Spanish

Spanish

[span-ish]
Armada, Spanish, 1588, fleet launched by Philip II of Spain for the invasion of England, to overthrow the Protestant Elizabeth I and establish Philip on the English throne; also called the Invincible Armada. Preparations, under the command of the marqués de Santa Cruz, began in 1586 but were seriously delayed by a surprise attack on Cádiz by Sir Francis Drake in 1587. By the time the expedition was ready Santa Cruz had died, and command was given to the duque de Medina Sidonia. The Armada consisted of 130 ships, including transports and merchantmen, and carried about 30,000 men. It was to go to Flanders and from there convoy the army of Alessandro Farnese, duke of Parma, to invade England. It set out from Lisbon in May, 1588, but was forced into A Coruña by storms and did not set sail again until July. Medina Sidonia's orders were to proceed straight up the English Channel and refuse battle until he had made junction with Parma. This gave the initiative to the English, whose main fleet, commanded by Charles Howard (later earl of Nottingham), sailed out from Plymouth to achieve the windward side of the Spanish and attacked at long range. Three minor actions followed, in which the Armada was somewhat damaged but its formation unbroken. On Aug. 6, Medina Sidonia anchored off Calais, from which position he hoped to make contact with Parma. The following night the English sent fire ships into the anchorage, causing the Spanish fleet to scatter, and then attacked (Aug. 8) at close range off Gravelines. Unable to re-form, the Armada was severely battered, but a sudden change in the wind enabled most of the ships to escape northward. In attempting to sail home by Scotland and the west coast of Ireland, the Spanish ships were dispersed by storms; their provisions gave out; and many of those who landed in Ireland were killed by English troops. Only about half the fleet reached home.

See G. Mattingly, The Armada (1959); A. McKee, From Merciless Invaders (1964); W. Graham, The Spanish Armadas (1972).

Spanish, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, issuing from Spanish Lake, S Ont., Canada, NW of Sudbury, and flowing generally S through Biskotasi and Agnew lakes to Lake Huron opposite Manitoulin island. There are several hydroelectric stations on the river.

(1701–14) Conflict arising from the disputed succession to the throne of Spain after the death of the childless Charles II. The Habsburg Charles had named the Bourbon Philip, duke d'Anjou, as his successor; when Philip took the Spanish throne as Philip V, his grandfather Louis XIV invaded the Spanish Netherlands. The former anti-French alliance from the War of the Grand Alliance was revived in 1701 by Britain, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman emperor, who had been promised parts of the Spanish empire by earlier treaties of partition (1698, 1699). The English forces, led by the duke of Marlborough, won a series of victories over France (1704–09), including the Battle of Blenheim, which forced the French out of the Low Countries and Italy. The imperial general, Eugene of Savoy, also won notable victories. In 1711 conflicts within the alliance led to its collapse, and peace negotiations began in 1712. The war concluded with the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which marked the rise of the power of Britain at the expense of both France and Spain, and the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden (1714).

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(1898) Conflict between the U.S. and Spain that ended Spanish colonial rule in the New World. The war originated in Cuba's struggle for independence. The newspapers of William Randolph Hearst fanned U.S. sympathy for the rebels, which increased after the unexplained destruction of the U.S. warship Maine on Feb. 15, 1898. Congress passed resolutions declaring Cuba's right to independence and demanding that Spain withdraw its armed forces. Spain declared war on the U.S. on April 24. Commo. George Dewey led the naval squadron that defeated the Spanish fleet in the Philippines (see Battle of Manila Bay) on May 1, and Gen.William Shafter led regular troops and volunteers (including future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) in the destruction of Spain's Caribbean Sea fleet near Santiago, Cuba (July 17). In the Treaty of Paris (December 10), Spain renounced all claim to Cuba and ceded Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the U.S., marking the U.S.'s emergence as a world power.

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Epiphyte (Tillandsia usneoides) in the pineapple family, found in southern North America, the West Indies, and Central and South America. It often hangs in large, beardlike, silvery-gray masses from trees and other plants and even on telephone poles, but it is not parasitic or structurally intertwined with its host. It takes in carbon dioxide and rainwater or dew for photosynthesis through tiny, hairlike scales that cover its threadlike leaves and long, threadlike stems. It absorbs nutrients from dust and solvents in rainwater, or from decaying organic matter around its aerial roots. Stalkless yellow flowers appear rarely. Spanish moss is sometimes used as a filler in packing boxes and upholstery, and around potted plants or floral arrangements.

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Romance language spoken in Spain and in large parts of the New World. It has more than 358 million speakers, including more than 85 million in Mexico, more than 40 million in Colombia, more than 35 million in Argentina, and more than 31 million in the U.S. Its earliest written materials date from the 10th century, its first literary works from circa 1150. The Castilian dialect, the source of modern standard Spanish, arose in the 9th century in north-central Spain (Old Castile) and had spread to central Spain (New Castile) by the 11th century. In the late 15th century the kingdoms of Castile, León, and Aragon merged, and Castilian became the official language of all of Spain, with Catalan and Galician (effectively a dialect of Portuguese) becoming regional languages and Aragonese and Leonese reduced to a fraction of their original speech areas. Latin American regional dialects are derived from Castilian but differ from it in phonology.

