SPANISH EMPIRE, 1400-1700
In only fifty years from the 1480s to 1530s, Spaniards conquered parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas and created an empire where the “sun never set.” How did a poor, underpopulated country accomplish such a feat? This course explores the reigns of the Catholic Kings Isabel and Ferdinand, Charles V, and Philip II and the officers and soldiers that established the realm. We also examine the first “global” empire’s interactions with peoples of different ethnicities and religions such as Native Americans, Muslims, and Protestants, and the state’s relations with other great powers including the Ottomans, French, English, and Dutch. In this “Spanish Golden Age,” compelling forces such as the Catholic Reformation and Spanish Inquisition and great artists like the painters Velázquez and Murillo, the novelist Cervantes, and the playwright Calderón de la Barca also reveal a world of belief, devotion, humor, suffering, and poverty in Spanish culture.