Cingular Wireless LLC is the largest United States mobile phone company, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Cingular operates a network of multiple technologies. The most widely used of these technologies is called Global Systems for Mobile, or GSM. On top of their GSM network they run a data network called GPRS (general packet radio service) and an upgrade for faster speeds called EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution). Cingular supports their legacy networks of TDMA and Analog. Former networks include various paging services and the Cingular Interactive division that became Velocita Wireless.
Cingular Wireless was formed in 2001 as a joint venture of SBC (now AT&T) and BellSouth. The joint venture created the nations second largest carrier. Cingular grew out of a conglomeration of 11 regional companies. these companies include BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth Mobility DCS, Cellular One, Houston Cellular, BellSouth Wireless Data, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell, Ameritech Cellular, SNET and SBC Wireless. With the exception of Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS, the digital network consisted of TDMA Technology. The Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks used GSM technology on the PCS frequency (1900 Mhz). In 2002 Cingular began an initiative called "Project Genesis" which the code name for the GSM/GPRS overlay of the entire network. Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004.
AT&T Wireless merger
After a bidding war with Britain's Vodefone PLC, Cingular announced in February, 2004 that they would purchase AT&T Wireless for 41 Billion dollars. The merger was completed on October 16, 2004. The combined company had a customer base of 46 million people which placed Cingular as the largest wireless provider in the United States.
Universal Telephone Service UMTS high-speed network known as "BroadbandConnect", the first to utilize High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPDA), to counter Verizon's EV-DO network. UMTS was launched on December 6, 2005 in Seattle, Portland, San Fransico, Salt Lake City, San Jose, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Cingular is expected to launch UMTS in all major metropolitan areas by the end of 2006.
The Cingular Wireless logo prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, which is still used in some contexts.
In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintained and shared a GSM-1900 network prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless.
First announced on June 23, 2005 Cingular Wireless announced the intention to divest its Caribbean and Bermuda operations and licenses which it acquired from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, to Bermuda-based Digcel Group under undisclosed financial terms. , , , 
Cingular outsources some of their Customer Care to companies in Canada and overseas.
On August 25, Cingular was removed from the New York Better Business Bureau because of a large number of complaints that were not handled in a timely manner. The company is in the process of restructuring its customer care procedures and has appealed the decision. It remains a member of the BBB in other states in which it operates.
In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported logging more than 14,000 complaints (or 289 per million subscribers) against Cingular Wireless. The most common of which included number portability issues, over billing, poor customer support and network reliability.
Possible Name Change
On 20 November 2005, Ed Whitacre, CEO of the newly-merged SBC/AT&T, announced plans to market the service under the AT&T banner.  BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher countered that the terms of the joint venture allow either party to sell the service under another name, and that he believes they will be using the brand to market to business customers.  Cingular president Stan Sigman concurred with BellSouth's position, indicating that the Cingular brand would continue but be sold under the AT&T brand where offered in packages with other AT&T services, such as data and wireline telephony.
Recently, Cingular has launched a new ad campaign "Adelante". In Spanish it means literally "forward". It is aimed at the Hispanic and Spanish speaking communities in the US to boost sales and consists of newspaper ads, commercials, and magazine ads. Also, part of "Adelante" is to now start offering bilingual support at its stores for English and Spanish.
This page about cingular includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about cingular
News stories about cingular
External links for cingular
Videos for cingular
Wikis about cingular
Discussion Groups about cingular
Blogs about cingular
Images of cingular
Recently, Cingular has launched a new ad campaign "Adelante". Of the 1.4% identifying as other, 29% identified as Evangelical Christian, 26% as Jehovah's Witnesses and 3,5% as Muslim (the rest either mentioned smaller religions or declined to state).  Cingular president Stan Sigman concurred with BellSouth's position, indicating that the Cingular brand would continue but be sold under the AT&T brand where offered in packages with other AT&T services, such as data and wireline telephony. According to the latest official poll (CIS, 2002), 80% of Spaniards self-identify as Catholic, 12% as non-believer, and 1% as other (the remaining 7% declined to state).  BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher countered that the terms of the joint venture allow either party to sell the service under another name, and that he believes they will be using the brand to market to business customers. The number of believers has decreased significantly and for those who believe the degree of accordance and practice to their church is diverse. On 20 November 2005, Ed Whitacre, CEO of the newly-merged SBC/AT&T, announced plans to market the service under the AT&T banner. Over the past thirty years, Spain has become a more secularised society.
The most common of which included number portability issues, over billing, poor customer support and network reliability. Spain is believed to have been about 8 per cent Jewish on the eve of the Spanish Inquisition. In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported logging more than 14,000 complaints (or 289 per million subscribers) against Cingular Wireless. There are also many Spaniards (in Spain and abroad) who claim Jewish ancestry to the Conversos, and still practice certain customs. The company is in the process of restructuring its customer care procedures and has appealed the decision. It remains a member of the BBB in other states in which it operates. Currently there are around 14,000 Jews in Spain, all arrivals in the past century. On August 25, Cingular was removed from the New York Better Business Bureau because of a large number of complaints that were not handled in a timely manner. Since the expulsion of the Sephardim in 1492, Judaism was practically nonexistent until the 19th century, when Jews were again permitted to enter the country.
Cingular outsources some of their Customer Care to companies in Canada and overseas. Muslims were forcibly converted in 1492 and then expelled in the 16th century. , , , . The recent waves of immigration have led to an increasing number of Muslims, who have about 800,000 members. First announced on June 23, 2005 Cingular Wireless announced the intention to divest its Caribbean and Bermuda operations and licenses which it acquired from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, to Bermuda-based Digcel Group under undisclosed financial terms. Other religious faiths represented in Spain include the Bahá'í Community. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless. Taken together, all self-described "Evangelicals" slightly surpass Jehovah's Witnesses in number.
