The Spanish Empire

A Historical Encyclopedia

by H. Micheal Tarver, Editor
Emily Slape, Assistant Editor


The Spanish Empire was among the most powerful and enduring political and cultural institutions of the modern world.

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Cover image for The Spanish Empire

July 2016


Pages 602
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics World History/Politics and Government
  Geography and World Cultures/Countries and Regions

Through reference entries and primary documents, this book surveys a wide range of topics related to the history of the Spanish Empire, including past events and individuals as well as the Iberian kingdom's imperial legacy.

The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia provides students as well as anyone interested in Spain, Latin America, or empires in general the necessary materials to explore and better understand the centuries-long empire of the Iberian kingdom. The work is organized around eight themes to allow the reader the ability to explore each theme through an overview essay and several selected encyclopedic entries.

This two-volume set includes some 180 entries that cover such topics as the caste system, dynastic rivalries, economics, major political events and players, and wars of independence. The entries provide students with essential information about the people, things, institutions, places, and events central to the history of the empire. Many of the entries also include short sidebars that highlight key facts or present fascinating and relevant trivia. Additional resources include an introductory overview, chronology, extended bibliography, and extensive collection of primary source documents.


  • Includes primary documents accompanied by introductory headnotes that give students material to analyze when writing term papers and provide readers with a firsthand look at the key events and individuals of the Spanish Empire
  • Includes an extended bibliography that highlights the most recent scholarship in the field
Series Description

Empires of the World

The Empires of the World series explores the defining characteristics of the greatest empires in world history, such as the Spanish empire, the Roman empire, and the British empire. Each work contains a timeline, overview essays, reference entries arranged in topical sections, and a selection of primary source documents introduced by headnotes. The books help students understand the factors that led to the rise and fall of the empires, their various forms of government, and the key people who shaped them. Taken together, the works in this series help students compare and contrast different empires across places and periods.
Author Info

H. Micheal Tarver, PhD, is professor of history at Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR. He is editor of ABC-CLIO's World History Encyclopedia, Era 8: Crisis and Achievement, 1900–1945, Part I & II; coauthor of Greenwood's The History of Venezuela; and coeditor of Sources in Patterns of World History: Volume One To 1600. He is a past editor of World History Bulletin.

Emily Slape, MA, is an independent historian and documentary editor. Her achievements include the production of more than 100 short documentaries on various historical topics for secondary school classroom use.



"An exceptional history. . . . Overall, this is a valuable work for the classroom teacher of the Spanish language and European history, suitable for high school and undergraduate collections."—Booklist

"A good starting point for basic research on aspects of the Spanish Empire. Recommended for public, school, and academic library collections."—ARBA

"[T]his two-volume set displays a consistent format, suitable for beginning researchers and more advanced scholars, featuring prefatory, acknowledgment, introductory, and chronology sections. . . . All articles are brief but highly informative. . . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. All levels."—Choice

"This is a competent and well-structured encyclopedia. It appears to be one of only a handful of reference-orientated sources focused on the Spanish Empire available in the English language. . . . The Spanish Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia will be most useful in libraries serving undergraduates students. Those studying international history,
Spain or Latin America and imperialism/colonialism will all find helpful material in its pages. Libraries should also monitor future releases in the Empires of the World series."—Reference Reviews

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