Early Modern and Modern Spain (in English)--Spring Semester Only

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Early Modern and Modern Spain (in English)--Spring Semester Only

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    None.  A Western European course is recommended. 

  • 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

    Course Description

    This course traces the political, socio-economic, cultural, and religious history of Spain since the late 15th century.  Although a brief introduction is given about the history of the Iberian Peninsula and its people, prior to the 16th century – or Early Modern Period – the emphasis, however, will be given to the slow and complicated process that was (and sometimes is) the formation of Spain beginning in the 19th century.  Beginning with the rise of the Catholic Monarchs, and in turn the transforming “Spain” from a war-torn country towards the first world Empire, the student will then trace the complicated history of 18th and 19th century Spanish society that gave rise to the Kingdom of Spain in the mid-19th century.  This is the kingdom that underwent the many political convulsions that later made the Franco Regime possible. Concluding the survey with an appreciation of post-Franco Spain, the return of democracy and the vibrant cultural renaissance of Spain over the last 30 years. 

    Course Goals and Methodology

    The goal of this course is to erase or at least re-think the concept of “Spain” and its birth. We will learn and come to understand that Spain did not exist until the 19th century, after centuries of attempts to have a unified kingdom.  This reality will shock and contradict every single fact that student may know all ready about Spain.  Issues of faith and religion, single identity versus national identity, federalism vs unionists, socialism vs fascism, etcetera.  

    For this particular reason, in this course the student must keep up with the readings (posted below), in particular those readings involving primary sources.  Some of these sources will be part of the assessments (as a critique), as well as part of the examination.  Each class will start which a lecture, follow by a critique and commentary of either a source or other material. 

    Required Readings

    -W. D. Phillips & C. R. Phillips, A Concise History of Spain. (2010)  Required Readings (selections)

    -Jon Cowans (ed.), Early Modern Spain: A Documentary History.  (2003)

    -Jon Cowans (ed.), Modern Spain: A Documentary History.  (2003)

    -J. Álvarez Junco & A. Schubert (eds.), Spanish History since 1808.  (2000)

    -Raymond Carr (ed.), Spain: A History.  (2000) -John Hooper, The New Spaniards. (2006)

    -The Spanish Civil War, (TV Film Series). Granada Productions.  (1983) 

    Course Requirements and Grading

    Participation is very important, and each student is expected to contribute enthusiastically to discussions and to be courteous while in class.  Furthermore, the student is expected to come prepared to class.  Unless otherwise stated, all assignments must be typed according to the guidelines given and must be submitted at the beginning of each class. No late assignments will be graded, unless it is accompanied by an excused absence (usually medical).  

    The final grade is broken down as follows:  

    Participation (Classroom)     10%

    Class presentations (w/outline & paper)   10%

    Quizzes (1 & 2)      20% (10% each)

    Midterm & Final Examination     60% (30% each)  

    All assignments will be graded using the Spanish grade scale. 

    Course Schedule:

    Block I – Introduction & Medieval Iberia:

    Session 1 – Introduction: presentation of the course and review of syllabus.

    Session 2 – Medieval Iberia.

    Session 3 – The Catholic Monarchs.

    Session 4 – From the Catholic Monarchs to Hapsburgs (Felipe I – 1506).

    -Readings: Lynch, in Spain 1516-1598, pp. 1-48.  

    Block II – The Hapsburgs:

    Session 5 – Hapsburgs (1516-1556): Carlos I (V).

    Session 6 – Hapsburgs (1556-1598): Felipe II. -Readings: Lynch, in Spain 1516-1598, pp. 251-302

    Session 7 – Hapsburgs (1598-1621): Felipe III.

    Session 8 – Hapsburgs (1621-1700): Felipe IV/Carlos II.

    -Readings: Lynch, in Spain 1516-1598, pp. 251-302

    -Readings: The Improbable Empire, in Spain: A History, pp. 116-151.  

    Block III – The Bourbons:

    Session 9 – Spanish War of Succession (1701-1714).  

    -Readings: Vicissitudes of a World Power, in Spain: A History, pp. 151-172.

    Session 10 – Bourbons (1700-1746): Felipe V/Luis I.

    Session 11 – Bourbons (1746-1759): Fernando VI.

    -Readings: Flow and Ebb, in Spain: a History, pp. 173-204.

    Session 12 & 13 – Bourbons (1759-1808): Carlos III/Carlos IV & the French Revolution.  

    Session 14 – Midterm Exam (Mar 13th)  

    Block IV – The Making of Spain:

    Session 15 – José I Bonaparte (1808-1813) & Fernando VII (1814-1833)

    -Readings: The liberal revolution, 1808-1843, in Spanish History since 1808, pp. 33-47.

    Session 16 – Isabel II (1833-1868)

    -Readings: Liberalism and Reaction, in Spain: A History, pp. 205-242.

    Session 17 – Sexenio Democrático (1868-1874)

    -Readings: The Moderate ascendancy, 1843-1868, in Spanish History since 1808, pp. 49-63.

    Session 18 – The Bourbon Restoration: Alfonso XII (1875-1885) & Alfonso XIII (1902-1931)

    -Readings: Spanish History since 1808, pp. 94-109.  

    Block V – the 20th century (I):

    Session 19 – The Bourbon Restoration: Alfonso XIII (1902-1931)

    Session 20 – The Spanish Second Republic (1931-1939)

    -Reading: Spanish History since 1808, pp. 236-235.

    Session 21 – Prelude to Tragedy (The Spanish Civil War TV Film Series, Episode 1).

    Session 22 – The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

    -Readings: Spain 1931 to the Present, in Spain: A History, pp. 243-282. 

    Block VI – The 20th century (II) & Spain facing the 21st century

    Session 23 – Franco Regime (1939-1975) & Transition to Democracy (1975-1982).

    -Readings: From Dictatorship to Democracy, in The New Spaniards, pp. 26-34.  

    Session 24 – Socialist & Conservative Spain (1982-2004).

    -Readings: Socialist Spain, Not-so-Socialist Spain, & Conservative Spain, in The New Spaniards, pp. 46-79.  

    Session 25 & 26 – Spain in the 21st century. Student presentations.

    -Readings from newspapers and discussion on current affairs.

    Session 27 – Final Exam (date/time TBA) 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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

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


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