Since the end of the 15th century with the discovery and colonization of America, Spain began to set up a domain space, an Empire. The joint deed of reckless men eager for glory and riches, moral and religious principles to transmit (and often impose), and the wise direction of intelligent and daring leaders, shaped a new world, where the political system was transferred and copied. and social Spanish. The promulgation of the “Laws of the Indies”, the genesis of what five centuries later the UN called “Human Rights”, implied the consideration of the natives as subjects of the Crown with the same rights as the Spaniards.
Between the end of the 16th century and the middle of the 17th century, with the union of Spain and Portugal under the same crown, the Empire reached such an extension that it has not been surpassed by any power in the Western world in history.
Supported by a military power based on the fearsome Spanish Infantry Tercios, and the largest and most powerful naval fleet in Europe; the Empire lasted until the middle of the 17th century.
But the maintenance of both elements, men and ships, and the continuous wars and conflicts that Spain waged against everyone and everything, to defend that Empire, as well as the effort to maintain useless religious wars; they meant bleeding to death financially. All the resources of the Empire were spent on supporting that very Empire, instead of enriching the kingdom.
In the second half of the 17th century, parallel to a terrible economic crisis throughout Europe, the decline of Spanish power began. A series of disastrous Peace Treaties and Agreements signed by Spain, led to the greatest loss of land ever known. However, a large part of the Empire remained until the 19th century.