Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), } is a transcontinental country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Wee may say of him, as of the Spaniard, Hee is a bad Servant, but a worse Maister.
- Thomas Adams, The Sacrifice of Thankefulnesse (London: C. Knight, 1616) p. 6.
- The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are.
- Francis Bacon, "Of Seeming Wise", in Essays (1625); Brian Vickers (ed.) The Major Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p. 389.
- I remember vividly in 1974 being in the mass of people, descending the streets in my native Lisbon, in Portugal, celebrating the democratic revolution and freedom. This same feeling of joy was experienced by the same generation in Spain and Greece. It was felt later in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Baltic States when they regained their independence. Several generations of Europeans have shown again and again that their choice for Europe was also a choice for freedom. I will never forget Rostropovich playing Bach at the fallen Wall in Berlin. This image reminds the world that it was the quest for freedom and democracy that tore down the old divisions and made possible the reunification of the continent. Joining the European Union was essential for the consolidation of democracy in our countries. Because it places the person and respect of human dignity at its heart. Because it gives a voice to differences while creating unity. And so, after reunification, Europe was able to breathe with both its lungs, as said by Karol Wojtiła. The European Union has become our common house. The “homeland of our homelands” as described by Vaclav Havel.
- At one time Spain was one of the world's great powers, although under the leadership of General Francisco Franco (1578-1983) the nation gradually declined into total insignificance. There is no need, however, for you to rub this in. Be gracious, is our advice. For example, in a restaurant you might exclaim: "This food is certainly delicious! Especially considering that Spain is now a fourth-rate power!" Your hosts are sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness, and may even insist that you join in one of Spain's most glorious traditions: Getting Run Over by Bulls. This extremely exciting event, wherein live irate bulls are set loose in public streets, was originally held during the Festival of St. Raoul of the Fishes (October 8), but it has become so popular that in heavily touristed areas the bulls are released several times a day, sometimes in hotel lobbies. Wear comfortable shoes.
- Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need (1991), New York: Fawcett Columbine, p. 151
- And towering above each town, generally built on a height commanding it, stood the church, its finger pointed to heaven, its masonry rich and heavy, permanent and menacing, a constant reminder of the domination of the Church down all the ages. For although these deeply Catholic people had been burning their churches for centuries, the Church and its allies had always reasserted their power over the people, and this power was in dispute again to the endless hills, carved from root to summit with stone-shored terraces to hold the olives and the vine fields, quiet evidence of thousands upon thousands of grinding hours of man and woman labor. Sunny Spain, land of mañana, where nothing was done today that could be put off till tomorrow!
- Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of Americans in Spain (1939), p. 41
- The Spaniard is inherently nationalistic; but no more so than other national groups. Most people, trained from birth to distrust the foreigner, are nationalistic.
- Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of American in Spain (1939), p. 153
- There was always, therefore, a certain amount of friction between the Americans and the Spanish, which would seem to be a paradox when you consider that these Americans had abandoned everything in life to come to the assistance of the Spanish people. But a small, persisting snobbism on the part of the Americans, and a residue of distrust on the part of the Spanish (few clearly understood the issues at stake), contributed to the persistence of this friction. (Franco's propaganda also helped.)
- Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of American in Spain (1939), p. 154
- Cervantes smil'd Spain's chivalry away.
- The institutions that had flourished under the Moslem, died when the Moslem departed; and after four centuries of light and learning, Andalusia (Muslim Spain) fell back, under the Christian rule, into a condition of ignorance and barbarism, nearly, if not quite, equal to that of the north western provinces of the peninsula.
- Ulick Burke, History of Spain. p: 288
- Many of the traits on which modern Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, various types of medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. (...) The surprise is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
- The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtle, without being at all acute; hence there is so much humour and so little wit in their literature.
- In Mexico the gods ruled, the priests interpreted and interposed, and the people obeyed. In Spain, the priests ruled, the king interpreted and interposed, and the gods obeyed. A nuance in an ideological difference is a wide chasm.
- Richard Condon A Talent for Loving (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961) p. 5
- Europe—or rather Spain and Portugal—started building empires in the 1500s. ...[T]hey had interlocking systems—religious, political, administrative and commercial—that together reinforced the reasons to seek power in the form of political conquest. Empire building made political-military, ideological-religious, and economic sense. Spain's conquistadors set out to serve the king, to spread the word of God, and to get rich. Other adventurers and wannabe imperialists from elsewhere... did not have such a strong set of interlocking incentives and capabilities. ...The Portuguese—and the Spanish, and later the Dutch, French, and British—had it all, gold, guns, God, and kings, working together. ...1500 to 1770 was an Imperial-Commercial Age, with imperialism and globalization advancing along all their dimensions ...for great good and great ill.
- J. Bradford DeLong, Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century (2022)
- “Think of it, a free Italy: it is the poetry of politics”, wrote Byron at a dark moment in the history of the Italian Risorgimento. Think of it, a free, democratic Socialist Spain – there is surely still some poetry in that kind of politics today, even if it is beyond the imagination of such stunted, pusillanimous souls as Bernard Levin.
- Michael Foot, Letter to The Times (25 October 1982), p. 11
To all of you who feel holy love for Spain, to all of you who in the ranks of the army and the navy have sworn to serve the fatherland, to those of you who swore to defend it from its enemies with your lives, the nation calls you to defend it.