The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. Evangelism has been better received among Gypsies than among the general population; pastors have integrated flamenco music in their liturgy. In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintained and shared a GSM-1900 network prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. According to membership , the second religion of Spain is the organization of the Jehovah's Witnesses with 103,784 active publishers; there are also many Protestant denominations, all of them with less than 50 000 members, and about 20,000 Mormons. GSM Facilities. In truth, there is a growing rift between the urban areas of Spain and parts of the periphery, such as Catalonia, who support the secularisation of the state, and the rural areas and conservative parts of the periphery, like Galicia, who support keeping the social ideals inherent with their religious past.
The combined company had a customer base of 46 million people which placed Cingular as the largest wireless provider in the United States. According to recent surveys (New York Times, April 19, 2005) only around 18 per cent of Spaniards regularly attend mass. The merger was completed on October 16, 2004. It is important to note, however, that many Spaniards identify themselves as Catholics just because they were baptised, even though they are not very religious at all (in fact some polls show that 14% do not believe in any God). After a bidding war with Britain's Vodefone PLC, Cingular announced in February, 2004 that they would purchase AT&T Wireless for 41 Billion dollars. Spain is also the location of one of the Roman Catholic church's most important holy cities; Santo Toribio de Liébana, which holds the largest single piece of the true cross. AT&T Wireless merger. According to several sources (CIA World Fact Book 2005, Spanish official polls and others), from 80% to 94% self-identify as Catholics, whereas around 6% to 13% identify with either other religions or none at all.
Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004. Roman Catholicism is, by far, the most popular religion in the country. In 2002 Cingular began an initiative called "Project Genesis" which the code name for the GSM/GPRS overlay of the entire network. There are also many Germans who come to visit Spain during summer or who come to live in Spain. The Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks used GSM technology on the PCS frequency (1900 Mhz). A sizeable and increasing number of Spanish citizens (as Spain applies ius soli and provides special measures for immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries in order to acquire the citizenship) also descend from these communities. With the exception of Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS, the digital network consisted of TDMA Technology. As of October 2005, and according to the official Ministry of Labour data Permanent Immigration Observatory, there are 2,597,014 foreigners with valid residence permits, of which the largest are 552,694 EU citizens (of which 144,283 are British), 473,048 Moroccans, 333,251 Ecuadorians, 192,965 Colombians and 174,590 Romanians.
these companies include BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth Mobility DCS, Cellular One, Houston Cellular, BellSouth Wireless Data, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell, Ameritech Cellular, SNET and SBC Wireless. Nearly half of all immigrants have neither residence nor work permits. Cingular grew out of a conglomeration of 11 regional companies. The rise of population in Spain in recent years was largely due to them. The joint venture created the nations second largest carrier. They currently make up around 8.5 per cent of the official total population. Cingular Wireless was formed in 2001 as a joint venture of SBC (now AT&T) and BellSouth. The number of immigrants or foreign residents has tripled to 3,691,547 in less than five years, according the latest figures (2005) of National Statics Institute.
. The latter, meaning "mountain cattle ranchers" dwell in mountain ranges in the Principality of Asturias and have kept historically apart from the valley dwellers.
On top of their GSM network they run a data network called GPRS (general packet radio service) and an upgrade for faster speeds called EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution). During the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936), Catalonia, the Basque country and Galicia were given limited self-government, which was lost after the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and restored in 1978 during the transition to democracy. The most widely used of these technologies is called Global Systems for Mobile, or GSM. Moreover, the creation of a unified state in the 19th and 20th centuries has led to the present situation, which is apparently simple, but sometimes extremely confusing. Cingular operates a network of multiple technologies. Navarre and the Basque Provinces, however, kept a high degree of autonomy within their legal and financial system (Fueros). Cingular Wireless LLC is the largest United States mobile phone company, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Until 1714, Spain was a loose confederation of kingdoms and statelets under one king, until King Philip V (Felipe V) removed the autonomous status of the Aragonese crown.
It is used to receive SMS messages from other racers. Spain became a unified crown with the union of Castile and Aragon in 1492 and the annexation of Navarre in 1515. Cingular Wireless is the wireless carrier of the street racers in Electronic Arts' street racing video games Need for Speed Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. There has been a lot of internal migration (rural exodus) from regions like Galicia, Andalusia and Extremadura to Madrid, Catalonia, Basque Country and the islands. A sales boost is expected following January 2006, when RadioShack (the top wireless retailer in the US) will no longer sell Verizon phones and instead will sell Cingular phones. The situation is even more confusing, since there are regions with ambiguous identities, like Navarre, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, etc. In 2005, Communications Workers of America, the union which represents over half of Cingular's employees, specifically recognized Cingular for excellence as a union employer, in direct contrast to competitor Verizon, which CWA singled out as an aggressive union-buster. Even Castille-Leon has 57% of people regarding themselves as much Spaniards as they are Castillians.
Even more remarkable, almost all communities have a majority of people identifying as much with Spain as with the Autonomous Community (except Madrid, where Spain is the primary identity, and Catalonia, Basque Country and Balearics, where people tend to identity more with their Autonomous Community). For example, according to the last CIS survey, 44% of Basques identify themselves first as Basques (only 8% first as Spaniards); 40% of Catalans do so with their autonomous community (20% identify firstly with Spain), and 32% Galicians with Galicia (9% with Spain). The opposite is the case of a large part of Catalans, Basques and, in some measure, Galicians, who quite frequently identify primarily with Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country first, with Spain only second, or even third, after Europe. However, this may just be a reflection of the fact that the Castilian national identity was the first one to be quashed by the Spanish Empire in the revolt of the Communards (comuneros) in 1518-1520.
