from Sovereign Man:
In the early 16th century, a priest by the name of Fray Francisco de Ugalde remarked to his king that Spain was “el imperio en el que nunca se pone el sol”.
In other words, the sun never set on the Spanish Empire.
And by the 1500s with its vast lands across the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, and even the South Pacific, Spain (technically the House of Habsburg) had become the first truly global superpower. The Empire’s status was so great that its silver coin (the real de ocho or piece of 8) was used around the world as a global reserve standard… including in the US colonies.
It didn’t last.
Like so many great empires that came before, Spain was beset by unsustainable spending, constant warfare, debilitating debt, and an inflated money supply.
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