Country on the Iberian peninsula, bordering Portugal, Gibraltar, France and Andorra. For much of the Middle Ages it was under Muslim rule, but by 1492 Muslims and then Jews had been kicked out and the Catholic monarchs had the money and interest to sponsor Columbus' voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. By virtue of being there first, Spain colonized most of South and Central America but by the 1800s most of the colonies were doing all they could to be granted independence. By the 1900s Spain was a backwater with little industry, and the 1930s Spanish Civil War did not help it catch up, but it's doing somewhat better now.