Spain, also known as the Spanish Empire, was one of the largest colonial empires of its time. At its height, it commanded bases colonies and territories in Latin America, the Pacific, Asia, and Africa. It included Spanish Latin America, the Philippines, numerous bases in Asia and Africa, the Netherlands, the Italian states of Naples and Milan, and Spain itself. It was included Portugal and its colonial empire. During the reign of the Habsburgs, Spain was at its most powerful.
After the Reconquistia and the War of Castilian Succession, Spain emerged from a collection of states into a unified country. The marriage of Queen Elizabeth of Castile and the King Ferdinand of Aragon united the two states into what is known as Spain. In 1492, Christopher Columbus, an explorer commanded under the Spanish, discovered the Americas, paving Spanish control of the continent. This was one of the most significant events in the Age of Discovery, and was followed by other Spanish explorers who seized vast swats of land for Spain.
By the 16th century, Spain claimed the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean, conquered the Aztecs, and overran the Incans. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan, who also served under the Spanish crown, circumnavigated the world (but died along the way and was replaced by Juan Elcano), allowing Spain to lay claim to Southeastern Asia, especially the Philippines. Other than their overseas empire, Spain also consisted of the Low Countries, Naples, Milan, and some parts of France and Germany. By the 17th Century, Spain rivaled all the other European powers.
>Sadly, Spain lost its European possessions (except Spain of course) after the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713, yet the vast overseas empire survived the loss. In 1741, Spanish was victorious over the British at the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (in OTL Colombia), allowing a Spanish hegemony over the American continents until the 19th Century. During the late 1800’s, Spain landed on the Pacific Northwest where Alaska and Canada are today, resulting of temporary Spanish control in the region having a colony at Vancouver Island. Also, the discovery of several archipelagos and glaciers occurred there.
Napoleon overran Spain in 1808, causing a temporary cut-off of contact with its colonies. This sparked the Peninsular War, when the Spaniards supported by the British forced the French out. The cease-fire of 1811 allowed Spain to regain control, though independence movements in the Americas were occurring, forcing the Spanish (with British help) to combat the revolutionaries, causing great loss to the revolutionary cause, also resulting in the death of revolutionary leaders. Concurrent with that was the Spanish Revolution, causing chaos within Spain. In 1816, Napoleon invaded Spain. By 1821, it was officially secured, with no rebellion unlike before. With the Spanish government relocated to the Philippines and it colonies and territories divided up by America and France, Spain ceased to exist.