The Spanish Empire consisted of the territories and colonies administrated directly by Spain in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. At the peak of its power, the Spanish Empire was one of the largest in world history, and one of the first global empires. It lasted from the 15th century through the latter portion of the 20th century, although the vast majority of it had been lost throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The 19th century saw the establishment of independent republics in most of Spain's South American colonies. Its few remaining colonies in Africa gained independence in the second half of the 20th century.
Today, Spain still administers the last remnants of Spanish Morocco, and also counts the islands of Ceuta, and Melilla as administrative divisions.
While the Spanish Empire can trace some roots to the settlements established by Basque sailors in Atlantis in the 1450s and 1460s, the Spanish Empire was really established upon the discovery and opening of Terranova. The copperskin natives of Terranova were not as technologically advanced as the Spanish, and possessed substantial amounts of gold. While other European powers scrambled to enter Terranova, Spain came to dominate, particularly the southern half of the continent.
It also maintained its holdings in Atlantis, although those tended to be an afterthought, a mindset common in Europe.
The Spanish Empire had once been a the most powerful in the world, but by the 19th century, was had declined in both wealth and power. By the late 1870s, the empire was so weak that it was bullied into selling the island of Cuba to the Confederate States.
In the 1900s, the Empire in the Pacific came to an end when Spain was defeated by Japan in a war and was forced to concede its colonies of Guam and the Philippines. After this, the Spanish Empire was reduced to small territories in Africa and a few islands in the Atlantic.
The Spanish Empire became joined with the French Empire after Spain and France merged into the Holy Alliance. Between the two, the Holy Alliance controlled Nueva España, nearly all of South America, and the majority of Africa. In terms of territory, it was the second largest empire of the 20th century.