The Early Modern State
Spain in it's defining centuries, was isolated, cautious, organized, and powerful. The separation of Spain from other European nations made it possible for the development of individualized Spanish culture. This individualization of Spain created an environment that once unified, had skilled and strong monarchs that were determined to make it stay that way, even if they had to oppress the minority populations within it's borders and limit it's external influence to maintain that centralized power. Without any one of these factors, the entire Spanish empire would have never been because the treatment of minority populations was connected to the culture in Spain at the time as well as the centralized power being possible due to the geographic formation of the peninsula and everything in between. Without the fractured, provincial land scape, the highly localized cultures, strong leaders who could maintain the approval of the public, or the oppressive treatment of the minority populations and the centralization of power plus all of up keep that went into the system of maintaining power and maintaining decent foreign relations all combined to make Spain what it is today because of the factors that effected it hundreds of years ago.