Feria de Albacete, declared International Tourist Interest, held from 7 to 17 September in honor of the Virgin of Los Llanos, the Fiestas de San Juan de Albacete, the Albacete Easter or Carnival Albacete, as well as numerous events of regional and international character like International FIM CEV Championship in Circuito de Albacete, the International Circus Festival, the International Film Festival Abycine, the Biennial of Art City of Albacete, the National Theatre Awards Pepe Isbert, AB Fashion Day, the Fair Performing Arts Castilla–La Mancha or Expovicaman, among many others, trade fairs and exhibitions.
The industry is one of the pillars of the city. Albacete is home to major multinationals and has five large industrial zones, including Campollano, the largest industrial area of Castilla–La Mancha and one of the largest in Spain. Higher education and research are another major development areas of the city, highlighting the University of Castilla–La Mancha, the Biomedical Campus of Albacete and the Technology Park of Albacete; the aviation industry is one of the main economic engines of the city. Albacete hosts the School of TLP NATO pilots, Los Llanos Air Base, Ala 14 and the Air Maestranza Albacete, the most important of Spain. In addition, the city houses the Logistic Park of Albacete, home to major companies; the name "Albacete" is derived from the Andalusian name for the area, the city having been called البسيط Al-Basit, in Arabic, which translates to "the plain" in reference to the plateau that characterizes the geography of the area. Pascual Madoz in his famous Diccionario geográfico-estadístico-histórico de España y sus posesiones de Ultramar indicates that two hypotheses about the toponym of Albacete are probable.
In the first place he highlights the proposal suggested by Bernardo Espinalt y Garcia, who believes that the city was founded by the Cilicians, who called it "Celtide" relying on Liutprand of Cremona, "in Hispaniam venientes Celtide vocaverunt hunc locum, quem vocan Albacene corrupte mauri". The second hypothesis states that its origin may be the "Alaba" of the Celtiberians, mentioned by Pliny the Elder and by Ptolemy, which could result in "Alba civitas", which became Albacete; the most common adjective used to describe the inhabitants of the town of Albacete is albacetense or, albaceteño/a, without prejudice to the demonyms used for the inhabitants of the various population centers that make up the area such as the aguanueveros or colonos for the neighboring Aguas Nuevas inhabitants. The Shield of Albacete According to a resolution adopted by the Plenary Council, in a session held on 28 February 1986, the shield of Albacete is described as follows: "The city of Albacete has as its shield: three towers neatly arranged on a silver backgr
Ricardo Balaca y Orejas-Canseco was a Spanish painter and illustrator who specialized in battle scenes. His brother, was a well-known painter. Balaca was born in Lisbon, his father was the painter, José Balaca, temporarily living there, having gone into exile for political reasons. He began his artistic training in the family workshop and finished at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, where he studied with Federico de Madrazo, his talents displayed themselves at an early age. He created drawings and numerous portraits, but is chiefly remembered for his portrayals of battles in Romantic style. During the Third Carlist War, he served as a correspondent on the northern front with the army of King Alfonso XII, his notable historic battle scenes include the Battle of Almansa, displayed in the Palacio de las Cortes, the Battle of Bailén. He provided illustrations for a deluxe edition of Don Quixote, annotated by the Cervantes scholar Nicolás Díaz de Benjumea and published by Montaner y Simón after Balaca's death.
It appears, that not all of the nearly three hundred illustrations are by Balaca, although no-one else was credited in the first edition. In a reprint, issued in 1970, Josep Lluís Pellicer receives credit, he died in Madrid, aged 35. None of the available sources give a cause for his early death. José Sousa Jiménez, José Pereira Bueno.
Battle of Cassano (1705)
The Battle of Cassano took place at the town of Cassano d'Adda in Lombardy, Italy on 16 August 1705 during the War of the Spanish Succession between a French-led force commanded by the duc de Vendôme and an Imperial army under Prince Eugene of Savoy. It is considered a French tactical victory since the Imperial army was prevented from crossing the River Adda but casualties were heavy on both sides. By 1705, the fighting in Northern Italy was in its fourth year, the French retaining the key strategic prize of Milan and having the upper hand. Finances were an enduring weakness of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy with the Imperial army in Italy receiving minimal support from Emperor Leopold, more focused on the Hungarian revolt known as Rákóczi's War of Independence. In October 1703, Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy voided his alliance with France and switched sides. During 1704, Marshall La Feuillade captured Savoyard territories in Villefranche and the County of Savoy, a process, completed when Nice surrendered in April 1705.
