Spain has a population of 47,042,984 and gained its independence in 1479. It has shares its land borders with 5 countries: Morocco, Gibraltar, Andorra, France and Portugal.
Separated from western Europe by the Around 1100 BC southern Iberia was colonized by the Phoenicians, and by 220 BC, the Romans and their culture dominated the entire peninsula.
When the Roman Empire faded, assorted ethnic groups settled in, and the forceful Visigoths eventually ruled.
In the early 700's, Muslim forces from North Africa crossed the Princess Isabel of Castille married in 1469, large Christian parts of Spain were now united as one.
Their forces overran Granada, and the last Muslim stronghold surrendered. Now known as the 'Catholic Monarchs,' Fernando and Isabel resumed the Spanish Inquisition ( or Reconquest), a time of aggressive religious persecution, where Muslims, Jews and other non-Christians were expelled and/or executed.
The royal couple supported expeditions to the New World by Columbus, and other explorers like Balboa, Cotez and Magellan. Untold riches flowed into Spain from their new colonies in the Americas, and Spain became a powerful country.
France, Napoleon's troops crossed the Pyrenees into Spain. The Spanish people resisted and after a five-year war of independence, French forces were finally expelled, and the Spanish throne restored.
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