An Introduction to the Early Modern History of Spain (Spring Only)

Universidad de Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    An Introduction to the Early Modern History of Spain (Spring Only)

  • Host University

    Universidad de Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    History, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level

    Advanced

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    OBJECTIVES
    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.

    METHODOLOGY
    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
    reality.

    SYLLABUS
    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
    Organization.
    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.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.