Inspired by the question: What would the Wikipedia page for Spain have said in 1490?.

In 1490, what we currently refer to as Spain was a number of kingdoms: Castilla, Aragón and Navarra.

The Wikipedia entry for Spain, states:

A centralisation of royal power ensued in the Early Modern Period at the expense of local nobility, and the word España, whose root is the ancient name Hispania, began to be commonly used to designate the whole of the two kingdoms.

But no date is given.

When did the country of "Spain", supposedly united into one entity with the name Spain (España) come into existence? Was there a specific date or was it a process that happened over time after which everyone simply referred to themselves as Spanish?

  • 1
    Can you explain why the information in Wikipedia:HistoryOfSpain doesn't answer the question? "The kingdoms of Spain were united under Habsburg rule in 1516, that unified the Crown of Castile, the Crown of Aragon and smaller kingdoms under the same rule." I'll grant you that the grammar is inelegant, but I think it answers the question
    – MCW
    Apr 25, 2021 at 12:47
  • 1
    What definition of "country" are you using? (E.g., unitary government? Unitary ruler? Population self-identification as one?) What lands must be united to 'count'? (E.g., must 100.00% of modern Spain be part of it? 99.9%? 90%?)
    – Mark Olson
    Apr 25, 2021 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


The answer to your question is early 18th century, and we could specifically focus on the year of the end of the war of Spanish succession that is 1714: at that time, the kingdom of Spain was created when Castile, Aragon and other provinces of Spain that had unified to lead the Reconquista and were commanded by the same King were officially integrated with each other.

As you understand in previous sentence, there could be a distinction between the word "Spain" and the entity of Spain that existed far before 1714: Mark C Wallace cited 1516, because of the promulgation of Nueva Planta decrees by Philip V. We could also consider 1469, when the personal union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon created a major Christian power in the Hispanic Peninsula, that led the Reconquista.


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