Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Imperial Spain

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Spanish and Latin American Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit aims to introduce students to the history of Spain during its “Golden Age” under the Hapsburg Dynasty. During this period, Spain rose to become not only the most powerful kingdom in Christian Europe but also the first European state in modern history to establish a global empire over which “the sun never set”. Students will study the abrupt rise to supremacy and subsequent slow decline of Spain as a major actor on both the European and World stages in the early modern period. Students will look at the many problems that confront historians when examining Imperial Spain, including the impact of Spain’s foreign policy in Europe, its economic and fiscal woes as well as its persecution of religious minorities.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this unit are to encourage student to:
- Examine the history and culture of Early Modern Spain, in a broadly chronological framework.
- Analyze the causes of Spain’s rise to prominence in sixteenth-century Europe and of its subsequent decline in the seventeenth century.
- Examine the social and economic developments and conflicts that took place inside Spain during this period.
- Study the status of minority groups in Hapsburg Spain and their treatment by the authorities.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to leave the unit with a better understanding – and their own personal opinions – on the historical developments and forces that led to the formation of Golden Age Spain and its empire.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Assemble and analyze historical data; critically evaluate and assess secondary literature;
- Demonstrate the fact that all history is interpretive, founded in a wide range of motivations for constructing interpretations;
- Demonstrate an awareness of key historical debates concerning interpretations of the impact of Spanish expansion and how these influenced debates on subsequent empires;
- Develop own ideas and mount an argument clearly and coherently in written and spoken English;
- Use a reading list to identify relevant material and show an ability to give bibliographical information accurately and consistently.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Bennassar, B. (1979) The Spanish Character. Attitudes and Mentalities from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Kamen, H.(2002) Empire: How Spain became a World Power 1492-1763.London.
- Elliott, J.H. (2002) Imperial Spain, 1469-1716. London.
- Lynch, J. (1992) The Hispanic world in Crisis and Change, 1598-1700. Oxford.

ADDITIONAL NOTES The language of instruction of this study-unit is English. Students can follow this study-unit without having any knowledge of Spanish.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel A. Vassallo

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Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.