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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Metropolis and Empire: The Iberian Americas, 1492-1898 (HIST10345)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the evolution of Spain, Portugal and their American colonies in the three centuries of Iberian colonialism between 1492 and the movements for independence in Latin America in the early 19th century, with the emphasis clearly on Spain and the Spanish Empire. The course will begin by examining the nature of the pre-colonial societies in question (Iberia and pre-Columbian America) and will then trace the development and nature of Renaissance Iberia and the process whereby empire was constructed and managed, focusing mainly on the Spanish process and using Brazil principally for comparison. It will also examine the double process of, on the one hand, Spanish fragmentation and 'decline' and, on the other, colonial development and identity, culminating in the impact of the Enlightenment on both the metropolis and the colonial societies. The course will finish with a brief examination of the ways in which both Spain and Portugal sought to adapt to the loss of their colonies. A research-based approach to teaching and learning will be emphasised throughout, both by drawing, where appropriate, on the lecturer's own nineteenth-century research, and by requiring students to take a critical approach to the identification and analysis of a diverse range of primary and secondary materials.
Course description Week 1: Introduction: outline of concepts.
The colonisers: Spain and Portugal in the late-15th century
Week 2: The colonised: the Americas in 1492
Week 3: Discovery, conquest and early colonisation: 1492-1550s
Week 4: The structuring of two empires: Ibero-America, 1550s-1700
Week 5: Iberia's Golden Age?: Spain and Portugal in the late 16th and early 17th centuries
Week 6: Fragmentation, stagnation and 'decline'?: Spain and Portugal, 1630s-1750s
Week 7: Growing apart: the evolution of the colonies, 1650s-1750s
Week 8: The Enlightenment in Iberia and the Iberian Americas
Week 9: The independence process in mainland Spanish Empire and Brazil
Week 10: Loss of Caribbean possessions; coming to terms with the end of empire
Week 11: Conclusions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
- knowledge and understanding of the key patterns, events, concepts and themes that shaped the Iberian American colonial experience
- appreciation of key similarities and differences between Portuguese and Spanish patterns of conquest, colonisation, structure and eventual loss of empire
- an ability to distinguish critically between the particular and the general
- an ability to develop the tools for broader comparative analysis
- an ability to research for appropriate materials and weigh up the merits of pieces of historical evidence
- an abiility to develop and sustain coherent intellectual argument
Reading List
Core texts:

Keen, Benjamin: Latin American Civilisation. History and Society from 1492 to the Present (1995)

Williamson, Edwin: Penguin History of Latin America (2003)

Lockhart, James and Schwartz, Stuart B. (eds.): Latin America: a history of
colonial Spanish America and Brazil(1983)

Indicative list of secondary texts:

Bethell, L.(ed.): Cambridge History of Latin America: Vol 1 - Colonial Spanish
America (1986)
" " " Cambridge History of Latin America: Vol II - Colonial period (1986)
" " Cambridge History (Student editions): Colonial Spanish America (1993)
" " Cambridge History(Student editions): Colonial Brazil (1987)
Boxer, C.: The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415-1825 (1991)
Burkholder & Johnson: Colonial Latin America (1990)
Crosby, Alfred W.: The Columbian voyages, the Columbian exchange, and their
historians (1987)
Diffie, Bailey W.: A History of Colonial Brazil: 1500-1792 (1987)
Diffie, Bailey W. and Winius, George D.: Foundations of the Portuguese empire,
1415-1580 (1977)
Elliott J.H.: Imperial Spain, 1469-1716 (1980)
Elliott J.H.: Spain and its world, 1500-1700: selected essays (1988)
Elliott J..H.: The Old World and the New, 1492-1650 (1989)
Gibson, C.: Spain in America (1966)
Gibson Charles: The Aztecs under Spanish rule: a history of the Indians of the
Valley of Mexico, 1519-1810 (1964)
Góngora, Mario: Studies in the colonial history of Spanish America (1975)
Hassig, Ross: Mexico and the Spanish conquest (1995)
Hillgarth, J.N.: The Spanish kingdoms, 1250-1516. Vol.2, 1410-1516, Castilian
hegemony (1978)
Kamen, Henry: Spain's road to empire: the making of a world power, 1492-1763
Kaplan,M.: The Portuguese. The Land and Its People (1998)
Karras & McNeill: Atlantic American societies: from Columbus through abolition,
1492-1888 (1992)
Liss, Peggy K.: Mexico under Spain, 1521-1556: society and the origins of
nationality (1975)
Livermore, H V: A New History of Portugal (1996)
Lynch, John: The Spanish American revolutions, 1808-1826 (1973)
McAlister, Lyle N.: Spain and Portugal in the New World: 1492-1700 (1984)
Mackay, Angus: Spain in the Middle Ages : from frontier to empire, 1000-1500
MacLeod, Murdo J.. Spanish Central America : a socioeconomic history, 1520-
1720 (1973)
Natella, Arthur A. (ed.).: The Spanish in America, 1513-1974 : a chronology &
fact book (1975)
Oliveira Marques, A H de: History of Portugal. Vol 1: From Lusitania to Empire
Ortiz-Carboneres, Salvador: Spanish history : selected texts from the fall of
Granada in 1492 to modern times(1989)
Parry J.H.: The Spanish seaborne empire (1990)
Ruiz, Teofilo F.: Spanish society, 1400-1600 (2001)
Smith, Colin: Medieval and modern in Spain: links and lessons (1989).
Stradling, R.A.: Europe and the decline of Spain: a study of the Spanish system,
1580-1720 (1981)
Subirats, Eduardo: El continente vacío : la conquista del Nuevo Mundo y la
conciencia moderna (1994)
Thomas, H.: The Conquest of Mexico (1993)
Truxillo, Charles A.: By the sword and the cross : the historical evolution of the
Catholic world monarchy in Spain and the New World, 1492-1825 (2001)
Van Zantwijk, Rudolph: The Aztec arrangement: the social history of Pre-Spanish
Mexico (1985)
Weber, David J.: The Spanish frontier in North America (1991)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - enhanced abilities in research, critical thinking, weighing up of arguments and evidence
- production of innovative research pieces that adhere to bibliographical convention
- skills in presenting information and arguments to fellow students / lecturer in class
KeywordsMetropolis & Empire
Course organiserDr Camillia Cowling
Tel: (0131 6)50 3472
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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