Governing board 


Research award: Second Edition, 2011 call.

The aim of the award is produce original and unpublished research work by a young researcher so as to promote research in the field of Hispanic studies.

consult conditions in pdf (Spanish)=>

Twenty-three research projects were submitted for the award by young historians from the universities of Barcelona, the Complutense University of Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Granada, Cordoba, Almeria, Cantabria, Leon, Salamanca, Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja, Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela, Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, and the University of Valladolid, reflecting the impact which said call had amongst scholars and scientists.

The winning project was submitted by D. DAVID MARTÍN MARCOS from the University of Valladolid, and was entitled:

The present project seeks to study the relations between the Braganza in Portugal and the houses of Austria and Bourbon within the framework of the dynastic crisis of the monarchy in Spain. Taking as a starting point the peace achieved between Spain and Portugal in 1668 which brought the Rebellion of Portugal to an end and gave rise to Spanish recognition of its independence, the work seeks to examine the issues which remained unresolved at the end of said struggle in an effort to reflect that the Union of Iberia continued to be a problem on both sides of the border.

The first part of the study addresses the turbulent period of the Regency of D. Pedro de Braganza (1668-1683). After reviewing the understandable discontent of the Habsburg government subsequent to the separation of Portugal, the work explores the position of lesser known actors. A key part of the research thus studies a number of Portuguese vassals whose careersin the bureaucratic apparatus of the Habsburgs came under threat after the anti-Spanish uprising of 1 December 1640 and who opted to seek refuge in Madrid, forming a pressure group that had a significant impact on the newly established relations between the monarchy and Portugal and that sparked atense climate in Lisbon, in which any movement on the other side of the line was seen as the start of an invasion.
The second part of the work addresses the final decades of the reign of Charles II up to his death in 1700. Through an analysis of the embassies at Lisbon and Madrid, the work seeks to show how, despite a letup in the tensions between the two governments, the issue of the unification of Iberia would again be brought to the fore by its greatest critics, the Braganza, making the most of the Spanish crisis to even posit a Portuguese led Spanish monarchy.

The third and final part of the work covers the Spanish War of Succession and the negotiations with Utrecht, and looks at Portuguese claims to benefit from its alliances both with the Bourbons as well as with a view to securing a larger part of its territory in the peninsula. Also examined is the gradual marginalisation of Lisbon as a player in the fight after the allied conquest of Barcelona and the Spanish-Portuguese peace agreement of 1715, which finally normalised relations between Portugal and Spain after the 1668 decree.

Following along the lines of the study itself, the documentary basis for the project is also two-fold in nature. On the Spanish side, documents mainly derive from the state sections of the General Archive of Simancas and the National Historical Archive, whilst in Portugal they come from the Torre do Tombo National Archiveand the Lisbon Academy of Sciences Archive. Collections from the National Library of Madrid and National Library of Portugal and from the Palace of Ajuda in Lisbon as well as other smaller repositories are also consulted.




Submission of applications: until 1 May 2009.

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Twenty research projects were submitted for the award by young historians from the universities of Barcelona, Valencia, the Basque Country, the Autonomous University of Madrid, the University of Granada, Alcala, Seville, Naples, National Southern University (Argentina), Bari, the Autonomous University of Puebla (Mexico), Veracruz (Mexico) and the University of Valladolid, reflecting the impact which said call had amongst scholars and scientists.

The winning project was submitted by D. JOSÉ MANUEL DÍAZ BLANCO from the University of Seville, and was entitled :

The principal goal of this projectis to analyse the trade policy implemented by the Crown with regard to the shipping lanes to the colonies (Carrera de Indias) at the time of the "minor" Habsburgs. The work seeks to examine what decisions were taken at court vis-à-vis colonial trade, how such decisions were put into practice by the House of Trade (Casa de la Contratación) in Seville and the ports on the coast of Cadiz, how these were received there, how the merchant oligarchies and power groups related to them acted towards the king and his ministers, how the balance of power was determined between the Court and the provincial elites linked to maritime trade and how all of this shaped the development of the Indies Escort Fleet during the century of decline. Having constructed this global vision, the question may then be asked as to what links might have connected said trade policy to the initiatives undertaken by the monarchy in other areas of its imperial designs.

After a brief overview of some of the key moments of the XVI century, the study commences by examining the capacity for negotiation acquired by the Consulado de Cargadores (a union of merchants) subsequent to the signing of several tax agreements after 1591, which forced the Crown to implement a trade policy that suited both the merchants trading with the colonies in the Americas and its own interests during the latter years of Philip II and throughout the whole of Philip III's reign. The study then details how in the times of Philip IV the monarchy increased the tax pressure on Seville merchants in an effort to finance a more active and costly foreign policy than had been implemented in previous decades, despite which it was then to neglect the help provided by the merchants, abandoning mercantilism as a result of the uncontrolled sale of privileges to foreign merchants which granted them rights to the Carrera de Indias. The downfall of Olivares sparked the repeal of the privileges that had been approved while he was favoured at Court and led to Castilian merchants regaining control over the monopoly on trade with the colonies, albeit in a fragile, transitory and even fictitious manner. Having defeated the domestic enemy, the foreign adversary, Cadiz, grew stronger than ever during the final decades of the century until it achieved a commercial power far superior to that of Seville, where the descendents of the major merchant families abandoned trade and adopted a noble type lifestyle and wherein the representatives of the new merchant families were unable to compete with the emerging merchants in Cadiz. Finally, the relocation of the Casa de la Contratación and of the Consulado from Seville to Cadiz in 1717 reflected this new balance.

