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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPPO2680 Modern Spain (1868-1975)

20 creditsClass Size: 27

Module manager: Dr Gregorio Alonso

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 1 in BA programmes with Spanish.

Pre-Requisite Modules:
Either SPPO1010 Pract Lang Skills in Spanish 1
Or SPPO1091 Pre-Intermediate Spanish Language (A2 of the CEFR)
Or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

SPPO2681Modern Spain (1868-1975)

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

From a failed bid for democratization during the so called Revolutionary Sexennium (1868-1874) down to the end of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975), Spain went through a complex set of political, social and cultural changes common to Western societies. Industrialization, secularization, nation(s) building process and state power consolidation unevenly unfolded and speeded up. The module will look into the core historical moments that shaped Modern Spain and focus on the social transformations that took place in the long twentieth century prior to the democratic transition and consolidation that started with the death of the dictator.


Students will examine the most salient political, cultural and social dimensions of Modern Spain. They will acquire and develop knowledge of the process of socioeconomic, institutional and ideological modernization of Spain after 1868 until the end of Franco's dictatorship.

By means of lectures, seminar presentation and debates and assessed written work, they will be able to build upon the academic and transferable skills studied at Level 1.

The module also comprises sessions devoted to language use and awareness in historical contexts.

Learning outcomes
The ability to:
1. examine a specific historical period through the lens of literary, cultural and historiographical representation;
2. engage critically with those representations by means of a variety of theoretical tools, such as discourse analysis and social and cultural critical theory;
3. be able to discuss and critically examine phenomena such as nationalism, secularization and the politics of gender, both in writing and in seminars in a competent and informed manner.

Skills outcomes
The ability to:
-Be familiar with historiographic schools and methods
-Read and examine primary sources
-Reflect critically on and build up historical account and
-Compare and contrast historiographic interpretations of Modern Spain


The syllabus will typically include the following elements:
1. Modernity and Tradition: the Spanish economy and society, 1850-1923
2. The Democratic Sexennium: reform, revolution and reaction, 1868-1874
3. The Cánovas Restoration, 1898-1923.
4. 1898: The eclipse of the Empire
5. Authoritarianism and modernity: The Primo de Rivera Dictatorship (1923-1930)
6. Democracy in times of polarization: The Spanish II Republic
7. A (new) Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
8. Politics of Revenge: The Franco regime and Spanish life
9. Desarrollismo: capitalism cum authoritarianism
10. The end of Francoism and the recovery of democracy

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

All participants will need to familiarise themselves with primary sources that are written in Spanish. The teaching team will thus choose and work along with students on some short passages and excepts from a variety of documents (political speeches, legislation, the press,… etc). Students will discuss and debate their findings in the practical sessions of this module, which encompass this section of “learning language in historical context” with the aim of diversifying and reinforcing current SPLAS teaching offer. Therefore participants will need to read historical materials provided before hand in their homes or at the library.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Informal oral feedback in lectures and seminars. Guidance and supervision in essay planning and sourcing by as requested appointment or/and in office hours. Written feedback on semester one essays. Group feedback sessions in first week of semester two.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words45.00
Essay3,000 words55.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 10/08/2020 08:46:51


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