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Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Second Spanish Republic (Spanish: Segunda República Española) is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north and northeast by France and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal.
Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, three exclaves in North Africa, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera that border Morocco, and the islands and peñones (rocks) of Alborán, Chafarinas, Alhucemas, and Perejil.
The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. For three years the Nationalist forces led by General Francisco Franco and supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy fought the Republican side, which was supported by the Soviet Union, Mexico and International Brigades but it was not supported by the Western powers due to the British-led policy of Non-Intervention. The civil war was viciously fought and there were many atrocities committed by all sides. The war claimed the lives of over 500,000 people and caused the flight of up to a half-million citizens from the country. In 1939, the Republicans emerged victorious and Vicente Rojo Lluch became the new President.
The Spanish Republic is integrated by sixteen Republics and two autonomous cities, both groups being the highest or first-order administrative division in the country. The Republics are integrated by provinces, and in turn, provinces are integrated by municipalities.
The sixteen Republics are as follows:
- Andalusia (includes Gibraltar)
- Balearic Islands
- Basque Country
- Canary Islands
- Castile-La Mancha
- Castile and León
- La Rioja
- Valencian Community
The two autonomous cities are Ceuta and Melilla.