Castile is considered by many to be the "core" of Spain. But Spain's identity is sometimes, in fact, an overlap of different regional identities, some of them even conflicting. The Spanish Constitution of 1978, in its second article, recognizes historic entities ("nationalities," a carefully chosen word in order to avoid "nations") and regions, inside the unity of the Spanish nation. variants) descended from the Spanish spoken in south-western Spain (Andalusia, Extremadura and Canary Islands).
Many linguists claim that most of the Spanish language variants spoken in Latin America (Mexican, Argentinian, Colombian, Peruvian, etc. In the touristic areas of the Mediterranean costas and the islands, German and English are spoken by tourists, foreign residents and tourism workers. However, unlike Catalan, Galician, and Basque, these do not have any official status. There are also some other surviving Romance minority languages: Asturian / Leonese, in Asturias and parts of Leon, Zamora and Salamanca, and the Extremaduran in Caceres and Salamanca, both descendants of the historical Astur-Leonese dialect; the Aragonese or fabla in part of Aragon; the fala, spoken in three villages of Extremadura; and some Portuguese dialectal towns in Extremadura and Castile-Leon.
Catalan, Galician, Aranese (Occitan) and Spanish (Castilian) are all descended from Latin and have their own dialects, some championed as separate languages by their speakers (the Valencià of València, a dialect of Catalan, is one example). The following languages are co-official with Spanish according to the appropriate Autonomy Statute (Spain)|Autonomy Statutes. Without mentioning them by name, the Spanish Constitution recognizes the possibility of regional languages being co-official in their respective autonomous communities. The Castilian-derived Spanish (called both español and castellano in the language itself) is the official language throughout Spain, but other regional languages are also spoken.
The Spanish Constitution, although affirming the sovereignty of the Spanish Nation, recognizes historical nationalities. Large-scale unsustainable development is clearly visible along Spain's Mediterranean coast in the form of housing and tourist complexes, which are placing severe strain on local land and water resources. This is particularly worrying for a country whose dependence on imported oil (meeting roughly 80% of Spain's energy needs) is one of the greatest in the EU. Meanwhile, Spain's energy consumption has doubled over the last 20 years and is currently rising by 6% per annum.
Although Spain's population grew by less than 5% between 1990 and 2000, urban areas expanded by no less than 25% over the same period. The first report of the Observatory on Sustainability (Observatorio de Sostenibilidad) - published in 2005 and funded by Spain's Ministry of the Environment and Alcalá University - reveals that the country's per capita GDP grew by 25% over the last ten years, while greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 45% since 1990. There is general concern that Spain's model of economic growth (based largely on mass tourism, the construction industry, and manufacturing sectors) is faltering and may prove unsustainable over the long term. According to World Bank GDP figuresfrom 2004, Spain has the 8th largest economy in the world.
Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and reducing unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years. The Prime Minister Rodríguez Zapatero, whose party won the election three days after the Madrid train bombings in March 2004, plans to reduce government intervention in business, combat tax fraud, and support innovation, research and development, but also intends to reintroduce labour market regulations that had been scrapped by the Aznar government. Growth of 2.4% in 2003 was satisfactory given the background of a faltering European economy, and has steadied since at an annualised rate of about 3.3% in mid 2005. This (still unacceptable) level must be seen in the light of levels of over 20% at the start of the 1990s.
It now is 8,7% (December 2005). Unemployment fell steadily under the Aznar and Zapatero administration. The Aznar administration continued to advocate liberalization, privatisation, and deregulation of the economy and introduced some tax reforms to that end. The centre-right government of former Prime Minister Aznar successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency, the euro, on 1 January 1999.
Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 87% that of the four leading West European economies. Spanish allege the Treaty of Vienna left unaffected the Treaty of Badajoz which gave the territory to Spain and just encouraged the parties to reach a diplomatic settlement. Portuguese claim the Treaty of Vienna (1815), to which Spain was a signatory, stipulated return of the territory to Portugal. Portugal does not recognize Spain's sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza.
Morocco points out that those territories were obtained when Morocco could not do anything to prevent it and has never signed treaties ceding them. Morocco claims the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the uninhabited Vélez, Alhucemas, Chafarinas, and Perejil islands, all on the Northern coast of Africa. It changed hands during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 and was ceded to Britain in perpetuity in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. Spain has called for the return of Gibraltar, a tiny British possession on its southern coast.
Spain's climate can be divided in four areas:. Spain is bound to the east by Mediterranean Sea (containing the Balearic Islands), to the north by the Bay of Biscay and to its west by the Atlantic Ocean, where the Canary Islands off the African coast are found. Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia, in the east there are alluvial plains with medium rivers like Segura, Júcar and Turia. Running from these heights are several major rivers such as the Tajo, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir.
Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees or the Sierra Nevada. The Canary islands, Ceuta and Melilla, although not officially historic communities, enjoy a special status. There are also five enclaves (plazas de soberanía) on and off the African coast: the cities of Ceuta and Melilla are administered as autonomous cities, an intermediate status between cities and communities; the islands of the Islas Chafarinas, Peñón de Alhucemas, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera are under direct Spanish administration. Traditionally, provinces are usually subdivided into historic regions or comarcas.
