free ebooks

A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

All of these alien peoples were Mohammedans


peg on which to hang the former.

The volume is topically arranged, so that one may select those phases of development which interest him. Thus one may confine himself to the narrative, or to any one of the institutional topics, social, political, religious, economic, or intellectual. Indeed, the division may be carried even further, so that one may single out institutions within institutions. As regards proportions the principal weight is given to the periods from 1252 to 1808, with over half of the volume devoted to the years 1479 to 1808. The three centuries from the sixteenth to the nineteenth are singled out for emphasis, not only because they were the years of the transmission of Spanish civilization to the Americas, but also because the great body of the Spanish institutions which affected the colonies did so in the form they acquired at that time. To treat Spain's gift to Spanish America as complete by the year 1492 is as incorrect as to say that the English background of United States history is necessary only to the year 1497, when John Cabot sailed along the North American coast, or certainly not later than 1607, when Jamestown was founded. In accord with the primary aim of this work the place of Spain in general European history is given relatively little space. The recital of minor events and the introduction of the names of inconsequential or slightly important persons have been avoided, except in some cases where an enumeration has been made for purposes of illustration or emphasis. For these reasons,
together with the fact that the whole account is compressed into a single volume, it is hoped that the book may serve as a class-room text as well as a useful compendium for the general reader.

The writer has been fortunate in that there exists a monumental work in Spanish containing the type of materials which he has wished to present. This is the _Historia de Espa?a y de la civilizaci?n espa?ola_, which has won a world-wide reputation for its author, Rafael Altamira y Crevea.[1] Indeed, the present writer makes little claim to originality, since for the period down to 1808 he has relied almost wholly on Altamira. Nevertheless, he has made, not a summary, but rather a selection from the _Historia_ (which is some five times the length of this volume) of such materials as were appropriate to his point of view. The chapter on the reign of Charles III has been based largely on the writer's own account of the diplomacy of that monarch, which lays special emphasis on the relation of Spain to the American Revolution.[2] For the chapter dealing with Spain in the nineteenth century the volumes of the _Cambridge modern history_ have been used, together with those on modern Spain by Hume and Butler Clarke. The last chapter, dealing with present-day Spain, is mainly the result of the writer's observations during a two years' residence in that country, 1912 to 1914. In the course of his stay he visited every part of the peninsula, but spent most of his time in Seville, wherefore it is quite possible that his views may have an Andalusian tinge.

In the spelling of proper names the English form has been adopted if it is of well-established usage. The founder of the Carlists and Carlism, however, is retained as "Don Carlos" for obvious reasons of euphony. In all other cases the Spanish has been preferred. The phrase "the Americas" is often used as a general term for Spain's overseas colonies. It may therefore include the Philippines sometimes. The term "Moslems" has been employed for the Mohammedan invaders of Spain. The word "Moors" has been avoided, because it is historically inaccurate as a general term for all the invaders; the Almohades, or Moors, were a branch of the Berber family, and other Moslem peoples had preceded them in Spain by upwards of four hundred years. Their influence both as regards culture and racial traits was far less than that of the Arabs, who were the most important of the conquering races, and this fact, together with their late arrival, should militate against the application of their name to the whole era of Moslem Spain. All of these alien peoples were Mohammedans, which would seem to justify the use of the word "Moslems." The word "lords" in some cases indicates ecclesiastics as well as nobles. "Town" has been employed generally for "_villa_," "_concejo_," "_pueblo_," "_aldea_," and "_ciudad_," except when special attention has been drawn to the different types of municipalities. Spanish institutional terms have been translated or explained at their first use. They also appear in the index.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us