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Economics: From Empire to Nation an Economic History of Spain
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Economics, History 300 English 3 45 N/A


Number of sessions: 30

Length of each session: 1,5 h

Total length of the module: 45 hours


This course examines the economic history of Spain from Imperial times through the
late twentieth century. We will examine the sources of Spanish decline, the creation of
an integrated national economy, changes in income distribution, and the evolution of
political-economic institutions.


1. Spain and its Empire in the 18th century (4 sessions)
The economy of the metropolis in the 18th century
Economic relations between Spain and its colonies

2. Consequences of the lost of the Empire (3 sessions)
International Trade
Fiscal policies

3. The construction of a Nation (4 sessions)
Liberal reforms in the 19th century
A failed Industrial development?
Foreign capital: railways and mining

4. Dictatorship, Republic and Civil War (4 sessions)
Industrialisation and diversification between 1900 and 1936
The State and the Economy
Why did the democratic government loose the war?

5. Franco’s Aurtarky: the failure of an interventionist model (4 sessions)
The autarkic model
Divergence from Europe and misery

6. The Spanish miracle (4 sessions)
Back in the international scene
Liberalisation and Growth

7. The transition to Democracy (4 sessions)
International economic crisis
Restructuring the economy

8. Spain and European Union (3 sessions)
Economic Integration and growth


30% Essay (word limit: 2000 words)

70% Exam (2 hour written exam)


John Huxtable Elliott (2006), Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in
America 1492-1830, Yale University Press.

Mary Farrel (2001), Spain in the EU: The road to economic convergence, Palgrave.

John R. Fisher (1997) The economic aspects of Spanish imperialism in America, 1492-
1810, Liverpool University Press.

Joseph Harrison (1995) The Spanish Economy: From the Civil War to the European
Community, CUP.

Joseph Harrison and David Corkill (2004) Spain: a Modern European Economy ,

Sima Lieberman (1995) Growth and crisis in the Spanish Economy, 1940-1993,

Carlos Marichal (2007) Bankruptcy of empire: Mexican silver and the wars between
Spain, Britain, and France, 1760–1810, CUP.

David Ringrose (1996) Spain, Europe, and the "Spanish Miracle," 1700-1900, CUP.

Keith G. Salmon (1991) The modern Spanish economy: transformation and integration
into Europe, Pinter.

James Simpson (1995) Spanish Agriculture: The Long Siesta, 1765-1965, Cambridge,

Gabriel Tortella (2000) The Development of Modern Spain: An Economic History of the
19th and 20th centuries, Harvard University Press

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