The autonomous communities of Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Navarre, Murcia, and Madrid (the nation's capital) are each composed of a single province. Therefore, autonomous communities group provinces (for instance, Extremadura is made of two provinces: Cáceres and Badajoz). This structure is prior to that of the autonomous communities (dates back to 1833). Spain is divided into 50 provinces (provincias).
The Spanish kingdom has also a provincial structure. Spain consists of 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autónomas) and 2 autonomous cities (ciudades autónomas; Ceuta and Melilla). Administratively, Spain is divided into 50 provinces, grouped into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities with high degree of autonomy. On July 1st 2005, Spain became the fourth country in the world to allow gay matrimonies.
Despite a very low participation (42%), the final result was very strongly in affirmation of the constitution, making Spain the first country to approve the constitution via referendum (Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia approved it before Spain, but they did not hold referenda). The rules states that if any country rejects the constitution then the constitution will be declared void. On February 20th 2005, Spain became the first country to allow its people to vote on the European Union constitution that was signed in October 2004. PSOE, CiU, ERC, PNV, IU-ICV, CC and the mixed group -BNG, CHA, EA y NB- supported it with a total of 192 votes, while the 147 PP parliamentaris objected.
On 17 May 2005, all the parties in the Congress of Deputies, except the PP, passed the Central Government's motion of beginning peace talks with the ETA with no political concessions and only if it gives up all its weapons. Although the Basque Autonomous government does not condone any kind of violence, their different approaches to the separatist movement are a source of tension between the federal and Basque governments. They consider themselves a guerrilla. The terrorist group, ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom), is attempting to achieve Basque independence through violent means, including bombings and killings of politicians, police and militaries.
This novel system of asymmetrical devolution has been described as a coconstitutionalism and has similarities to the devolution process adopted by the United Kingdom since 1997. There are some differences within this system, since power has been devolved from the centre to the periphery asymmetrically, with some autonomous governments (especially those dominated by nationalist parties) seeking a more federalist—or even confederate—kind of relationship with Spain, now the Central Government is dealing with autonomous governments for the transfer of more autonomy. Spain is, at present, what is called a State of Autonomies, formally unitary but, in fact, functioning as a Federation of Autonomous Communities, each one with different powers (for instance, some have their own educational and health systems, others do not) and laws. The legislative branch is made up of the Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members, elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms, and a Senate or Senado with 259 seats of which 208 are directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to also serve four-year terms.
The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers presided over by the President of Government (comparable to a prime minister), proposed by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly following legislative elections. Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary monarch and a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales or National Assembly. It also had a significant effect on the upcoming elections in Spain, due in part to the ruling government's insistence that the ETA was the prime suspect in the bombings, even as the evidence of Muslim extremist terrorism rapidly emerged from the police investigation and the international press. These resulted in 192 people dead and 1,460 wounded.
On March 11, 2004, a series of bombs exploded in commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. Adolfo Suárez González, Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo Bustelo, after an attempted coup d'état in 1981, Felipe González Márquez (when Spain joined NATO and European Union), José María Aznar López and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero have been presidents of the government of Spain. In the Basque Country moderate Basque nationalisms coexist with radical nationalism supportive of the terrorist group ETA, which remains one of the biggest problems faced by Spanish citizens. Remaining dysfunctionalities, such as unlimited financial strain on contributor regions such as Catalonia make their people aim for a more equilibrated system, such as those enjoyed in Germany, where financial contribution to the whole can never exceed 4% of a Land's GDP.
With the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the arrival of democracy, some regions — Basque Country, Navarra— were given complete financial autonomy, and many — Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia— were given some political autonomy, which was then soon extended to all Spanish regions, resulting in a quite decentralized territorial organization in Western Europe. Upon the death of the dictator General Franco in November 1975, his personally-designated heir Prince Juan Carlos assumed the position of king and head of state. Growth continued well into the 1970s, with Franco's government going to great lengths to shield the Spanish people from the effects of the oil crisis. In the 1960s, more than a decade later than other western European countries, Spain began to enjoy economic growth (Spanish miracle) which gradually transformed it into a modern industrial economy with a thriving tourism sector.
This opening to Spain was aided by Franco's opposition to communism. president Eisenhower to establish a military presence in the Iberian peninsula. After World War II, being one of few surviving fascist regimes in Europe, Spain was politically and economically isolated and was kept out of the United Nations until 1955, when it became strategically important for U.S. Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera was executed in Alicante in 1936.
human dignity, for the integrity of man and for his liberty." Primo de Rivera called for what he called "organic democracy". He called for "the greatest respect for.. His political philosophy was based on Catholicism, saying that man "carries eternal values" and carries "a soul that is capable of damning or saving itself". Primo de Rivera denied his party was fascist, calling fascism fundamentally false.
The only official party in Spain at the time of Franco’s regime was the Falange party founded by Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. The resentment of Franco's brutality towards the more modern pro-Republican regions of Catalonia and the Basque country, whose distinctive languages and identity he suppressed during his long reign, continues to fuel strong separatist movements to this day. During the Second World War, Franco, under extreme pressure (Hitler had brought his army to the border of Spain after invading France), opted to remain neutral arguing that Spain could not afford a new war, but, as a concession to his civil war backer, authorised volunteers to go to the Russian front to fight the Soviet Union in an anti-Communist crusade in what came to be known as the Blue Division. After the civil war, General Francisco Franco ruled a nation exhausted politically and economically.
The Spanish Civil War has been called the first battle of the Second World War. The Republican side received tepid support from European democracies, which left the Soviet Union and idealist voluntary International Brigades as the only supporters of the legitimate democratic Republican rule. Although the coup initially failed, the ensuing Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 with the victory of the nationalist forces led by the ruthlessly efficient and unemotional General Francisco Franco and supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. However, in July 1936, against a backdrop of increasing political polarization, anti-clericalism and pressure from all sides, coupled with growing and unchecked political violence, the Republic was faced with an attempted military coup d'etat led by right-wing army generals.
