An Introduction to the Early Modern History of Spain (Spring Only)
Universidad de Sevilla
Area of Study
History, Spanish Culture
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
While keeping in mind the duration of the Course, its key objective is to ensure an awareness of
the structural problems affecting Spain’s Modern History, the making of the Monarchy, and the Spanish
Empire, together with its decadence and downfall during a period of three and a half centuries. What
likewise needs to be kept in mind is that the Course is not exhaustive in its aims, acting rather as an
introduction for students from abroad, adapting itself to conditioning factors regarding their needs,
providing them, therefore, with an overview which will serve as the basis for further study, while
avoiding becoming a patchwork of easily forgotten facts. At the same time, another of the Course’s
objectives is to develop students’ interest in Modern History, while, both individually speaking, as well
as within the context of group interaction, increasing their capacity for reflexion and critical thought.
The focus will be geared toward the exploration of structures of an economic, social, political,
ideological, and cultural nature, thereby avoiding the linear explanation of both specific historical facts
and political and military events. Time allowing within the evolution of the Course, and so as to reinforce
mainstream theoretical explanations, complementary practical sessions will be held involving the
commentary of historical texts, an activity which will be regarded as fundamental. There is no doubt
that the Course will evolve along dynamic and participitative lines as largely as possible. Students will be
encouraged to play an active role in class debates so as to ensure a deeper understanding of the syllabus
units being explored. In order to stimulate students’ interest in the period, efforts will be made to set
issues raised by the exploration of this historical period against current issues affecting Spain and world
Introduction: Spain in Modern Times.
I. THE MAKING OF SPAIN’S MONARCHY
1. An Introduction to the Reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
2. The Struggle for Territorial Unity.
3. Religious Unity.
4. The Restoration and Structuring of Government by Monarchy.
5. Foreign Policy: Atlantic and Mediterranean Expansion.
6. The Crisis of Succession: the Period of Regencies.
II. THE CENTURY OF EXPANSIONISM.
7. An Introduction to the Century of Imperial Spain.
8. Population, Economy, and Revenue Collection in the Sixteenth-Century.
9. The Society of Sixteenth-Century Spain.
10. Renaissance, Reformation and Cultural Tensions.
11. Charles V and the Political Crises at the Start of his Reign: Communities and Guilds.
12. The Imperial Monarchy of Charles V and Philip II. Structure and Political-Administrative
13. Charles V and Philip II’s Imperial Policy.
14. Philip II’s Hispanic Monarchy: Religion and Dynasty.
III. CRISIS AND DECADENCE IN THE SPAIN OF THE AUSTRIAS.
15. Concerning Spain’s Decadence: the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century.
16. Demographic and Economic Crisis: Ruin and Recovery.
17. Crisis and Social Tensions.
18. Baroque Culture and the Golden Age.
19. The Spain of Philip III.
20. Philip IV and Olivares. Reform and the Fall of the Monarchy.
21. The Spain of Charles II.
IV. THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. RECOVERY, REFORM, AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT.
22. Introdcing the New Times.
23. The Bourbon Era. Toward New Times.
24. Population, Economy, and Finance in Eighteenth-Century Spain.
25. Spanish Society in the Eighteenth Century.
26. The Spanish Enlightenment: Ideology and Culture.
27. The War of Succession and its Consequences.
28. Philip V and Ferdinand VI: Two Models of Absolutist Reform.
29. The Spain of Charles III.
30. Charles IV and Pre-Revolution.
31. The Monarchy as Power: Toward a Downfall.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.