History of the Spanish Empire


a)To know the main characteristic about the Spanish overseas empire between the 15th and 19th century.
b) To identify the principal political, economic, social and cultural processes that marked the history of the Spanish Empire between the 15th and 19th century.
c) To know the main interpretations made by the historiography about the topics of study.
d) To know the most important bibliography about the differents topics. To develop student´s ability to work with historical documents.
e) To increase student´s ability for written and oral communication, using adequate historical vocabulary and concepts.
f) To acquire knowledge that allow the students following advanced courses about the history of Spanish empire in Early Modern Age.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





BRADING, David, Orbe Indiano. De la monarquía católica a la república criolla, 1492-1867, México, FCE, 1991.
GARAVAGLIA, Juan Carlos & Juan Marchena, América Latina. De los orígenes a la independencia, Barcelona, Crítica, 2005 (2 vols.).
PEREZ CANTÓ, Pilar, Las Sociedades Originarias y la América hispánica. Una aproximación histórica, Madrid, UAM, 2010.
RESTALL, Matthew, Latin America in Colonial Times, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011 .
SERRERA, R.M, La América de los Habsburgo, Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, 2011.

Teaching method

The class schedule will consist of two two-hour sessions each week. The first part of each session is allotted to lectures by the professor, while the second part is devoted to an oral presentation by students, followed by a discussion. Lectures supplement and complement reading assignments, and introduce problems to be brought up in the discussion period. Discussions cover the reading assignment for each topic, and their aim is to make students investigate problems, analyze interpretations of subjects in the readings and/or lectures. Outlines of lectures, maps and other supplementary material will be distributed to students on the web.

Evaluation method

All students must take a midterm and a final examination. Each exam accounts for 35% of the final grade. Participation in class and oral presentation will account for 30% of the final grade.

Subject matter

1.- Before the Encounter
1.1 Pre-Columbian empires
1.2 Castile
2.- The process of conquest
2.1 Colón and the beginnings of the American empire.
2.2 “The fall of natural man”.
2.3 The royal institutions.
2.5 The spiritual conquest.
2.6 The incomplete conquest
3.- Spanish America under Habsburg Rule
3.1 The Indies in the Hispanic Monarchy.
3.2 The “república de indios” and the “república de españoles”.
3.3 The economic reorganization of the American space.
3.4 Blood purity, Gender and Caste in the Colonial Hispanic America
3.5 The increased autonomy of the American elite.
4.- Bourbon Spain and its American Empire
4.1 War and reform.
4.2 Spanish America in the second half of the 18th century.
4.3 The crisis of the Hispanic Monarchy