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History of Spain
University of Barcelona (UB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
History 100 Spanish 3 45 One semester of college level Spanish is recommended

History - General History of Spain (Modern and Contemporary) (22.5 hours)
Term 1 : From the Catholic Monarchs to the Enlightened Despotism


To introduce students to the history of Spain since the unification of the peninsula under the Catholic Monarchs (end of the 15th century) until the crisis of the Ancien Régime at the end of the 18th century. During this long period Spain was ruled by two monarchies – the Habsburg and Bourbons. The course deals with interesting periods such as the Empire of Charles V, the Austrias and the Reformation of the Bourbons. Visits to the historical area of Barcelona will show students the beginnings of the modern city


  • The Catholic Monarchs and the unification of the peninsula
  • The Habsburgs and Spanish hegemony in the 16th century: from Charles I’s Empire to Philip II’s Spanish Empire (1516-1598)
  • Decline of the Austrias and the crisis of the 17th century: from Philip III to Charles II (1598-1700)
  • 18th century Bourbon Reformism: from Philip V to Charles III (1700-1788)
  • The end of the century and the crisis of the absolute monarchy.


Geografía e Historia de España y de los Países Hispánicos
, IBÉRICA, (1989), Barcelona, VicensVives.
COMELLAS, J.L., (1993), Historia de España moderna y contemporánea, Madrid, Rialp.
ELLIOT, J.H., (1991), España y su mundo (1500-1700), Madrid, Alianza.
EVANS, J.W., (1989), La monarquía de los Habsburgos (1550-1700), Barcelona, Labor.
KAMEN, H., (1996), Una sociedad conflictiva: España 1469-1714, Barcelona, Altaya.


A written examination is set at the end of the term, based on one general theme or on four specific themes. Students are also encouraged to produce a written paper on one of the themes studied during the course, under the supervision of the teacher.

History - Spain and Europe: Classical Antiquity to the Beginning of the Modern World  (22.5 hours)
TERM 1 : Spain, crossroads of Mediterranean cultures


During the course the intention is to offer an overview of the history of European cultures, of the great transformations and changes, that took place since Prehistory until the consolidation of the European Germanic kingdoms (V-VII centuries). The Hispanic area will be dealt with special emphasis, as well as the Classical, Greek and Roman civilizations, within the European and Hispanic framework. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the scheduled visits to the Roman sites of Barcelona, and study in greater detail the evolution of the city, as an example of survival and influence of the classical Roman world.


1. The prehistoric culture.

2. The first colonizations: Phoenicians, Greeks & Carthaginians in the Mediterranean.

3. Pre-Roman people in the Iberian Peninsula.

4. The Romanization of Spain.

5. The fall of the Roman Empire and the appearance of the new Germanic kingdoms.
Visigoths in Spain.


-Geografía e Historia de España y de los Países Hispánicos, IBÉRICA, (1989), Barcelona, Vicens Vives.
-BLÁZQUEZ, J.M., (1974), La romanización, Madrid, Istmo.
-MARTÍN, J. L., (1978), La Península en la Edad Media, Barcelona, Teide.
-ORLANDIS, J., (1977), Historia de España. La España Visigótica, Madrid, Gredos.
-SANTOS, J., (1997), Los pueblos de la España Antigua 2 vols., Madrid, Historia 16.
-TARRADELL, M. - MANGAS, J., (1980), Historia de España. Primeras culturas e Hispania romana, Barcelona,Labor.
-THOMPSON, E.A., (1971), Los godos en España, Madrid, Alianza.
-TOVAR, A. - BLÁZQUEZ, J.M., (1980), Historia de la Hispania Romana. La Península Ibérica desde el 218 a.C. hasta el siglo V, Madrid, Alianza.

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