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Spain is a melting pot of various civilisations. It has been inhabited by Iberians, Celts and the Basques. It has been ruled by an eclectic mix of civilisations – comprising the Romans who named the country Hispania (from where, the modern name, Spain is derived,) the Germanic tribes and finally the Moors from North Africa; before the Roman Catholics regained control of the nation in the late 15th century. Spain became one of the most powerful kingdoms on earth, leading forays into the rest of the world. The Spaniards were proficient seafarers and their conquests for gold and new land have been immortalised into legends. The great discoverer Columbus, credited with discovering the Americas, has had his roots in this nation. The Spanish Armada was indubitably the most powerful fleet of ships in the world. Eventually they became the dominant force in the world for one and a half centuries, and had the biggest overseas empire for over three hundred years. The chinks in the Spanish armour began to show, as Napoleon and civil wars tore into the Spanish kingdom. Reduced to a shadow of itself, Spain witnessed further retrogression as she came under the rule of an authoritarian government that hurt her growth and economy. However, Spain bounced back post the World Wars and is currently a developed democratic country, the 13th biggest economy in the world and a part of the European Union. Spain, however, is one of the few countries to have a royal ruling family at the helm.
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