Spanish Civil War Aftermath I

Lead: In the decades following the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, Spain moved through terrible partisan blood-letting, fascist repression, but finally, fitfully into a mostly liberal democratic society.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early 1930s, it seemed as though Spain might just cast away centuries old shackles of tradition, religion and autocratic government and move into the modern world. Unfortunately, such was not to be. In ways similar to events in Germany and Italy, forces of reaction and conservatism rose up and smashed the liberalizing tendencies of a society hungry for progress and freedom. The nationalist revolt in 1936 led by Generalisimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde against Spain’s legitimately elected government, aided by Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, finally ground out the resistance of the armies loyal to the state.

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America’s First Century: Don Luis’ Revenge

                Lead: Long before the English established Jamestown, in the 1570s Spanish missionaries settled in the same area. A young native, Paquiquino, kidnapped by the Spanish 10 years before, led them back to the Chesapeake. In the end, he killed them all.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: From the time of Columbus, Spain concentrated its energy on settling Central and South America, the Caribbean and Florida.

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Spanish Armada – III

Lead: Clearly provoked by English policy, in 1588 Philip II of Spain sent a large fleet to support an invasion of southern England. It turned out not to be much of an Armada and was certainly not invincible.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: By 1585 Philip was convinced that in order to break English economic, diplomatic and military power and to restore Catholicism to England, he would need to mount an invasion. As it evolved, here was the plan. The Spanish would assemble a fleet of warships filled with supplies and troops, sail to Flanders in what is modern day Belgium, secure the Straits of Dover from English naval interference, screen the transport across the English Channel of 30,000 troops under the command of the Duke of Parma, vice-regent of the Spanish Netherlands, and support the invasion. From the beginning, almost everything went wrong.

Spanish Armada – II

Lead: In 1588 Spain sent a powerful fleet to support an invasion of southern England. Despite English propaganda to the contrary, this action was clearly provoked by the government of English Queen Elizabeth I.


                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the early days of her rule, one of Elizabeth’s best friends was King Philip II of Spain. He had been the husband of her sister and predecessor, Mary Tudor. He hoped that Elizabeth would continue Mary’s policy of Catholic restoration and, perhaps, even accept his hand in a powerful dynastic and diplomatic marriage. By 1560, however, it was clear Elizabeth desired a modified Protestantism for England and that she was toying with Philip’s affections just as she would every man who sought, by winning her heart, to compromise her power and capture her kingdom.

Spanish Armada – I

Lead: By the mid-1580s Philip II of Spain had had enough. He determined to destroy his heretical sister-in-law Elizabeth and bring her backward, troublesome little island kingdom to heel.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Philip of Spain always had high hopes for Elizabeth. He had, after all, been her brother-in-law, married to Mary Tudor, her older sister. Mary’s rule was short, however, and the queen died before she and Philip could produce the Catholic heir that might, over time, have restored stubborn England to the true faith. Philip didn’t like the English and they returned the compliment. Nevertheless, he hoped that when Mary died and Elizabeth took her place in 1558, he might win her hand and continue to pull England back out of Protestantism. A marriage would also maintain the European balance of power thus keeping France at a diplomatic disadvantage. Unfortunately, Elizabeth understood that marriage to Philip would drag England into continental disputes on the side of Spain, but more importantly, insure her power as a female ruler would be compromised in a marriage. Therefore, she paried Philip’s advances as she did the long line of suitors that tried to ensnare her heart and her throne.

Discovery of Cuba – II

Lead: The first major discovery of Christopher Columbus after his initial landfall in autumn 1492, was Cuba. He then turned his attention elsewhere and not until 1508 was Cuba even determined to be an island.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: The early development of Cuba by Europeans was a much-delayed thing. This was primarily due to the premier motivation for Spanish exploration in the so-called New World. Spain wanted a route to the rich spice islands of East Asia and it wanted gold and silver. It soon became obvious to most observers that the islands and mainland of the new lands were not Asia. Columbus died still convinced America was Asia but he was in a growing minority. It also became clear that the islands forming the eastern border of the Caribbean had only tiny deposits of precious metals. The search for gold went west into Mexico and South America.


European Discovery of Cuba – I

Lead: The first voyage led by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought Europeans to the Caribbean. One of his most significant discoveries was the largest island in the Antilles, Cuba.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: After decades of frustration, the Italian sailor and visionary, Christopher Columbus finally convinced the ruling house of Spain to commission him for a voyage of exploration out across of the Western Ocean in search of a water bridge to East Asia. King Ferdinand and his bride and fellow monarch Queen Isabella, had just achieved a seven-century long goal of the Christian kingdoms of Spain. They conquered Grenada, the last remaining Islamic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula.

Spanish Cultural Diversity – III

                Lead:      In 1978 Spain adopted its first post-Franco Constitution. Included was an innovative way of giving regions a certain amount of self-government. In the time since, Spain has created seventeen autonomous communities.


Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the run-up to and aftermath of the American Revolution, thirteen independent colonies or states came together to form the United States. The Constitution provides that powers not specifically granted to the federal government were retained by the states. States gave up some of their powers and kept others. The struggle to fix the powers of federal and state governments is one of the great disputes in American history. Spain developed differently. Beginning in the medieval period, the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon conquered Spain and unified its various regions under a strong central royal government. Despite powerful regional aspirations toward some degree of self-government, particularly in Catalonia the area around Barcelona and in the Basque region of the north, central government power nearly always trumped regional or provincial desires.