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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Benjamin Schmidt
HSTEU 361
Seattle Campus

Spain and Its Golden Age, 1469-1700

History and culture of Spain and its empire from the late Middle Ages through the seventeenth century.

Class description

This course explores the history and culture of Spain and its empire during the early modern period. By the sixteenth century, Hapsburg Spain had emerged as Europe's unrivaled superpower, with an empire stretching from Madrid to Havana and allies answering from Vienna to the Philippines. Yet, following a century of meteoric economic growth and spectacular cultural production--including literary experimentation, artistic innovation, and religious reformation--Spain entered a period of perceived "decline" and stagnation. How the small Iberian kingdom of Castile rose to such prominent heights and then receded just as dramatically from the European stage will be surveyed through an examination of the political, social, and above all cultural history of Spain in its Golden Age. We will engage especially with the great literature of the Siglo de Oro and the art of the Spanish Renaissance.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites, yet a familiarity with early modern history and culture (or with Spanish literature or art) would be helpful.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly readings and discussions; two written assignments; midterm and final.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Benjamin Schmidt
Date: 10/18/2011