Spanish History: 20th Century

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish History: 20th Century

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, History, Media Studies, Radio - Television - Film

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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


    1. The main objective of this course is that students acquire a body of basic knowledge, which will enable them to
    analyse the recent past of the history of Spain. A long-term perspective on the problems is an essential tool for the
    critical perception of today's Spain.
    2. The acquired knowledge will qualify students to explain the complex implementation of civil, political and social
    rights in Spanish society, to reflect on the normality and specificities of the history of Spain in a European context
    and to acquire a deep and complex vision of the current problems of the Spanish and, therefore, global society.
    3. The students will assimilate a complete and detailed knowledge of the historical problems that will arise during
    the course. They will also learn to critically analyse texts, pictures and documentaries, understanding the deeper
    motivations of their creators and the specific interests that drive them.
    4. Finally, the students will learn to apply the methods of analysis of the past to the historian's own present problems, which are a more specific field of study for the media specialist.


    The program is divided into for main sections:
    Part 1: The early twentieth century
    1. 1. Economic, social and cultural outlook of Spain between 1900 and 1930.
    1. 2. The war in Cuba and "regenerationism".
    1. 3. Political crisis of the Restoration system. The opposition to the system: socialism, anarchism nationalism.
    1. 4. The war in Africa and the military question.
    1. 5. The Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-1930)

    Part 2. The crisis of the Thirties (1931-1939)
    2. 1. The arrival of the Second Republic. The reformist biennium (1931-1933).
    2. 2. The Radical-CEDA biennium. The center-right in power (1933-1936).
    2. 3. The elections of 1936 and the military uprising.
    2. 4. The Spanish Civil War: causes, stages and development.
    2. 5. Evolution of the sides in conflict. Republican Spain and rebellious Spain.

    Part 3: Franco's Spain (1939-1975)
    3. 1 The postwar period and the repression. The first Francoism: from national-syndicalism to national- Catholicism(1939-1959).
    3. 2. The dictatorship, from its heyday to its decline (1959-1975). Economic, social and political transformations. The opposition groups.
    3. 3. Approach to the figure of Francisco Franco

    Part 4. Democracy in Spain (1975-present)
    4. 1. The origins of the transition to democracy
    4. 2. The centrist period (1976-1982). The Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the establishment of the autonomies regime
    4. 3. The socialist period: transformation, welfare and crisis (1982-1996). Spain in Europe
    4. 4. The Popular Party government (1996-2004)


    1. Lectures:
    Fundamentals of Spanish history of the twentieth century. Basic understanding on this matter and its various forms
    of expression, especially the audiovisual ones. Skills 1 and 2 (1.5 ECTS).
    2. Sessions based on class assignments.
    Analysis and commentary on contemporary Spanish cases. Interpretation of expressive forms of manifestations of
    the Spanish culture. Skills 3 and 4 (1 ECTS)
    3. Student work.
    Supervised study of theoretical and practical content and teaching materials. Skills 1, 2 and 3 (1 ECTS).
    Preparation of papers for each of the four teaching units comprising the program. Skills 4 (2 ECTS).


    Continuous evaluation is based on the following criteria:
    - Final exam: 60%. Which will assess the knowledge acquired by the student.
    - Assignments and papers: 40%.
    There will be two types of tasks:
    Individual Assignments: iIntended to relate the theoretical knowledge acquired in lectures with specific problems of
    modern Spain that have a long history. The teacher will return them corrected and with the necessary feedback.

    Teamwork: Students will be asked to conduct and submit a group exercise (eg, the development of a audiovisual
    report on a specific issue of Spain¿s past). An important part of this work will be searching for information.
    Participation in class: Will assess the precise interventions that connect with the ideas that have been presented
    and which bring added value to the discussion. The teacher will propose discussions on the basis of texts, images
    or documentaries.
    % end-of-term-examination: 60
    % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals): 40

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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