By 1512, most of the kingdoms of present-day Spain were politically unified. ("Spain" was a geographic term meaning Iberian Peninsula, not the present-day state called Spain). Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor but called in Spain Carlos I, extended his crown to other places in Europe and the rest of the world. The unification of Iberia was complete when Charles V"s son, Philip II, became King of Portugal in 1580, and the other Iberian Kingdoms (collectively known as "Spain" at that time). During the 16th century, under the reigns of Charles V and Philip II, Spain became the most powerful nation in Europe. The Spanish Empire covered most territories of South and Central America, Mexico, some of Eastern Asia (including The Philippines), the Iberian peninsula (including Portugal and its empire from 1580), southern Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. It was the wealthiest nation in Europe, but the uncontrolled influx of goods and minerals from Spain"s colonies in the Americas resulted in rampant inflation and economic depression. Religious wars supported by the Spanish crown further burdened the empire"s economy.
In 1640, under Philip IV, the centralist policy of the Count-Duke of Olivares provoked wars in Portugal and Catalonia. A series of long wars and revolts followed in the 17th century began a steady decline of Spanish power in Europe. Controversy over succession to the throne occupied the country and much of Europe during the first years of the 18th century. A centralized Spanish state was established and the first Bourbon king Philip V of Spain in 1707 dissolved the Aragon court and unified the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon into a single kingdom of Spain.
Spain was occupied by Napoleon in the early 1800s. After the War of Independence (1808-1814), a series of revolts and armed conflicts between Liberals and supporters of the ancient régime lasted throughout much of the 19th century, complicated by a dispute over dynastic succession which led to three civil wars. Spain was briefly a Republic, from 1871 to 1873, a year in which a series of coups reinstalled the monarchy. In the meantime, Spain lost all of its colonies in the Caribbean region and Asia-Pacific region during the 19th century, a trend which ended with the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Guam to the United States after the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). Spain joined the EU in 1986.
Spain is a country located in the southwest of Europe. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra. To the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and the principality of Andorra. It includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa, and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the strait of Gibraltar, known as Plazas de soberanía.
Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees or the Sierra Nevada. Running from these heights are several major rivers such as the Tajo, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia, in the east there are alluvial plains with medium rivers like Segura, Júcar and Turia. Spain is bound to the east by Mediterranean Sea (containing the Balearic Islands), to the north by the Bay of Biscay and to its west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales or National Assembly. The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the President of Government (comparable to a prime minister), proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections.
The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies with 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and a Senate with 259 seats of which 208 are directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.
如今的西班牙大部分领土在1512年是政治上的统一体。（“西班牙”是个地理术语，指的是伊比利亚半岛，不是今天的西班牙国家）。神圣罗马教皇查里斯五世（Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor）--在西班牙被称为卡洛斯一世（Carlos I），将他的王权扩展到欧洲的其它地区和世界的其它角落。 伊比利亚半岛的统一在查里斯五世（Charles V）的儿子菲利普二世（Philip II）时完成，菲利普二世（Philip II）在1580年成为葡萄牙的国王和其他伊比利亚王国的国王。 16世纪，查里斯五世和菲利普二世的统治时期，西班牙成为欧洲最富强的国家。 其领土包括南和中美洲的大部分领土，墨西哥，一部分东亚地区（包括菲律宾），伊比利亚半岛（包括从1580开始成立的葡萄牙和它的帝国），意大利南部，德国和荷兰。西班牙是欧洲的最富有的国家，但从其殖民地美洲源源不断流入西班牙的货物和资源导致了剧烈的通货膨胀和经济倒退。西班牙王室支持的宗教战争加重了经济负担。
1640年，在菲利普四世（Philip IV）的统治下，奥里维瑞斯伯爵（Count-Duke of Olivares）的集中政策引发了葡萄牙和加泰罗尼亚的战争。17世纪后一系列长期战争和起义大大减弱了西班牙在欧洲的力量。 18世纪早期，这个国家和欧洲其他的很多地区都发生了一连串关于王位的争夺。 1707年第一个中央集权的西班牙国家建立，它的第一位波旁王朝国王是菲利普五世（Count-Duke of Olivares），在1707年他解散了亚拉冈（Aragon）法院，统一了卡斯提尔（Castile）和亚拉冈（Aragon），使之成为西班牙一个独立的领域。
19世纪早期，西班牙被拿破仑占领。 独立战争(1808-1814)后，也就是19世纪 大部分时间，发生了一系列自由者和保守派封建制度支持者间的起义和武装斗争。 君主王位继承战导致了三次内战。 西班牙在1871-1873年期间成立了一个短暂的共和国，但一系列的政变恢复其君主政权。 同时，西班牙失去了在加勒比海地区和亚太平洋地区的大部分殖民地， 这趋势在1898年的西班牙-美国战争后， 西班牙将古巴、波多黎各、菲律宾和关岛划分给美国而告终。
西班牙处于欧洲的西南部，它和葡萄牙、直布罗陀和安道尔共同拥有伊比利亚半岛，在北部，沿着比利牛斯山脉它邻近法国和安道尔公国。西班牙的领土包括在地中海的巴利亚利岛（Balearic）、在太平洋上的加那利群岛（Canary Islands），休达的城市和在地中海直布罗陀海峡的的一些无人居住的岛屿，这些岛屿被称为Plazas de soberanía。
西班牙主要地形是高原和山脉，比如比里牛斯山（Pyrenees）和塞拉内华达（Sierra Nevada）。有很多大河流过这些山脉，比如塔霍河（Tajo）、埃多罗河（Ebro）、Duero河、瓜地亚纳河（Guadiana）和瓜达尔基维尔河（Guadalquivir）。在海岸边有冲击平原，其中最大的一个是安大路西亚（Andalusia）的瓜达尔基维尔（Guadalquivir）。在东部有中等河流中的冲击平原，这些河有Segura, Júcar 和 Turia。西班牙在地中海的的东部（包括巴利亚利岛），北部是比斯凯湾，西部是大西洋。
西班牙是君主立宪制国家，君主的继承权是世袭的，实行西班牙国会或众议院的两院制议会。 执行机构是由政府首脑（类似于总理）主持的大臣会议，政府的首脑由君主提名，并根据立法选举由众议院选出。立法机构是由350名代表组成的议会。这些代表由block lists的大众选举按一定比例的代表选出，任期4年。参议院有259个席位，其中208个席位由大众选举选出，另外59个席位由地方地方机关任命，任期同样为4年。