The story of Spain's rise to greatness from its humble beginnings as one of the poorest and most marginal of European countries is a remarkable and dramatic one. With the marriage of Ferdinand & Isabella, the final expulsion of the Moslems and the discovery of America, Spain took on a seemingly unstoppable dynamism that made it into the world's first global power. This amazing success however created many powerful enemies and Elliott's famous book charts the dramatic fall of Habsburg Spain with the same elan as it charts the rise.
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