Spanish-Speaking Countries & Capitals

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  • 0:04 Spain Spreads Its Influence
  • 0:53 European…
  • 1:20 African…
  • 1:41 North America
  • 4:48 South America
  • 6:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christina Boggs

Chrissy has taught secondary English and history and writes online curriculum. She has an M.S.Ed. in Social Studies Education.

Did you know that there are 21 countries around the world that speak Spanish as the official language? This lesson explores the countries and capitals where Spanish is spoken.

Spain Spreads Its Influence

During the 15th and 16th centuries, countries in Europe scrambled to spread their influence around the world. Beginning with the coast of Africa, countries like Portugal and Spain explored new trade routes. In 1492, Spain established itself as one of the most powerful countries in the world. After Columbus's 'discovery' of the New World, Spain planted its roots in the Americas and began colonization. Within just a few short decades, Spain dominated Central and South America, pushing from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific. Although all of Spain's once-vast empire has been liberated, the effects of Spanish colonial rule are still felt today.

Spanish Speaking Countries
All Spanish-Speaking Countries

Today, 21 countries around the world spanning four continents speak Spanish as the national language. Let's take a look at these countries and their capitals.

European Spanish-speaking countries
European Spanish-speaking countries

European Spanish-Speaking Country

The only official Spanish-speaking country in Europe is Spain. At one point, it was ruled by the Romans, and then invaded by the Moors (a Muslim group from Africa), before emerging as a predominantly Catholic monarchy during the late 1400s. One of the most powerful countries in Europe, Spain's influence declined through the late 1500s into the 20th century. Spain's capital city is Madrid, and the country is part of the European Union.

African Spanish-speaking countries
African Spanish-speaking countries

African Spanish-Speaking Country

Like Europe, Africa is home to only one official Spanish-speaking country. Equatorial Guinea, located on the coast of Western Africa, was originally controlled by the Portuguese before falling under Spanish rule in 1777. Equatorial Guinea gained its independence in 1968. The country's capital is Malabo.

North American Spanish-speaking countries
North American Spanish-speaking countries

North America

North America, including Central America and island nations in the Caribbean, is home to 10 Spanish-speaking countries.

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