HS 332 - War and Dictatorship in Spain

In this course students will explore the two most crucial, troubled and controversial periods of 20th Century Spain: the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the subsequent Dictatorship of General Francisco Franco (1939-1975). The course is broadly divided into four sections. The first section will trace the origins of the Spanish Civil War through the first decades of the 20th Century, starting from the war between Spain and the United States (1898). The second section will analyze in detail the Civil War, with an emphasis on its international aspects. The third will study Franco’s Dictatorship and will compare it to Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Salazar’s Portugal. The final section will focus on the interpretations of the Civil War and the Dictatorship which are prevalent in today’s Spain.

Particular attention will be paid to the following topics:

  • The rise of Fascism, Socialism, Communism and Anarchism in Spain during the Second Republic.
  • The division of Spain in two opposite sides after the military rising of 1936: the Republicans – called “Reds” by their enemies – and the Rebels or Francoists – called “Fascists” by their enemies.
  • The social and economic revolution attempted by the Anarchists on the Republican side.
  • The role of the foreign powers, including the United States, in the Spanish Civil War.
  • The foundations, consolidation and downfall of Franco’s regime.
  • The situation of the Basque, Catalan and Galician cultures and languages under Franco’s rule.
  • The relations between Franco’s Dictatorship and the United States’ governments from 1939 to 1975.
  • The main historiographical interpretations and controversies on both the Civil War and Franco’s Spain.

The objective of the course is to equip students with a thorough knowledge of two fundamental periods in Spanish modern history, allowing them to analyze the significance of the Civil War and Franco’s Dictatorship for European and World history. On a more general level, the course aims to improve students’ critical thinking skills and ability to assess the complexity of historical processes.

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