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The Spanish Empire's origins came from the Castilian Empire, who were one of the most successful colonial powers in the Americas. Castile, similar to nations such as England and Portugal, began to colonize to Americas during the Age of Discovery.
By the 1700s the Kingdom of Spain was formed. It held the key island of Cuba, which housed the largest city and port on the Caribbean - Havana. Havana was a popular spot to lay anchor for pirates such as Edward Kenway and was the heart of Spanish trade in the Caribbean.
During this period, the Caribbean saw a huge wave of piracy which led to the period being labelled as the "Golden Age of Piracy". Piracy had a sizable impact on the Spanish economy as a result of pirate attacks on profitable sugar plantations such as Wellington.
Along with the Golden Age of Piracy, Spain faced all-out war with the British. This was due to the disputed Spanish throne which was to pass into French hands, to the dismay of the rest of Europe. The British used their superior naval position to secure land in the Americas and the Caribbean.