Introduction to the History of Contemporary Spain
Universidad de Sevilla
Area of Study
History, Spanish Culture
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
The main objective of this Course is to provide students with as inclusive an overview as possible
of the Contemporary History of the Hispanic World, taking into account the period between the final
third of the eighteenth century and the present day. In a basic, yet considered way, an exploration will
be made of the political, institutional, social, economic, and cultural factors involved. Accordingly, the
Course will be geared toward ensuring that students assimilate not only knowledge, but also critical
capacity, thus enabling them to acquire a measured understanding of our era, while, at the same time,
endeavoring to make them aware of the fundamental structural changes that have contributed to
forging this same geographical environment.
With this aim in mind, the syllabus is articulated in terms of units of subject matter which will
enable students to bring into conjunction an overall vision, global in character, involving the major
historical processes that have affected the deveolopment of Spain, and the Hipanic World, since the end
of the eighteenth century, together with a more detailed approach to turns-of-event, issues, and
junctures of a more specific, and especially noteworthy, kind.
Two modules per week, each lasting two hours, will be used to cover the syllabus. The lectures
given will offer guidance with regard to the basic aspects of syllabus content, while students will be
encouraged to enlarge upon class sessions by consulting recommended reference works. Certain class
sessions, of a more practical nature, will revolve around the analysis and commentary of texts and other
kinds of material (informative diagrams, statistical tables, etc.), as well the screening of documentary
Fundamentally, emphasis will be placed on the development of a capacity for comprehension,
reflexion, and critical acumen. In this sense, the methodological approach employed has as its aim the
reinforcement of students’capacity for analysis, synthesis, systematization, and comparison, as well as
for the searching out, selection, and categorizing of the elements that constitute the task in hand.
The lecturers taking part in the Course will endeavor to bring students into direct contact with
available research sources, together with state-of-the-art bibliography. Thus, teaching will mainly tend
toward the guidance of students within their process of personal learning, each of them being
encouraged to act innovatively.
1. THE CRISIS OF THE ANCIEN RÉGIME IN SPAIN
1.1. The Reign of Charles IV.
1.2. The War of Independence.
1.3. The Reign of Ferdinand VII.
2. THE ISABELINE ERA
2.1. The Regency of Maria Cristina and the Carlist War.
2.2. Liberal Spain.
2.3. Economy and Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
3. REVOLUTION AND RESTORATION
3.1. The Revolution of 1868 and the Transitional Regimes.
3.2. The System of the Restoration.
3.3. Economic Development and Social Groups.
4. THE CRISIS IN THE SYSTEM DURING THE RESTORATION
4.1. The Crisis of ’98 and the War between Spain and the United States.
4.2. The Undermining of the System of Turn-Taking.
4.3. The System in Agony.
5. THE FIRST DICTATORSHIP OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
5.1. The Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and the Attempts at Reform.
5.2. Economic Policy.
5.3. The Regime’s Successes and Failures.
6. THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIENCE AND THE CIVIL WAR (1931-1939)
6.1. The Monarchy in Crisis and the Proclamation of the Republic.
6.2. The Second Republic: Phases and Issues.
6.3. The Civil War.
7. FRANCO’S REGIME
7.1. The Political Regime and the International Scenario.
7.2. From the Stability Plan to the Plans for Development.
7.3. The Crisis of the Seventies and the Death of Franco.
7.4. Society and Culture during the Period of Franco’s Rule.
8. THE DEMOCRATIC MONARCHY OF JUAN CARLOS I.
8.1. The Transition to Democracy.
8.2. The Political Parties.
8.3. The System of Autonomous Regions.
8.4. The Integration of Spain in Europe.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.