Spain's culture is founded on a range of historical influences, most notably pre-Roman Celtic and Iberian civilization. Other ancient peoples with some impact were the Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks. The main influence today is still Europe, especially France and Italy.
Spaniards are known for being hospitable and polite, and having a love for la danza (dancing). They also have an appreciation for art, food, and wine. Spanish culture has been influenced by many other cultures over the years, including Roman, German, French, and American.
Spanish is the official language in Spain, but many other languages are spoken as well. These include Catalan, Galician, Basque, Italian, English, and Afrikaans.
Spaniards are known for being hardworking and efficient, and they like to get things done. They also are described as being passionate and loving. When it comes to music, Spaniards enjoy popular songs that express happiness, love, and life.
Spanish was originally developed by the Romans as their administrative language. Today it is one of the world's oldest living languages. It became widely used in Europe after the 11th century when it began replacing Latin in literature.
Spaniards are native speakers of the Spanish language.
The Celtics, the Phoenicians of the eastern Mediterranean, the Carthaginians, and the Germanic group known as the Visigoths all had an impact on Spanish civilization. However, it was the Romans, and subsequently North African Muslims, who had the most important role in creating Spain's cultural future.
Spain is one of the few remaining European countries that has not been completely subjugated by Germany or France. The fact that Spain has survived as a country tells us that it has strong leaders who are able to defend their interests with diplomacy and military action if necessary.
Germany and France began to get involved in Spanish politics in the 19th century when both countries wanted control over Spain's wealth. In 1874, France invaded Spain but was defeated by the Spaniards at the battle of Mentana. In 1898, Germany started its own invasion of Spain but was also defeated by the Spaniards. Since then, Spain has remained independent of both Germany and France.
In Europe, only Britain has had a larger influence on Spain than Germany. During the Renaissance and early Enlightenment in Europe, Spain was one of the main sources of knowledge due to its connection with Italy via Latin language culture. As well, many Italian artists came to Spain to work on religious art projects that were paid for by German merchants.
Spain, the island's colonizer, has had the most extensive European effect. The most noticeable cultural effect on Puerto Rican culture is the Spanish influence. The Spanish language is widely spoken in Puerto Rico, and many aspects of daily life such as food, clothing, and music reflect this influence.
Puerto Ricans are legally citizens of both Spain and the United States. In 1917, after years of lobbying by Puerto Ricans who wanted independence from Spain or at least greater self-determination, the U.N. granted Puerto Rico limited representation in international organizations. In 1952, Puerto Rico achieved full membership in various international organizations, including the U.N., although it cannot vote on important decisions because its status as a colony prevents it from doing so.
In 1998, Congress passed the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Self-Government Act, which created a constitution for Puerto Rico and provided for its transition from colonial rule to self-government. However, the new government body has not been able to operate due to disputes with the administration of President George W. Bush over funding for these programs.
The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico is the highest court in the commonwealth system. Other courts include the Family Court, the District Court, and the Superior Court.
There are six primary cultures in Spain, including the Castilians, Galicians, Basques, Catalans, Levante, and Andalucians (Gale, 2009a), while additional minority cultures include the Roma and Asturians (Gale, 2009b). These cultural groups overlap to a certain extent, but each has its own characteristics.
The traditional division of Spain into provinces was originally based on culture rather than language. The nine provinces today identified as such by law were established in 1927 during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera. Before this time, most of what is now Spain was part of the Spanish Empire, which included Latin America and parts of Europe. Within the empire, there were also many different cultures, especially in the South. In fact, it can be argued that Spain was never fully united under one government until the creation of modern Spain in 1876. Previously, there had been attempts at uniting much of Spain under one ruler, but without much success.
Castile and León were the only two provinces with autonomous governments during much of the period from 1252 to 1833. The other seven provinces were administered by the central government in Madrid. This changed in 1836 when King Ferdinand VII dissolved the provincial assemblies and began to rule directly from Madrid. This arrangement lasted until 1931 when Francisco Franco overthrew the constitutional monarchy and restored the former system of regional autonomy.