The Republic offered political autonomy to the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia (where the autonomy did not have any effect due to the civil war) and gave voting rights to women. A period of dictatorial rule (1923 - 1931) ended with the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. A military disaster in Morocco in 1921 contributed to discrediting the monarch and worsened political instability. The 20th century initially brought little peace; Spain made a late and minor entry into the scramble for Africa, with the colonization of Western Sahara, Spanish Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.
However political stability in such a dispersed and variegated land, caught between pockets of modernity and large areas of extreme rural backwardness and strongly differentiated regional identities would elude the country for some decades yet, and was ultimately imposed only by a brutal dictatorship in 1939. However "the Disaster" of 1898, as Spanish-American War was called, led to Spain's cultural revival (Generation of '98) in which there was much critical self examination, and relieved it from the burden of its last major colonies. At the end of the 19th century, Spain lost all of its remaining old colonies in the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific regions, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines, and a large number of Pacific islands to the United States after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Pockets of relative modernity would appear, especially in Catalonia, Valencia and the Basque country, but generally Spain's extreme political instability in the 19th century made progress slow and very uneven.
In the latter half of the 19th century, Spanish Catalonia became the main center of Spain's industrialization. In the 19th century, the Romantic travellers saw in a backward Spain an exotic country, based on romantic 19th century mythmaking which was confirmed by the instability of the times, from which much of the present day stereotypes of Spain originate . The Napoleonic incursion led to a fierce guerilla war (Peninsular War) which saw the first wide spread manifestation of Spanish nationalism. But this promising late eighteenth century resurgence was short-lived, being totally disrupted by the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 19th century, that preceded the loss of the vast mainland American territories and plunged the country into endemic political instability, which lasted until 1939.
Spain's effective military assistance to the rebellious British colonies in the American War of Independence won it renewed international status. In the last two decades of the century there was an extraordinary growth (from a relatively low base) in general trade after the opening up of free trade within the empire (ending Andalucia's royally granted monopoly), and even the beginnings of an industrialisation of the textile industry in Catalonia, which benefited greatly from this freed up trade. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system in trying to modernise the administration and economy, in which it was more successful in the former than the latter. Following the wars of Spanish succession at its commencement, the 18th century saw a long, slow recovery, with an expansion of the iron and steel industries in the Basque Country, some increase in trade and a recovery in food production and population.
Spain's economic, demographic and political decline in the late 17th and early 18th centuries mirrored in general the fate of other regions of southern Europe such as Portugal, the Italian states, the Balkans, and much of central and eastern Europe, as much of the rapidly growing global oceanic trade, pioneered by the Iberian countries, was diverted to north-western Europe. The beggary that grew rapidly from the late 16th century forced many to live by their wits and inspired the popular picaresque genre of literature. These accusations found their way into the theatre and literature of the time. The resentment of ordinary peasants and labourers would find expression in implicating the nobility of Moorish ancestory and the churchmen of hypocrisy.
This was in stark contrast to the diminishing status of both institutions in rivals France, England and the Netherlands. Habsburg policies that entrenched the privileges and exemptions of the nobility (with its roots back in the Castilian War of the Communities of 1518-1520), whose warrior code of honour, derived from the Reconquista, made them antithetical to commercial enterprise, and the Church (as part of support of the Counter Reformation), with a great extension of Church lands, also played a decisive part in the undermining the Spanish economy and in curtailing the spread of modern thought. The result was a steep real economic and demographic decline during the 17th century, especially in empire's overburdened lynchpin, Castile, aggravated by failed harvests and plagues. A severe decline in food production ensued.
The terrible burden of taxes on the productive classes of the country, and the financial instability led to the collapse of the Castilian economy to the point where people resorted to bartering in 1627. From the early 17th century the government sought to meet its needs by tampering with the silver content of the currency, leading to severe bouts of inflation and deflation. Greatly worsening matters were the constant wars defending the global empire against envious European rivals, internal successions and the European wars (Eighty Years War and Thirty Years War), where Spain's resources were constantly drained defending the Habsburg's dynastic and religious interests, including the Counter Reformation. This proved disastrous as the silver mines became exhausted.
These shipments engendered inflation (a fact noticed by the School of Salamanca) that ate away at Spanish trades and commerce (which had never been been large or sophisticated, with some exceptions like ship building) by causing local goods to be uncompetitive, and eventually making the country almost totally dependant upon imports by the mid seventeenth century. The extended, lingering decline of the Spanish empire was due in large part, ironically, to its spectacular successes in the 15th and 16th centuries that led to the centuries of the treasure fleets bringing back silver and gold into the country from the American mines. Historically, the period of the mid 17th century to the mid 20th century was a relative failure for Spain compared to north western Europe. The influence of Spain on these cities is still evident in such cities as Los Angeles, California, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Spanish language's dominance in these states (it is interesting to note that in New Mexico, Spanish is one of the official languages, along with English.).
These included all of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and parts of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming. Spain had vast colonies in the Americas, stretching from Chile and Argentina to Central America and Mexico, to some states in the present-day United States. Of note during the 17th century was the cultural efflorescence now known as the Spanish Golden Age. The National Day of Catalonia still commemorates this defeat.
