Spanish American Independence c. 1808-1825 - HY42055
- Level 4
- 30 Credits
- Semester 1
- 24 places
- History - School of Humanities
- Coursework 50% Examination 50%
- A European Studies pathway module choice.
This module focuses on one of the most dramatic developments of the opening decades of the nineteenth century: the collapse in less than thirty years of a vast Spanish American empire – one stretching from modern day Argentina and Chile in the south to California in the north – which had endured for 300 years, since its inception in the aftermath of the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
Students who opt for this module will look at the following issues – and others:
- What was the impact on Spanish America of the Enlightenment?
- What was the impact on Spanish America of the French Revolution?
- Why did creole elites in Spanish America find rule from Spain problematic?
- Why did the independence struggle take different forms in different parts of Spanish America?
- Why did some creoles and others remain loyal?
- How did racial issues complicate matters?
- Why were those seeking independence able to succeed?
- What was the role of "Liberators" like Simon Bolivar?
- What was the connection between political change in Spain and developments in Spanish America?
- What part was placed in the independence struggle by foreign states and individuals?
- Why were the successor states republics and not monarchies?
- Why did Spanish America fragment into so many different independent states?
Dr Chris Storrs
This module is taught through 11 x 2-hour weekly source workshop sessions (including occasional lectures where appropriate) but focussing mainly on discussion of primary materials and 11 x 1-hour sessions based upon assessed student presentations.
This module is assessed as follows:
- Presentation (15%)
- One 3,500 word Essay (35%)
- Examination (50%)
If you want a flavour of the kind of reading you will be expected to do, sample the following:
- J. H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World; Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830. (New Haven, 2006)
- P. Bakewell, A History of Latin America. (Oxford, 1997)
- J. Lynch, Simon Bolivar; A Life. (New Haven, 2006)
- J. Lynch, The Spanish American Revolutions 1808-1826. (London, 1973; 1986)