November 8th, 2014
The geography of Spain can be very diverse, but here is a simple explanation. Spain is located in the Iberian Peninsula in south western Europe. The area of Spain is 194,879 square miles and there are 2,600 miles of coastline. Spain borders the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of
Biscay, and France. Spain’s mainland regions consist of Green, Inland, Southern, and Mediterranean
Spain. Green Spain contains provinces of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and Basque. It has a mostly rainy and cold climate with a lot of evergreens, and is mostly rural and includes coastlines that are steep, rugged cliffs. This area of Spain also includes the Cantabrian mountains which run through 300 miles of northern Spain. Lastly Green Spain includes the Basque countryside of idyllic mountain villages, and engineering and shipbuilding facilities. The next mainland region is Inland Spain, it includes the provinces of La Rioja, CastileLeon, CastileLa Mancha, Extremadura, and Madrid. La
Rioja is a farmland region north of Madrid and is known for its vineyards. CastileLeon and CastileLa
Mancha is the area surrounding Madrid which is located on the Meseta Plateau. The Meseta is almost half of the spanish mainland and is the largest Plateau in Europe. Extremadura is known for being referenced to older Spain. Madrid is the capital of Spain. Now in Mediterranean Spain there is
Catalonia, Valencia, and Murica. Catalonia is the most geographically diverse because of its mountains and beaches, it also contains the old city of Barcelona. Valencia is known for their citrus orchards, palm and fig trees. Murcia is one of the smallest provinces and it is also one of the driest, but it is known for its irrigated hillsides. The last region of Spain is Southern Spain. It includes one province, Andalucia which is one of the top tourist spots in Spain. In the east it has snowcapped mountains, but in the west it is very warm and dry. Some other things I didn’t mention about the geography is major landforms, major bodies of water, and cities. The landforms are the Cordillera Betica mountains and the Sierra
Nevada mountains in Andalucia, and the Pyrenees mountains which run between Spain and France.
The major bodies of water are the Strait of Gibraltar, Tagus River, Ebro River, and the Jucar River.
Lastly the biggest cities in Spain are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, and Malaga. The geography of this country has a big role in Spain’s history.
At the start of the 19th century Spain was devastated by war and the loss of colonies in
America. Spain was falling behind in industrializing compared to the rest of Europe. Which delayed their economy for many years. The time from 1814 to 1875 was called the period of troubles. Spain was experiencing internal conflicts over types of government and succession to the throne. This lead to the Carlist Wars in 1833, which were a series of civil wars and rebellions. After that the first Spanish
Republic was declared in 1873. In 1874, Alfonso XII became king, and was known for free trade. In
1890, the declaration of universal suffrage for men brought up the topic of republicanism becoming a big force again. Once again, Spain’s peaceful period ended in 1897 by their popular conservative leader
Antonio Canovas del Castillo being assassinated. Also, in 1898 adding to their loss was the loss of the
SpanishAmerican War. 1923 began the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera because of domestic problems and a war with northern Morocco. This dictator modeled his government on Italian
Fascism. People liked the idea at first but things changed after attacks on liberals and his economic mismanagement. He resigned in 1930, leaving the country to avoid a civil war and a republic was proclaimed. The Second Republic from 1931 to 1939 made participation in politics more popular, but it created tension between conservatives and