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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2152 Spain, 1898-1936: Disaster, Reaction and Reform

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Peter Anderson

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the causes of political stability in Spain between 1898 and 1936. To do this, it looks at tensions produced by the exclusion of the masses from the political system, the rise of regional nationalism and the growth of centre and left opposition groups including Europe's largest anarchist movement. As Spain underwent a series of economic crises and veered between the pretence of democracy, a dictatorship and a liberal democracy, these tensions grew and increasingly pitted reformists against reactionaries.


The objectives of this module are:

1. To equip students with sound historical knowledge of the history of Spain from 1898 to 1936.
2. To encourage students to develop a sophisticated critical understanding of the causes of political instability in Spain in the period.
3. To encourage students to approach the question of political stability in Spain from a number of historical perspectives.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will demonstrate:

1. A sound understanding of the causes of political instability in Spain in the period 1898-1936.
2. A nuanced understanding of the groups seeking to promote and block reform.
3. A strong appreciation of why and how attitudes among some groups in Spanish society became more intransigent over time.
4. A good knowledge of the relevant historiography.


This course engages students with a set of exciting and important questions about Spanish history between the loss of empire in 1898 and the outbreak of civil war in 1936. Questions include: why did many of Spain's leaders block democratic, economic and social reform for so long? Why did significant anarchist, socialist, republican, anticlerical and regional nationalist groups flourish in Spain? Why were so many Spaniards prepared to see a dictatorship established in 1923? Why were so many Spaniards keen to create a liberal democratic system in 1931? Why did relatively modest reforms in the period 1931-1933 provoke strong reactions? How can we explain the rise of revolutionary and far right sentiment in Spain in the period 1931-1936?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Preparatory reading for lectures and seminars
- Preparing presentations
- Engaging the work of other seminar participants
- Essay
- Exam revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance will be assessed through two written pieces of work, one at 2,000 words.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-word essay to be submitted by 12 noon Monday of teaching week 840.00
Oral PresentationWith Powerpoint or similar10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2018


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