Empire : How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763
From the late-fifteenth to the mid-eighteenth century, Spain was the most extensive empire the world had seen, stretching from Naples and the Netherlands to the Philippines. This provocative work of history attributes Spain's rise to power to the collaboration of international business interests, including Italian financiers, German technicians, and Dutch traders. At the height of its power, the Spanish Empire was a global enterprise in which non-Spaniards -- Portuguese, Basque, Aztec, Genoese, Chinese, Flemish, West African, Incan, and Neapolitan -- played an essential role.
Challenging, persuasive, and unique in its thesis, Henry Kamen's Empire explores Spain's complex impact on world history with admirable clarity and intelligence.