The British abandoned the conflict after Utrecht (1713), which led to Barcelona's easy defeat by the absolutists in 1714. It was only after this war ended and a new dynasty—the French Bourbons—was installed that a true Spanish state was established when the absolutist first Bourbon king Philip V of Spain in 1707 dissolved the parliamentarist Aragon court and unified the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon into a single, unified Kingdom of Spain, abolishing many of the regional privileges and autonomies (fueros) that had hampered Habsburg rule. Controversy over succession to the throne consumed the country and much of Europe during the first years of the 18th century. A series of long and costly wars and revolts followed in the early 17th century, and began a steady decline of Spanish power in Europe from the 1640s.
Portugal became an independent kingdom again, taking with it its empire, and Catalonia enjoyed some years of French-supported independence but was quickly returned to the Spanish Crown, except Roussillon. In 1640, under Philip IV, the centralist policy of the Count-Duke of Olivares provoked wars in Portugal and Catalonia. Religious and dynastic wars supported by the Spanish crown, especially in the Netherlands, also greatly burdened the empire's economy. The treasure fleet across the Atlantic and the Manila galleons across the Pacific made it the wealthiest and most powerful nation in Europe, but the rapidly rising influx of silver and gold from the colonies in the Americas throughout the 16th century ultimately resulted in economically damaging rampant inflation and led to economic depression by the 17th century.
This intellectual transformation is best seen in the School of Salamanca. Not only did this lead to the arrival of ever increasing quantities of precious metals, spices and luxuries, and new agricultural plants, that had a great influence on the development of Europe, but the explorers, soldiers, traders and missionaries also brought back with them a flood of knowledge that radically transformed the European understanding of the world, ending conceptions inherited from medieval times. It was a time of daring explorations by sea and by land, the opening up of new trade routes across oceans, conquests and the beginning of European colonization. It was the first empire about which it was said that the sun did not set.
The Spanish Empire covered most territories of South and Central America, Mexico, some of Eastern Asia (including The Philippines), the Iberian peninsula (including the Portuguese empire from 1580), southern Italy, Sicily, Germany, and the Netherlands. During the 16th century, early Habsburg Spain, in the reigns of Charles V and Philip II, Spain became the most powerful state in Europe. The unification of Iberia was complete when Charles V's son, Philip II, became King of Portugal in 1580, as well as of the other Iberian states (collectively known as "Spain" at that time). The grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor but called in Spain Carlos I, extended his crown to other places in Europe and the rest of the world.
By 1512, most of the kingdoms of present-day Spain were politically unified by the crown, although not as a modern, centralized state (in contemporary minds, "Spain" was a geographic term meaning Iberian Peninsula, which includes Portugal, not the present-day state called Spain - its use, then, comparable to the use of the term "Britain"). It was the unification of these separate Iberian empires that became the base of what is now referred to as the Spanish Empire. The process of political unification continued into the early sixteenth century. Until the late of the 15th century, Castile and Léon, Aragon and Navarre were independent states, with independent languages, monarchs, armies and, in the case of Aragon and Castile, two empires: the former with one in the Mediterranean and the latter with a new, rapidly growing, one in the Americas.
The mosques and synagogues were converted into churches. In the south the process of conversion was reversed from the 13th century: the majority Muslim population was gradually converted to Roman Catholicism. Arabic quickly lost its place in southern Spain's everyday life, and was replaced by Castilian. The reconquest from the Muslims is one of the most significant events in Spanish history since the fall of the Roman Empire.
The combined Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon emerged as a European great power. In their contests with the French army in the Italian Wars, Spanish forces under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba eventually achieved success, against the French knights, thereby revolutionizing warfare. Isabella I funded the voyages of Christopher Columbus. The year 1492 was also marked by the discovery of the New World.
A 1499 Muslim uprising, triggered by forced conversions, was crushed and was followed by the first of the expulsions of Muslims, in 1502. Also Aragonese labourers were angered by landlords use of Moorish workers to undercut them. Behind much real religious intolerance was always the fear that the local Muslims might assist another Muslim invasion. At Ferdinand's urging the Spanish Inquisition had been established in 1482.
The Treaty of Granada  guaranteed religious tolerance toward Muslims while Jews were expelled that year. It clung to its peripheral existence for two and half centuries when in 1492 Isabella and Ferdinand captured the southern city of Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain. By the middle of the 13th century most of the Iberian peninsula had been reconquered, leaving only Granada as a small tributary state in the south. The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 heralded the collapse of the great Moorish strongholds, such as Seville and Córdoba, in the south.
This Islamic revival was short-lived, as by the middle of the 12th century the Almoravid empire had collapsed. In 1086 the Almoravids, an ascetic Islamic sect from Africa, quickly conquered the small Moorish states in the south and then launched an invasion in which they captured the east coast as far north as Saragossa. The 1085 conquest of the central city of Toledo had largely brought to an end the reconquest of the northern half of Spain. As early as 739, the north-western region of Galicia, which became one of the most important centres of western medieval Christian pilgrimage (Santiago de Compostela), had been liberated from Moorish occupation by forces from neighbouring Asturias.
The long, convoluted period of expansion of the Christian kingdoms, beginning in 722, only eleven years after the Moorish invasion, is called the Reconquista. However as the 11th century drew to a close most of the north and center of Spain was back under Christian control. By the end of the 10th century the majority of the population had been converted to Islam. Arabic was the official language of government, commerce and scholarship in Muslim controlled areas of Spain, and the majority of the population, including Christians and Jews, now spoke it, though many were bilingual.
Life in Muslim Spain was very different from life in contemporary Christian Spain. These diverse traditions interchanged in ways that gave Spanish culture — religion, literature, music, art and architecture, and writing systems — a rich and distinctive heritage. Even Jews and Christians often spoke Arabic, while Hebrew and Latin were frequently written in Arabic script. A large part of the population gradually adopted Arabic.