The documents for the present study come mainly from the General Archive of the Indies and in particular from the government sections (Indiferente General), Contratación, Consulados and Escribanía, although evidence is also drawn from the holdings at the Simancas General Archive, the National Historical Archive, the Royal Chancellery Archive at Granada, the Royal Academy of History and, to a lesser degree, from various municipal, protocol and ecclesiastical archives of Seville and its province.



A call is issued for a grant offered by the "Antonino Fernández and Eusicinia González de Fernández" Chair of Hispanic Studies in accordance with the aims set out in the rules governing said Chair and, specifically, the carrying out of a study linking the history of Spain with its projection into the Americas.

Deadline for applications: 28 December 2005.

The grant was awarded to Dr. Olatz Villanueva Zubizarreta (Dr. in History) to carry out the project : La colonización hispana del Estrecho de Magallanes en el siglo XVI. El proyecto de control estratégico y poblamiento de Felipe II

Summary of the chosen project: The two-fold project of controlling and settling the Straits of Magellan undertaken by Philip II in the 1580s provides the focus of the present historical research. The study thus fills a major research gap in what is an unusual episode in Hispanic history and which was as ephemeral in its achievements as it was ostentatious in its intention.

After being discovered in 1520, navigation through the Straits of Magellan was abandoned for decades as a result of the widespread and whimsical idea that the passage had become blocked, which even led to its very existence being called into question. One notable event, however, which re-awakened the Spanish Crown's interest in controlling the Straits was the attack by English privateers on Lima and Callao in 1579, which cast doubt on the safety of the Pacificc oast settlements and which drove Philip II himself to take a hand in the affair. Thus, with the specific intention of offsetting the impact of pirate ships on the Pacific sea lanes, measures were envisaged to secure strategic control over said southern climes (commissioned to the military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli) and to embark on a settlement project, in this case drawn up and put into practice by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa.

The historical research carried out within the framework of this study grant involves examining the ambitious Atlantic undertaking of which a brief overview has just been provided. It is, therefore, an historical study which seeks to gain an insight into the causes that compelled Philip II to set in motion the two-fold enterprise of controlling and settling the Straits: the planning thereof, the journey itself and the setting up of the Spanish settlements called "Name of Jesus" and "King Philip City" (location, urban organization and material expressions of their settlers).


  RESEARCH -                          

 2003 CALL

A call was issued for a grant to be funded by the Chair of Hispanic Studies to carry out a study linking the history of Spain to its projection into the Americas. The grant seeks to secure the cooperation of research staff through their participation in the research project.

The grant was awarded to Dr. Javier Burrieza Sánchez (Doctor in History) for the research work entitled Caminos para un espacio común. La Compañía de Jesús y los intercambios entre América y Castilla, which commenced on 1 Octuber 2003. 

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Summary of the chosen project: Summary of the chosen project : The aim of the project is to define the common ground of ideas which a religious order such as the Company of Jesus was able to trace on both sides of the Atlantic, and which acted as a bridge between Castile and the Americas. The Company was an organisation involved in the movement of people, culture, and language within the framework of a spiritual life in a sacralised society which not only set out from Castile but also from the various vice-royalties in the New World. It helped establish the structures of the Company of Jesus in towns. Thus, defining the missionary purpose of the Company of Jesus, and taking account of the fascination which the Indies aroused amongst the clergy of the time (particularly in the XVI century), an analysis is conducted of how they prepared themselves in terms of their knowledge so as to spread the word, bearing in mind the key issue of language, particularly when it came to teaching the Christian doctrine. For urban areas, the Company adopted the academic structure of Jesuits in towns. For the jungle areas and for more intense evangelisation, missions were set up, a utopian concept such as it was construed in Spain, although it was also a source of controversy and was used against the Jesuits. When constructing liturgical spaces, eyes were also raised in the churches towards the model developed in the Company, in line with the needs which the church was forced to face up to. Yet, if the Americas were the destination for people and knowledge through books, they were also the source of wealth remitted by those who had emigrated and through which Jesuit foundations on the Peninsula were able to flourish. The work carried out by the Fathers of the Company in America sparked jealousy amongst the ecclesiastical hierarchies. We explore the case of the Bishop of Puebla, Juan de Palafox, who was later to receive such favour from the papacy and yet subsequently to prove so controversial on the Peninsula. Also addressed is the issue of the introduction of women into the religious life of the Americas in the Jesuit spirituality, as evidenced through the Bridgettine nuns of Mexico City in the mid XVIII century. Finally, the Jesuits were once again to use the Atlantic as a road within that common ground, although in this instance to execute the expulsion orders from the lands of the Spanish monarchy decreed by Charles III. To conclude the many common areas in which Castile and its colonies were involved through Jesuits, by way of a final consideration it is perhaps worth looking at one aspect related to food, namely the highly controversial issue of chocolate which was so much to the liking of the fathers of the Company and which heralded a veritable revolution since, to a certain degree, it challenged the restrictions placed on the pleasure of the senses.