Christopher Columbus arrives in the Americas, commencing a period of conquest throughout South and Central America. The acquisition of these lands helps Spain to become the prominent power in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
French troops led by Napoleon occupy Spain until Nationalist resistance, along with the British intervention, force French troops out in 1814. The French occupation rendered Spain both politically and economically unstable.
Spain becomes one of the largest suppliers of foodstuffs and raw materials during World War I, resulting in a massive trade boom for the nation.
Francisco Franco leads Spanish Nationalists to victory in the Spanish Civil War. Spain's economy is devastated as a result of the war and Franco's economic policy of self-sufficiency, which cut off international trade.
Spain joins the European Economic Community, which later becomes the European Union.
The peseta is replaced by the euro as Spain's currency.
Spain's unemployment rate soars to over 20%, prompting parliament to approve a 15 billion euro austerity package.