< Back to program


General Description

This course aims to take a general look at the most important political, economic, social and cultural events in Spanish history. After an introductory lecture dedicated to an analysis of the particular features of Prehistory and Ancient history in Spain, we shall look at the Middle Ages. Throughout these topics we shall study the importance and significance of Al-Andalus, as well as the development of the Christian Kingdoms. This will lead onto study of the Early Modern Period, when Spain became an important player on the European stage. The course will then look at the birth of the Spanish monarchy, the creation of the Spanish Empire, and the development of humanistic thought, continuing on to the inevitable process of decline through which Spain completely lost its importance on the international stage. The end of one epoch and the beginning of another; Contemporary History, a study of which will involve the development of the modern state, the development of the so-called ‘Liberal- Bourgeois’ revolution and of Spanish society, while at no time losing sight of the ideas, social movements and cultural expression of the times. Finally we shall finish with an analysis of the most recent events in the country’s history: The Second Republic, the Civil War, Franco’s military dictatorship, and the Transition to Democracy.

Knowledge of these matters has not been limited to a mere narrative of events, but at all times we shall try to explain how and why these events happened, and their importance in relation to our most recent history. The objective is therefore to strengthen the student’s ability for critical analysis, to develop their interest and participation, and finally that they are capable of having a vision of and relating to an overall picture of Spanish history.


  1. 1. EARLY SETTLEMENTS & ANCIENT HISTORY. Prehistoric times. Pre-Roman civilisations and peoples. The Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain under the Visigoths.
  2. 2. THE CREATION OF ISLAMIC SPAIN: THE BIRTH OF AL-ANDALUS. The Caliphate of Cordoba and the Nazari Kingdom of Granada. The development of Christian resistance. Cultural and Social inheritance.
  3. 3. THE EARLY CHRISTIAN KINGDOMS AND THE RECONQUEST. The Kingdom of Castille. The Mediterranean expansion of the Kingdom of Aragon. Political institutions. Society and Culture.
  4. 4. THE CATHOLIC KINGS. CREATION OF THE MODERN STATE (c15). Territorial unity. Conquest of the Kingdom of Granada. The incorporation of Navarra. European policy. Religious policy. Social and Economic policy. The Renaissance.
  5. 5. THE EMPIRE OF CARLOS I AND THE REIGN OF FELIPE II (c16). Imperial policy: the wars against France, Protestants and Turks. The failure of Imperial policy. The Political policies of Felipe II. Union with Portugal. The Invincible Armada. The State, Society and Culture. Minorities: Jews and Moors.
  6. 6. THE REIGNS OF FELIPE III, FELIPE IV AND CARLOS II. THE CRISIS OF C.17. The expulsion of Moors. The reign of Felipe IV. The Revolt of Catalonia and Portugal. Carlos II and the problem of Succession. The Spanish Golden Century.
  7. 7. THE BOURBON REFORMS (c.18). The reigns of Felipe V and Fernando VI. Centralisation of the State. Enlightened Despotism: Reign of Carlos III. Enlightenment culture.
  8. 8. THE CRISIS OF THE OLD REGIME (1789-1833). The reign of Carlos IV. The War of Independence. Constitution of Cadiz 1812. The reign of Fernando VII: The absolutist monarchy. The Liberal Triennium and the return of absolutism. The Independence of the Spain’s American colonies.
  9. 9. THE FOUNDING OF THE LIBERAL STATE AND THE FIRST REPUBLIC (1833- 1875). Reign of Isabel II. Political instability: Moderates and Progressives. The Triumph of Liberalism. The Revolution of 1868. The Spanish First Republic. Economy and Society.
  10. 10. THE RESTORATION OF THE MONARCHY: THE REIGNS OF ALFONSO XII AND ALFONSO XIII (1875-1902). The loss of Spain’s remaining colonies. Economic and Social transformation. The origins of the worker’s movement. Regional movements. The reign of Alfonso XIII and the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera.
  11. 11. THE SECOND REPUBLIC AND THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR (1931-1939). The Republican-Socialist government of Azaña. The Black Biennium. The victory of the Popular Front. The Military Uprising and the Civil War.
  12. 12. SPAIN UNDER FRANCO AND SPAIN’S TRANSITION (1939-1982). Franco’s triumph. Political dictatorship. Social conflicts. The Transition to Democracy. The new monarchy. The Constitution of 1978. Spain enters the EU.


- The classes will last for 90 minutes. The first part of the class will, in general, be dedicated to the presentation of the subject. The remaining 30 minutes will consist of practical activities designed to aid understanding, and which will complement the presentation given by the teacher.

- The program of classes will be based on theoretical classes with extensive student participation, facilitated by previous reading of certain texts provided by the teacher.

- Film documentary material will be used to complement the classes.


- 25% of the final mark will depend on the student’s attendance, attention and participation in class. In this way the student should be motivated to think, construct arguments, and discuss their ideas with classmates and the teacher, and use and practise the Spanish language.
- A further 25% of the final mark will depend on the evaluation and correction of the exercises, readings and activities done in class.
- The remaining 50% depends on the results obtained in the two written tests, the first of which takes place midway through the course, the other is at the end of the course.


La bibliografía que se presenta a continuación, es una bibliografía orientativa y básica que podrá servir de ayuda y apoyo para lo alumnos. Todos los ejemplares están en la Biblioteca del CLM.

  1. AA.VV. Historia de España, Madrid, Historia 16, 1990
  2. DOMÍNGUEZ ORTIZ, A. España. Tres milenios de historia, Marcial Pons, Madrid, 2001
  3. GARCÍA DE CORTÁZAR, F., GONZÁLEZ VESGA, J.M., Breve Historia de España, Madrid, 1995
  4. TUÑÓN DE LARA, M. Historia de España, Labor, Barcelona, 1991
  5. VILAR, P., Historia de España, Crítica, Barcelona, 1981