Spain is a country in Western Europe famous for its colorful bullfights,
sunny climate, and beautiful story-book castles. Until the mid-1900's, Spain was
one of the most underdeveloped countries of Western Europe. Most of the people
were poor farmers.
Then during the 1950's and 1960's, rapid economic development changed Spain into
an industrial nation.
A Short Background
Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately
yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the
mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain,
France, and Germany in economic and political power.
Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a
devastating Civil War (1936-39). In the second half of the 20th century, it has
played a catch-up role in the western international community.
Continuing concerns are large-scale unemployment and the Basque separatist
||Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay,
Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean,
and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
||40 00 N, 4 00 W
||40,037,995 (July 2001 est.)
||composite of Mediterranean and
||Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
||Castilian Spanish (official)
74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%,
Basque 2% (the three official in their
||euro (EUR) (before euro, Spanish peseta -a fixed rate of
166.386 Spanish pesetas per euro-)
||1 EURO to US Dollar : 1,1962 (April
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