The Spanish Empire - Imperio Español

The Spanish Empire - Imperio Español

The Spanish Empire - Imperio Español - was one of the largest empires in history.

It began in 1492 with the discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus and lasted from the late 15th to the early 19th century,

During that period Spain controlled a vast overseas area in the New World of the Amercias and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines.

The new world was called "The Indies" - in Spanish: Las Indias - because Columbus originally was not trying to find a new world but to establish a new trade route from Europe to the Far East.

When he landed in what is now known as the "West Indies" he thought is was the Indies and he called the local people Indians.

The Spanish Empire was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries and reached its maximum size in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets" a term which was later to used about the British empire too.

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