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(1701–14) Conflict arising from the disputed succession to the throne of Spain after the death of the childless Charles II. The Habsburg Charles had named the Bourbon Philip, duke d'Anjou, as his successor; when Philip took the Spanish throne as Philip V, his grandfather Louis XIV invaded the Spanish Netherlands. The former anti-French alliance from the War of the Grand Alliance was revived in 1701 by Britain, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman emperor, who had been promised parts of the Spanish empire by earlier treaties of partition (1698, 1699). The English forces, led by the duke of Marlborough, won a series of victories over France (1704–09), including the Battle of Blenheim, which forced the French out of the Low Countries and Italy. The imperial general, Eugene of Savoy, also won notable victories. In 1711 conflicts within the alliance led to its collapse, and peace negotiations began in 1712. The war concluded with the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which marked the rise of the power of Britain at the expense of both France and Spain, and the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden (1714).

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formerly Spanish Sahara

Territory, northwestern Africa. Area: 97,344 sq mi (252,120 sq km). Population (2004 est.): 417,000. Capital: Laayoune. Little is known of the area's prehistory, though rock engravings in southern locations suggest a succession of nomadic groups. In the 4th century BCE there was trade across the Mediterranean Sea between the region and Europe, but there was little European contact afterward, until the 19th century. In 1884 Spain claimed a protectorate over the Río de Oro region. Boundary agreements with France were concluded in 1900 and 1912. Spain formally united the area's northern and southern parts into the overseas province of the Spanish Sahara in 1958. The Polisario Front, a Saharawi separatist group formed in 1973, led an insurgency against Spanish colonial rule. In 1976 Spain relinquished its claim; the region then was divided between Mauritania and Morocco. That same year, the Polisario Front declared a government-in-exile, the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic. Sporadic fighting between Moroccan and Mauritanian forces and the Polisario Front began in the mid-1970s. Although Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, Morocco promptly annexed their portion. Despite a 1991 cease-fire and a number of United Nations-sponsored talks between the Polisario Front and the Moroccan government, at the beginning of the 21st century the issue of Western Sahara's status remained unresolved. Western Sahara has vast phosphate deposits and some potash and iron ore.

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officially Republic of Equatorial Guinea formerly Spanish Guinea

Country, on the western coast of equatorial Africa and including Bioko Island. Area: 10,831 sq mi (28,051 sq km). Population (2005 est.): 504,000. Capital: Malabo. The majority of the mainland population are Bantu-speaking Fang people, with a minority of other Bantu-speaking ethnic groups (see Bantu languages). The majority on Bioko are Bubi, descendants of Bantu migrants from the mainland. Languages: Spanish, French (both official), Pidgin English (commonly spoken). Religions: Christianity (predominantly Roman Catholic, also other Christians, Protestant); also Islam, traditional beliefs. Currency: CFA franc. Bordered by Cameroon and Gabon, Equatorial Guinea's mainland region is separated by the Bight of Biafra from the island of Bioko to the northwest. The mainland has a coastal plain some 12 mi (20 km) wide, with a long stretch of beach, low cliffs to the south, and hills and plateaus to the east. The Benito River divides the region. Bioko consists of three extinct volcanic cones and has several crater lakes and rich lava soils. Dense tropical rainforest prevails throughout the mainland and includes valuable hardwoods. Animal life has been decimated by overhunting. Cacao, timber, and coffee are exported from the country, but since the 1990s petroleum is the major export. Equatorial Guinea is a republic with one legislative house; its chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. The first inhabitants of the mainland appear to have been Bantu-speaking people. The now-prominent Fang and Bubi reached the mainland in the Bantu migrations of the late 19th and the early 20th century. Equatorial Guinea was ceded by the Portuguese to the Spanish in the late 18th century; it was frequented by slave traders, as well as by British and other merchants. Bioko was administered by British authorities (1827–58) before the official takeover by the Spanish. The mainland was not effectively occupied by the Spanish until 1936. Independence was declared in 1968, followed by a reign of terror and economic chaos under the dictatorial president Macías Nguema, who was overthrown by a military coup in 1979 and later executed. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo became leader of the country in 1979. A new constitution was adopted in 1982, but political unrest persisted into the 21st century despite the country's oil wealth.

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Great fleet sent by Philip II of Spain in 1588 to invade England in conjunction with a Spanish army from Flanders. Philip was motivated by a desire to restore the Roman Catholic faith in England and by English piracies against Spanish trade and possessions. The Armada, commanded by the duke of Medina-Sidonia, consisted of about 130 ships. In the weeklong battle, the Spanish suffered defeat after the English launched fire ships into the Spanish fleet, breaking the ships' formation and making them susceptible to the English ships' heavy guns. Many Spanish ships were also lost during the long voyage home, and a total of perhaps 15,000 Spaniards died. The defeat of the Armada, in which Francis Drake played a principal role, saved England and the Netherlands from possible absorption into the Spanish empire.

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