Segments in this Video

Spanish Nationhood Overview (02:13)


In 1543, Charles V gave leadership advice to his son Phillip II, who ruled Catholic Spain at its imperial height. In this film, Simon Sebag Montefiore will examine Spain's gradual decline, invasion by Napoleon, civil war, and Franco's dictatorship.

Simancas Castle Archive (03:52)

Philip II was born in 1527 to Charles V and Isabella of Portugal in Valladolid. He was crowned at 29 and considered himself a prudent ruler. His papers reveal an obsession with controlling his empire, including micromanaging priest behavior.

San Lorenzo del Escorial (03:05)

In 1561, Phillip II relocated government in Madrid, to consolidate his rule. He designed a palace in the Guadarrama Mountains and micromanaged construction. It served as a political headquarters, dynastic mausoleum, library, and cathedral monastery.

Threats to the Spanish Empire (02:06)

Phillip II's Hall of Battles shows his Catholic mission and desire for power; he ruled 50 million subjects at his height. In 1571, he defeated the Ottoman Armada. The Protestant Dutch Revolt led to war with England.

Spanish Armada Defeat (03:03)

Queen Elizabeth I funded Dutch rebels and executed Mary, Queen of Scots. Phillip II assembled ships to conquer England. The Duke of Medina Sidonia was to meet the Duke of Parma at Dunkirk; storms, English attack, and miscommunication scattered the fleet.

Phillip II's Legacy and Succession (02:19)

After the Armada failed, Phillip II died in 1598. While his accomplishments are unmatched among Spanish monarchs, his heirs were challenged with maintaining the empire. In 1621, Phillip IV chose Gaspar de Guzmán, a Valido advisor.

Philip IV and his Valido (02:17)

Side-by-side Diego Velazquez portraits show the king’s nervousness and Olivares' overconfidence and ambition.

Late Phase of Empire (02:47)

The Buen Retiro Palace throne room illustrates Olivares' mission to glorify the Spanish monarchy by uniting its kingdoms in the 30 Years War. Factions rebelled and Philip IV dismissed him in 1643.

Hapsburg Dynasty Inbreeding and Fall (03:20)

Montefiore visits the tomb of Charles II, known as the Bewitched for his grotesque appearance. Geneticist Gonzalo Alvarez has analyzed sixteen generations of Hapsburg intermarriage; Charles II's parents were uncle and niece.

Bourbon Dynasty (03:03)

Charles II's French heir united France and Spain. During the French Revolution, Spain needed a strong monarch. Charles IV was ineffective; Queen Maria Luisa ruled with guardsman Manuel Godoy in a ménage a trois. In 1808, Napoleon's troops invaded Madrid.

May 3, 1808 (02:06)

Godoy and the monarchs fled Napoleon’s men in Madrid. A mob gathered at the royal palace and attacked French soldiers, who returned fire. Men were arrested and executed at random, immortalized in Goya's painting. Spain became a French province.

A Weakened and Divided Nation (02:43)

Sir Arthur Wellesley helped the Spanish people repel Napoleon’s brother Joseph and invade France in 1814. Spain was divided between democracy and Catholic absolutism. Professor Jose Alvarez Junco discusses psychological and economic effects of losing empire in the 19th century.

Spanish Republic (02:40)

Spain elected a democratic republic in 1931; the religious right believed it was a communist conspiracy. In 1936, General Francisco Franco planned to lead a nationalist coup.

Spanish Civil War (02:37)

Hitler and Mussolini helped Franco transport the Moroccan Legion to Spain; the Church blessed his cause. Stalin provided arms to the Republic and volunteers came to fight in the International Brigades. Madrid held out for three years.

Belchite, Spain (02:20)

A ghost town has been preserved since the Spanish Civil War. Republicans destroyed churches and killed clergy members. Nationalist death squads executed anyone suspected of being a liberal, atheist, socialist, or communist. In 1939, Franco declared victory and continued executions.

Valley of the Fallen (01:54)

Franco constructed a monument next to El Escorial to gain royal legitimacy. It combines Catholicism, imperialism, conservatism, fascism, and nationalism; Franco identified with Hitler and Mussolini.

A Failed Alliance (02:50)

Aiming to create a new Spanish empire, Franco met with Hitler to negotiate Spain supporting Germany. Hitler took an immediate dislike to Franco, and Spain remained neutral. When Hitler fell, Franco rejected fascism for Catholic authoritarianism and adopted a monarch role.

Requiem of Dictators (04:32)

Franco groomed Juan Carlos I to succeed him as a fascist monarch. Franco died in 1975; Carlos created a parliamentary monarchy and held democratic elections. Montefiore visits the Valley of the Fallen and summarizes religious regimes in Spanish history.

Credits: The Making of Spain: Nation (00:45)

Credits: The Making of Spain: Nation

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The Making of Spain: Nation

Part of the Series : The Making of Spain
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Spain enters its Golden Age. King Philip II is a colossus on the European Stage, and for a time is King of England as well as Spain with his brief marriage to Queen Mary. With the power of Spain enhanced by the spoils of the American Empire, Philip founds Madrid and launches a great Armada against England. We visit El Escorial, Philip's mighty palace outside Madrid, and learn how his successors, with their reliance on favorites and mistresses, cannot live up to his reign. The last Hapsburg king Charles II is a victim of inbreeding, and dies childless. Spain is ruled by the Bourbons, becomes part of the Napoleonic Empire and eventually succumbs to a devastating Civil War and dictatorship under Franco before emerging as a modern, twentieth century nation and a model of democratic monarchy.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL128909

ISBN: 978-1-64023-475-8

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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