IMPORTANT DATES about 1100-1000 BC Phoenicians began colonizing Spain. Modern cities such as C diz and Malaga were founded by the Phoenicians around this time. 400 s BC The Carthaginians conquered much of Spain. 200 s BC Spain became an important part of the Roman Empire following the Punic Wars.

AD 573 The Visigoths completed their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. 711-718 The Moors conquered most of Spain. Many Spaniards converted to Islam, and Moorish culture began to flourish. 1000 s The Christian reconquest of Spain began. 1479 Arag n and Castile were united under Ferdinand V and Isabella I. The following year the Spanish Inquisition was established.

1492 The Kingdom of Granada was conquered, ending Moorish rule in Spain. Christopher Columbus initiated Spanish claims in the Americas, where Spain quickly established a huge colonial empire. 1512 The Kingdom of Navarre was absorbed into the unified Kingdom of Spain. Spanish culture flourished and Spain became a world power. 1588 The English navy defeated the Spanish Armada, beginning a period of slow decline for Spain. 1714 Great Britain gained Gibraltar from Spain.

1808 Napoleon I of France invaded Spain and captured Madrid. Spanish, English, and Portuguese forces did not drive the French from Spain until 1814. 1810-1825 Most of Spain American colonies won their independence. 1898 Spain lost the rest of its important overseas possessions following the Spanish-American War.

1931 King Alfonso XIII fled from Spain, and the country became a republic. 1936-1939 Spanish Nationalist forces led by General Francisco Franco defeated Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. 1968 Buoyed by strong economic growth, the government eased censorship restrictions. Protests erupted in Barcelona and Madrid, and regional separatist groups gained strength. 1975 Franco died and was succeeded by King Juan Carlos. Spain became a constitutional monarchy.

1980 s Spain joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Community (now the European Union), increasing its ties with the rest of Europe. 1992 The Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. 1994 Spain threatened to block expansion of the European Union until a compromise guaranteed protection of Spanish fishing rights.