Victor Amadeus now retained parts of Southern Piedmont. The French commander in Italy, Vendôme, positioned his brother Philippe de Vendôme at Cassano d'Adda with 20,000 men while he himself led a mobile reserve. Prince Eugene of Savoy now resumed command in Italy while Leopold agreed to provide men and money; the Maritime Powers signed an agreement with Prussia for a contingent of 8,000 led by Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau to join Prince Eugene's army. The Imperialists needed to relieve the pressure on Victor Amadeus to keep Savoy in the war. Since the nominal strength of a French squadron was 135 and 600 for an infantry battalion, this indicates a maximum of 2,700 cavalry and 9,000 infantry; when the Imperial army reached Iveza in the Brianza, they constructed a pontoon bridge under cover of artillery fire and Vendôme prepared to defend the crossing. This was a feint, he doubled back hoping to catch the French detachment at Cassano by surprise and arrived in Romanengo on 14 August, about 40 kilometres away.
The Adda was deep and fast-flowing and unfordable, which limited potential crossing points for large bodies of men. The town of Cassano is on the right bank, with a stone bridge protected by a small fortification or redoubt; the area was divided by numerous small streams and irrigation channels, the most significant being the Retorto, an irrigation canal running parallel to the Adda. This was connected to the left bank by another bridge protected by a strongpoint. Assuming Prince Eugene was heading for Mantua, Vendôme had ordered Philippe to leave Cassano and intercept him; the French were in an dangerous position, their baggage blocking the main bridge and the Adda behind them. Vendôme joined his brother with 1,500 cavalry; this included all five regiments of the Irish Brigade. After bitter fighting, the Imperialists captured the Retorto bridge giving them control of the sluice gates. Prince Eugene ordered the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau and his Prussians into the canal to assault the French left.
The battle surged forth across the river for several hours. Prince Eugene himself had to leave the field; the two sides spent the next few weeks watching each other. On 9 October, the Imperial army left camp and made a thrust towards Crema, trying to trap Vendôme against the river; this was a good example of Prince Eugene's ability to keep his opponents guessing but although Vendôme was only able to follow on 11 October, heavy rains brought the campaign to a close for the year. The French spent the winter around Castiglione and Mantua, with the Imperialists at Montichiari and Calcinato. Opinion is divided on. Using the practice of the day, the Imperial army could technically claim victory as it remained in control of the battlefield at the end, it is best described as a French tactical victory. La Feuillade's force of 22,000 was not large enough to besiege Turin, giving Victor Amadeus time to reinforce it. Bancks, John.
Siege of Kaiserswerth
The Siege of Kaiserswerth, was a siege of the War of the Spanish Succession. Prussian and Dutch troops numbering 38,000 men and 215 artillery pieces and mortars under the command of Imperial Field Marshal Walrad, Prince of Nassau-Usingen and captured the small French fortress on the Lower Rhine, which the French had occupied without resistance the previous year; the Dutch regarded the capture of this fortification as more important than an advance into the French-held Spanish Netherlands. Without the presence of the Dutch siege expert Menno van Coehoorn, the siege was time-consuming, poorly conducted and casualty-intensive; the Germans did not have enough gunpowder and shot available. They had little in the way of siege artillery and engineers and the Dutch supplied them to the Prussians; the advance of the Dutch siege lines was too fast for the Prussians and the heavy resistance of the garrison, the need to coordinate the advances, bad weather and the arrival of French troops under Camille d'Hostun, duc de Tallard on west bank of the Rhine forced the Dutch to postpone the storming of the fortress throughout May.
The trenches were opened on 18 April and the Dutch intended to take the counterscarp after one week, but the storm was launched only on 9 June. The French commander of the fort Jules-Armand Colbert, Marquis de Blainville, informed Marshal Louis-François de Boufflers on 10 June that the Allied assault forces were cut down on the glacis like grass before the mower's scythe; the French engineer in charge of the fort's defenses was Vauban's assistant Louis Filley. The garrison capitulated on 15 June, it cost the Allies 2,800 killed and wounded on 9 June alone, of which 2,101 were Dutch, 2 months to capture a place that Vauban had called a "hole". Bodart estimates Allied losses at 9,000. After its capitulation, the French garrison was allowed to march out to freedom with full military honours. Bodart, G.. Militär-historisches Kriegs-Lexikon. Vienna: C. W. Stern. Ostwald, J.. Vauban Under Siege: Engineering Efficiency and Martial Vigor in the War of the Spanish Succession. Brill. ISBN 978-9004154896