Contemporary Spanish History: 1898-Present Day

Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo - Barcelona

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary Spanish History: 1898-Present Day

  • Host University

    Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo - Barcelona

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    History, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    -To understand Spain?s societal, cultural, political, and economic complexity through a study of its recent history
    -To analyze, establish, and appreciate the connections between the old and new Spain
    -To improve Spanish language abilities, particularly reading and listening comprehension and public speaking.
    -To strengthen argumentative capabilities, the defense of ideas, and critical analysis through classroom discussion
    -With Barcelona as a classroom, special attention will be focused on the city?s history, with field trips to locations and museums relevant to topics discussed throughout the course.


    1- Introduction: 1492

    -End of Muslim rule in Spain.
    -Beginning of a Catholic Spain and Spain as a ?country.?
    -Coexistence of Spain?s three cultures: Catholics, Jews (converts), and Muslims (Mudejar and Moorish).
    -Discovery of America: circumstances and consequences.

    Visual aid: select movie scenes from ?1492? by Ridley Scott and ?La Misión? by Roland Joffé.

    2- From the War of Independence against Napoleon to the Second Republic: 1802-1931

    -Independence of American colonies.
    -Two Spains emerge: conservative and liberal.
    -Industrial Revolution: the new Spanish society.
    -Catalan and Basque nationalism.
    -Role of the Bourbon Monarchy.

    Visual aid: ?Los Transmundos de Goya? by Carlos Saura.

    3-From the Second Republic to the Civil War: 1931-1939

    -End of monarchy and the Republican victory.
    -Period of political struggle.
    -Coup: ?el golpe de estado?
    -Horrors of the Civil War
    -Anarchism in Barcelona.

    Visual aid: ?Tierra y Libertad? by Ken Loach.

    4-Franco?s Regime: 1939-1975

    -Postwar: the age of poverty and international isolation.
    -Modernization of Spain.
    -Franco?s system in crisis.
    -Spanish society under Franco: values and beliefs.

    Visual aids: real footage from Noticiero Documental (NODO) and ?El Verdugo? by Berlanga.

    5-Transition: dictatorship to democracy: 1975-1981

    -Political, social, and economical transition.
    -National recognition: Catalonia and the Basque Country.
    -Issues in terrorism.

    Visual aids: real footage from Noticiero Documental (NODO) and ?La Muerte de Mikel? by Imanol Uribe.

    6-The last 15 years:

    -Different governments: conservative and socialist.
    -Joining the European Union: modernization.
    -Spain and America: social, political, and economic relations.
    -The construction boom.
    -Olympics in Barcelona: changes and transformations.
    -March 11th: the worst terrorist attack in European history.

    Visual aid: real footage from ?Radio Televisión Española.?

    7-Present-day Spain: future challenges

    -Immigration problems.
    -The economic crisis.
    -Opportunities in times of crisis.
    -Spain and the European Union: condemned to understand each other?

    Visual aid: real footage from ?Radio Televisión Española.?
    Movie: ?Vicky, Cristina y Barcelona? by Woody Allen.


    -Course based on lectures and written assignments.
    -The professor will provide supporting materials (specialized texts, articles, documentaries, movies, etc.) to compliment the course.
    -Beyond lectures and supporting materials, there will be a practice session in which students and professor make a group synthesis as well as an evaluation of the movement?s or artist?s most relevant aspects through ?key questions.?

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.