Roman, Jewish, and Muslim culture interacted in complex ways. The Muslim conquerors were relatively few in number and so they generally tried to maintain good relations with their subjects (there were exceptions), though this relative social peace broke down with the stricter, and therefore intolerant, Muslim sects that arrived from the end of the 11th century. Outside the cities the mixture of large estates and small farms that existed in Roman times remained largely intact, because Muslim leaders rarely dispossessed landowners. In towns and cities the Muslims constructed magnificent mosques, palaces, and other architectural monuments, many of which still stand today.
Crops and farming techniques introduced by the Arabs, including new irrigation practices, led to a remarkable expansion of agriculture that had been in decline since late Roman times. Muslims imported a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa, including knowledge about mathematics, science, and they helped revive in Europe the Greek philosophical tradition, which they continued to build upon in Spain. Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished. It was not until the 12th century that western medieval Christiandom only began to reach comparable levels of sophistication.
Córdoba was the richest and most sophisticated city in all of western Europe. Muslim Spain was wealthy and sophisticated under Islamic rule. Drawn into the politics of Islamic power, many Christians found that conversion made it easier to maintain their influence. Conversion was commonplace among merchants, large landowners, and other local elites.
Meanwhile many Christians in Spain, including Visigothic nobles, converted to Islam. They soon gave up attempting to settle the harsh lands of the northern reaches of the Meseta Central handed to them by the Arab elite, and, complaining of Arab duplicity, many returned to Africa during a Berber uprising against Arab rule. The Berbers, who were comparatively recent converts to Islam, accounted for the largest share of Moors in Spain and they resented the sophistication and aristocratic pretensions of the Arab elite. From the beginning the Berber tribespeople, of North Africa who had provided the bulk of the soldiers, clashed with the Arabs of Egypt and the Middle East who formed the ruling elite.
The Muslim community in Spain was itself diverse and beset by social tensions, which was ultimately to be one of the principle causes of the fall of Al-Andalus. In addition Jews held prominent positions in commerce and the professions and under some Muslim rulers and sometimes even positions in government. Muslim Spain came to include a growing number of Mozarabic Christians, people who adopted Arabic script and culture and preserved the old Visigothic rites that differed from those of Rome. The Roman Catholic Church in Muslim Spain continued to function, although it lost contact with religious reforms in Rome.
By the end of the 10th century the majority of Al-Andalus, of which the vast majority were pre-Arab Spaniards, had been converted. Conversion to Islam proceeded slowly but steadily as it offered social and economic advantages to converts. Clothing conventions were used to mark them out. They were not permitted to build new churches or synagogues.
Thus, Christians and Jews were free to practice their religion, but they had to pay a prescribed poll tax. Most importantly of all, the Islamic Berber and Arab invaders were a small minority, ruling over a few million Christians. At the same time, Christians and Jews were recognized under Islam as “peoples of the book.” Christianity and Judaism shared with Islam the tradition of the Old Testament, and Islam considered Jesus Christ a major prophet (though this is not to say that there were no social tensions). Islam restricted the ability of Muslim rulers to tax other Muslims, making it financially advantageous for a ruler to have non-Muslim subjects.
This is partly because Islamic conquest did not involve the systematic conversion of the conquered population to Islam. Spanish society under Muslim rule became increasingly complex.
However there were also restrictions and prohibitions on non-Muslims, which tended to grow after the death of Al-Hakam II in 976. At its best it produced exquisite architecture and art, and Muslim and Jewish scholars played a great part in reviving the study of ancient Greek and Roman culture and philosophy. During the time of Arab occupation, large populations of Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in close quarters, and at its peak some non-Muslims were appointed to high offices. The Moorish capital was Córdoba, in the southern portion of Spain known as Andalucía.
Later, even as Muslim Spain retreated southward, Mozarabs (Christians who spoke an Iberian tongue but used the Arabic alphabet to write it) and converts to Christianity brought with them the art and architecture of Muslim Spain into the Christian north. The distinctiveness of much Spanish art originates from the Muslim influence of this period, and many Arabic words made their way into Castilian (Spanish) and Catalan, and from them to other European languages. In trying to increase their status the Muslim taifa kings competed in patronage of the arts, and the Jewish population of Iberia set the basis of Sephardic culture. At this time a free for all fight involving alliances and divisions, that barely respected religious lines, developed among the Muslim and Christian kingdoms.
It was only in the 11th century, when Muslim Spain split into small warring kingdoms that the small Christian kingdoms were able to make large, sustained advances southward. War settled into a pattern of raids and retaliations. The Christian kingdoms were able to seize the empty lands north of the Duero river from their mountain redoubts and the Franks were able to seize Barcelona (801) and nearby areas (Spanish Marches), but for these and some other small incursions in the north the Christians were unable to make headway against the superior forces of Al-Andalus for several centuries. Despite internal discord, the Muslim emirate proved strong in its first three centuries - was able to stop Charlegmagne's massive forces at Saragossa and, after suffering a massive Viking surprise attack, was able to quickly establish effective defences at a time when they were the terror of Europe.
Only three small counties in the north of Spain managed to cling to their independence: Asturias, Navarra and Aragon, which eventually became kingdoms. But instead of returning to Africa after successfully assisting their allies, the Berber army turned on its hosts and conquered the Visigothic capital of Toledo. Astonishingly the invasion started off as an invitation from a Visgothic faction within Spain for support. Indeed this onslaught continued northwards until it was decisively defeated in central France at the Battle of Tours in 732.
