Constitutional monarchy in southwestern Europe, consisting of the Spanish mainland (bordered to the northwest by France and to the west by Portugal), the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital and largest city is Madrid.
- During the sixteenth century, Spain was the greatest world power. Its success was based partially on the riches it acquired in the New World (see Latin America and South America).
- The destruction of the Spanish Armada, a fleet sent to conquer England in 1588, marked the beginning of the decline of Spanish power.
- In the Spanish-American War, the United States defeated Spain, freed Cuba from Spanish colonial rule, and seized a number of former Spanish colonies, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
- In the Spanish Civil War, conservatives led by General Francisco Franco overthrew the second Spanish Republic.
- The Spanish monarchy was fully restored in 1975 after Franco's death. He had been dictator (see dictatorship) for thirty-six years.
- Under King Juan Carlos, Spain has established a political democracy and has been integrated into the European community.
- Bullfighting is a popular spectator sport in Spain.
- Basque separatists have carried out many acts of terrorism against Spain.