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Unit information: Popular Protest and Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain, 1875 - 1923 in 2017/18

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Unit name Popular Protest and Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain, 1875 - 1923
Unit code HISP30075
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Paco Romero Salvado
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit analyses the failure of the Liberal state to create a viable political formula of consensus and consolidate a modern state. Spain is thus a perfect laboratory to study social conflict, popular mobilisation and the subsequent praetorian-led reaction. Students will have access to a rich number of primary sources with which to explore key themes such as the politics of elites and caciques, the evolution of Spain's labour movement and its particular strands (Anarchism, Syndicalism, Socialism and Communism), the links between domestic politics and colonial campaigns, and different types of social violence and popular protest (from unorganised food riots to general strikes and industrial pistolerismo).


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours).

Assessment Details

essay 33.3%, exam 66.6%

Reading and References

S. Balfour, The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898-1923 (Oxford University Press, 1997).

C.P. Boyd, Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain (Chapel Hill, 1979).

S. Juliá (ed.), Violencia política en la España del Siglo XX (Taurus, 2000).

B. Martin, The Agony of Modernization. Labour and Industrialization in Spain (Cornell University Press, 1990).

F.J. Romero Salvadó, Spain 1914-1918. Between War and Revolution (Routledge, 1999).

A. Smith (ed.), Red Barcelona (Routledge, 2002).