Visigothic Spain was the last of a series of Christian countries conquered in a great westward charge from the Middle East and across north Africa by the religiously inspired armies of the Umayyad empire. In the 8th century, nearly all the Iberian peninsula, which had been under Visigothic rule, was quickly conquered (from 711), by Muslims (the Moors), who had crossed over from North Africa. It was the centuries of uninterrupted Roman rule and settlement that left the deepest and most enduring imprint upon the culture of Spain. Many of Spain's present languages, religion, and laws originate from this period.
The Spanish Bishops held the Council at Elvira in 306. The emperors Trajan, Hadrian and Theodosius I, the philosopher Seneca and the poets Martial and Lucan were born in Spain. Hispania supplied the Roman Empire with food, olive oil, wine and metal. It was divided in Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior during the late Roman Republic; and, during the Roman Empire, Hispania Taraconensis in the northeast, Hispania Baetica in the south and Lusitania in the southwest.
The Romans arrived in the Iberian peninsula during the Second Punic war in the 2nd century BC, and annexed it under Augustus after two centuries of war with the tenacious Celtic and Iberian tribes (from whom they copied the short sword) along with the Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian coastal colonies becoming the province of Hispania. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (Latin name of modern day Cartagena). In the 6th century BC the Carthaginians arrived in Iberia while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. The Greeks are responsible for the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro in Spanish).
In the 8th century BC the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the East, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. Around 1100 BCE, Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries. Beginning in the 9th century BC, Celtic tribes entered the Iberian peninsula through the Pyrenees and settled throughout the peninsula, becoming the Celtiberians.
The most important culture of this period is that of the city of Tartessos. This may have included the Basques, as one of the pre-Celtic people. The indigenous peoples peoples of the Iberian peninsula, consisting of a number of separate tribes, are given the generic name of Iberians. .
In the Northeast along the Pyrenees, a small exclave town called Llívia in Catalonia is surrounded by French territory. It also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the strait of Gibraltar, known as Plazas de soberanía, such as the Chafarine islands, the "rocks" (peñones) of Vélez and Alhucemas, and the tiny Isla Perejil (disputed). To the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and the tiny principality of Andorra. To the south, it borders Gibraltar and, through its cities in North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla), Morocco.
To the west (and, in Galicia, south), it borders Portugal. The Kingdom of Spain (Spanish and Galician: Reino de España; Catalan: Regne d'Espanya; Basque: Espainiako Erresuma; Occitan: Regne d'Espanha) is the larger of the two countries that make up the Iberian peninsula—the other is Portugal—located in southwestern Europe. The Economist Intelligence Unit's worldwide quality-of-life index 2005: Rank 10 out of 111 countries (above countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France). Reporters Without Borders world-wide press freedom index 2002: Rank 40 out of 139 countries.
Spoken in the Val d'Aran in Catalonia. Occitan (the Aranese dialect). Galician (galego) in Galicia (Galicia or Galiza). Basque is not known to be related to any other language.
Basque (euskara) in Basque Country (Euskadi), and parts of Navarre (Nafarroa). Catalan (català) in Catalonia (Catalunya), the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears), Valencia (València) and Aragon's eastern strip (Aragó). Málaga 1,074,074. Sevilla 1,317,098.
Valencia 1,623,724. Barcelona 4,686,701. Madrid 5,843,041. Low records: Santa Cruz de Tenerife 8.1 °C.
Hot records: Santa Cruz de Tenerife 42.6 °C. The Canary Islands: subtropical weather, with mild temperatures (18 °C to 24 °C Celsius) throughout the year. Low records: Bilbao -8.6 °C, Oviedo -6.0 °C, Gijon and La Coruña -4.8 °C. Hot records: Bilbao 42.0 °C, La Coruña 37.6 °C, Gijón 36.4 °C.
Northern Atlantic coast: precipitations mostly in winter, with mild summers (slightly cold). Low records: Albacete -24.0 °C, Burgos -22.0 °C, Salamanca -20.0 °C, Teruel -19.0 °C, Madrid -14.8 °C, Sevilla -5.5 °C. Hot records: Sevilla 47.0 °C, Cordoba 46.6 °C, Badajoz 45.0 °C, Albacete and Zaragoza 42.6 °C, Madrid 42.2 °C, Burgos 41.8 °C, Valladolid 40.2 °C. The interior: Very cold winters (frequent snow in the north) and hot summers.
Low records: Gerona -13.0 °C, Barcelona -10.0 °C, Valencia -7.2 °C, Murcia -6.0 °C, Alicante -4.6 °C, Malaga -3.8 °C. Hot records: Murcia 47.2 °C, Malaga 44.2 °C, Valencia 42.5 °C, Alicante 41.4 °C, Palma of Mallorca 40.6 °C, Barcelona 39.8 °C. Mild summers with pleasant temperatures. The Mediterranean: mostly temperate in the eastern and southern part of the country; rainy seasons are spring and autumn.
Land of Valencia (Comunitat Valenciana in Valencian /Comunidad Valenciana in Spanish, as official denominations). Navarre (Nafarroa in Basque/Navarra in Spanish). Murcia. Madrid.
La Rioja. Galicia. Extremadura. Catalonia (Catalunya in Catalan/Cataluña in Spanish/ Catalunha in Aranese).
Castile and Leon (Castilla y León in Spanish). Castile-La Mancha (Castilla-La Mancha). Cantabria. Canary Islands (Islas Canarias).
Basque Country (Euskadi in Basque/País Vasco in Spanish). Balearic Islands (Illes Balears in Catalan / Islas Baleares in Spanish). Principality of Asturias (Principáu d'Asturies in Asturian/Principado de Asturias in Spanish). Aragon (Aragón).