Places to visit in america in summer for That same year, Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic under the Spanish flag and revealed the New World to Europe. The next century was the height of Spain’s power and influence throughout the world. Some historians 778 Spain point to Spain as the first true worldwide empire. In addition to colonies from the Philippines to Mexico, Spanish kings controlled all or parts of what are now PORTUGAL, the NETHERLANDS, ITALY, and FRANCE. The economic realities of managing an empire did not match the country’s ambitions, however, and Spain went into a decline that saw it lose nearly all of its colonial possessions by the late 1800s. In the early part of the 20th century, Spain saw its traditional culture and economy clash with modern political and social forces. The clash culminated in 1936 with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Places to visit in america in summer 2016.