- Francisco Franco, on 18 July 1936 in his radio speech at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, declaring his and his soldiers' support for the Nationalist cause from the Canary Islands, from which they would soon depart to invade mainland Spain. As quoted by Jon Cowans (editor) in Modern Spain: A Documentary History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p. 177.
- I say this to you because we Spaniards are a forgetful people, because we are used to living for the moment, because we do not look back, because we do not know how to see the chain of heroes, because we do not contemplate the sum of sacrifices.
- Francisco Franco in 1940, as he received the Laureate Cross, Spain's highest military honour. As quoted by Jon Cowans (editor) in Modern Spain: A Documentary History (2003). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 211-214.
- 8. Spain is willing to fight, willing to send troops beyond the Pyrenees, anxious to make a bilateral agreement with the United States if properly armed, and/or would even reluctantly consent to join NATO, despite her old suspicions of England and France, but she must have arms.
9. As the longtime enemy of everything communistic, neither the Spanish government nor its people are able to understand the discrimination against them so far as American aid, either economic or military, is concerned...
11. Spain is nobody's child.
- Stanton Griffis, United States Ambassador to Spain (1951-1952), in a dispatch to Dean Acheson, United States Secretary of State (1949-1953). As quoted by Jon Cowans (editor) in Modern Spain: A Documentary History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p. 231
- They gave up everything, their homes, their country, home and fortune- fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, sisters and children, and they came and told us: "We are here, your cause, Spain's cause, is ours. It is the cause of all advanced and progressive mankind." Today they are going away. Many of them thousands of them, are staying here with the Spanish earth for their shroud, and all Spaniards remember them with the deepest feeling.
- Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, popularly known as "La Pasionara", in a speech in Barcelona on 15 November 1938, as quoted by Hugh Thomas in The Spanish Civil War (1961), p. 558
- Fair land! of chivalry, the old domain,
Land of the vine and olive, lovely Spain!
Though not for thee with classic shores to vie
In charms that fix th' enthusiast's pensive eye;
Yet hast thou scenes of beauty richly fraught
With all that wakes the glow of lofty thought.
- Felicia Hemans, Abencerrage, Canto II, line 1, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740.
- Ortega y Gasset is of the opinion that the inability of a country to produce a genuine mass movement indicates some ethnological defect. He says of his own Spain that its "ethnological intelligence has always been an atrophied function and has never had a normal development."
- Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (1951) Ch.18 Good and Bad Mass Movements, §125 citing Ortega y Gasset's The Modern Theme (1931)
- “Bitter Winter” has been told that [the Madrid Barajas] airport police does not take humanitarian concerns into account and follows its own strict rules. But we can hardly believe that nothing can be done, and that Spain is determined to send innocent human beings to torture—a most likely event affecting forcibly repatriated CAG members according not to “Bitter Winter” only but to the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture—, rape, and possibly death.
- Massimo Introvigne, "Spain, Church of Almighty God Performer Tries to Commit Suicide Rather than Being Deported to China", Bitter Winter (November 4, 2023)
- With respect to modern languages, French, as I have before observed, is indispensible. Next to this the Spanish is most important to an American. Our connection with Spain is already important and will become daily more so. Besides this the antient part of American history is written chiefly in Spanish.
- The year 1492 marks not only Columbus's voyage, but also one of the major expulsions of the Jews from Spain; Portugal would be next.
- Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism (2007)
- What has happened, it turns out, is that by going on the euro, Spain and Italy in effect reduced themselves to the status of Third World countries that have to borrow in someone else’s currency, with all the loss of flexibility that implies.
- In Spain, when democracy gradually took root after General Franco's death in 1975, there was an unspoken agreement—the pacto del olvido—to forget the trauma of the Civil War and the years of repression that followed. In recent decades, though, writers, historians, and filmmakers began to explore the horrors of the war and, in November 2007, the government enacted the Law of Historic Memory. There is to be a national effort to locate the mass graves and identify the bones of those who were shot by Franco’s winning side. Franco’s regime itself has been formally repudiated and it will be erased, as much as possible, from public commemoration. Franco’s statues will disappear and the names of streets and squares will be changed. It is unlikely that the law will bring agreement on Spain’s history. If anything, it is opening up old divisions and creating new ones. “What do we gain?” asks Manuel Fraga, a senator and former minister under Franco who took part in the transition to democracy. “Look at the British: Cromwell decapitated a king, but his statue still stands outside parliament. You cannot change the past.”
- Margaret MacMillan, The Uses and Abuses of History (2008), pp. 144-145
- The European Union and many of its countries, which used to take initiatives in the United Nations for peaceful settlements of conflict, are now one of the most important war assets of the U.S./NATO front. Many countries have also been drawn into complicity in breaking international law through U.S./U.K./NATO wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and so on.
- En dos edades vivimos
los propios y los ajenos:
la de plata los estraños,
y la de cobre los nuestros.
- English translation: 'We live in different ages, non-Spaniards and ourselves: they in the age of silver, we in the age of copper'.
- Lope de Vega, La Dorotea Act I, sc. iv. Translation from Alan S. Trueblood and Edwin Honig (ed. and trans.) La Dorotea (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1985) p. 23.