Before the 16th century, Spain was not recognized as a legitimate powerhouse in Europe. They were known as a very strong Catholic orientated country located in the Iberian Peninsula north of Morocco. However, in the matter of a span of little over a hundred years, Spain obtained a great amount of wealth and power through conquests and inheritance from the king. Just as they were the greatest empire in the world, it fell apart and soon declined into the status of a third-rate power in Europe.
King Charles V of Spain inherited many lands of Europe because of his family background. In 1506, he had obtained the Burgundain Lands, which included the Low Countries and Flanders. He was also the grandson of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the great two Spanish monarchs from the late 15th century. In 1516, he became the first monarch to rule a united Spain. He was not done yet. In 1519 he was granted the Habsburg domains in Austria. Not only that, but in 1530 he was named Holy Roman Emperor. This meant that Charles V has control over the three leading dynasties of Europe at the time- the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy, the House of Valois-Burgundy house of the Burgundian Netherlands, and the House of Trastamara of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon.
This meant in Europe Charles V had control completly over the Central, Western, and Southern lands. No other monarch in Europe had as much land as Charles V had in the European continent. Not only did he have that land, but also from the Spanish conquests in the Americas and Asia, Charles V had the first global empire in the world. His empire became very rich and powerful from those conquests and imported goods they received from those places.
The Columbian Exchange was the exchange of plants and animals from the Old World and the New World in which Spain and other empires successfully benefited from. From 1493, Columbus introduced horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, pigs, chicken, and goats. The rate at...
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