Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 2

The Dukes of Lerma and Uceda and the Count-Duke of Olivares

This week you will have to research about some aspects of the Hispanic Monarchy during the 17th century: 

One of the Austrias´ validos used his power and influence over the king to become very wealthy. He even convinced the king to move the capital city from Madrid to a different city. Who was this valido? What was the new capital city of the Monarchy? When did the court come back to Madrid and why? When intrigues and corruption cases in which he was involved, what did he do to avoid being prosecuted?

The famous writer Francisco de Quevedo had intense relations with several validos under Philip III and Philip IV´s reign. What effects did this relations have in Quevedo´s life? Why was Quevedo confined in a monastery between 1639 and 1643?

The opposition to the Count- Duke of Olivares´s policy is in the origin of the anthem of a territory of the Iberian Peninsula. What is this territory? What is the title of this anthem and on what events is it inspired?


The decline of the Hispanic Empire

Today in Social Sciences, Paqui has shown us a power point about the decline of the Hispanic Empire in the 17th century and we have checked the scheme about it.
Paqui has explained us what and who were the "validos", king's favourites who ruled on their behalf, members of the nobility.

· Philip III (1598-1621) , handed his power over the Duke of Lerma. There were some internal problems and he decided the expulsion of the Moorish. This caused a big economic crisis in the crown of Aragon and the currency was devalued for the first time. The economic situation led to a more realistic policy in Europe and a truce was signed with England and the Low Countries.
· Philip IV, handed his power over the Count-Duke of Olivares. The Count-Duke consolidated the Hispanic hegemony in Europe and established the same law over all the peninsular kingdoms. He took some decisions to achieve these objectives:
Participation in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). It confronted the Protestant kingdoms with the Catholic kingdoms. The first part of the war was favourable for the Spanish army, but later Protestants changed the sign of war. The Spanish army was defeated in Rocroi (1643) and the war ended with the signature of the Treaty of Westphalia, it means the United Provinces of Holland became independent, the Hispanic Monarchy lost the supremacy in Europe and the kingdom of France became hegemonic.
Project of the Union of Arms. In this part of the class Laura Meco has done a question, because she didn't understand what happened here and Paqui has explained her that Philip IV wanted all the territories of the Monarchy have had the same laws as Castile and them to contribute to the military expenses of the Monarchy. There were revolts in Andalusia, Navarre, Aragon and the most serious revolts were in Portugal and Catalonia. Finally, Portugal became independent in 1668 and Catalans asked the French for help to fight against the king, but they had to surrender in 1652. Philip IV and Luis XIV of France signed the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659.
· Charles II was constanly sick and unable to rule. The Empire had enormous problems and a powerful enemy, France. His death caused the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713) and the enthroning of the Bourbon dynasty. Paqui has explained us that he had two wives, one of them died, but with the other he coudn't have children because he only had a testicle.
Today Paqui has been a little angry, because we didn't stop speak...
We have learnt some new words as, "inbreeding", "hexed", "beggar", "rogue", "blind" and "The Swindler". At the end of the class she has given us the name of some paintings or sculptures and we have to do a project as the other of the last year. 13th of October, we are going to explain it for all the classmates.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Louis XV´s speech about the king´s power

Louis XV of France

This year we are going to start commenting on historical documents and the blog will have a section with original texts related to the contents we´ll study. The first one is an extract of a speech King Louis XV of France gave before the parlement of Paris in 1766:  

In my person alone lies that sovereign power whose very nature is the spirit of counsel, justice and reason. From me alone the courts receive their existence and authority. The fullness of this authority, which they exercise in my name only, remains permanently vested in me, and its use can never be turned against me. Legislative power is mine alone, without subordination or division. It is by my sole authority that the officers of my courts effect not the creation of the law, but its registration, promulgation and execution, and that they have the right to remonstrance, as is the duty of good and faithful counsellors. Public order in its entirety emanates from me. I am its supreme guardian. My people are one with me, and the rights and interests of the nation – which some dare to make into a body separate from the monarch – are of necessity united with my own and rest entirely in my hands.
Louis XV´s speech before the parlement of Paris, 1766

Source: FURET, François, Revolutionary France, 1770-1880, Blackwell Publishing, 2004

Could you explain the relation of this speech with what we have studied this week? Do you think Louis XV´s power was as he described it?

PowerPoint presentation about the 17th century

Here you have the PowerPoint presentation we have been using this week to learn about the 17th century. Review the slides if you want to take some notes to complete your schemes and summaries.

28th of september 2011

Charles I Steward

Today in social sciences, at the beginning of the lesson, Paqui has told us to correct the exercises of last day that were from page 107 (8-9-10). Yolanda Rubio was the first to correct the execises, she corrected the exercise nº 8, it was about Luis XIV the Sun king and the main features of the Absolute Monarchy. Then Paqui has shown us a powerpoint about this unit and she has explaned some features of the Absolute Monarchy and other topics related to the units, she has explained that Luis XIV was called the Sun King because as the sun is the center of the universe Luis XIV was the same because all the people of frace was arround him.
Sara has corrected the execise nº9 that was about the reasons for the English Revolutions and their consequences, Paqui has explained to us what he explained in the class before that Charles I was decapitated and the republic was proclaimed, and Oliver Cromwell was declared Protector
Then Paqui has written on the blackboard what significates "to flee" that in spanish is "huir", it significate in english to abscond, to break out, to break out of. Silvia was in chart to correct the exercise nº 10, that was about Habeas Corpus. Then Paqui has explained us about the decline of The Hispanic Empire, then she told us to do a table about The Kings of The Hispanic Empire, we have to do it about Phillip III, Phillip IV and Charles II, we have only finished the part of Phillip III and the other part is for homework. That was the homework for tomorrow so that´s all for today. See you tomorrow, Manuel.

Monday, September 26, 2011

26th of September 2011

Luis XIV

Today in Social Sciences, at the beginning of the lesson, Paqui has reminded some people that they have to comment on the blog this week. Then, we have checked the exercises we had about the economy of the 17th century.
The first one was about the manufactures, which were big workshops where merchants provided tools and raw materials and workers recieved a salary in exchange for their work. Then, the merchants sold their products in markets.
The second one was about international trade routes; sea routes were consolidated in the 16th century and in the 17th century appeared a new route (the triangular trade) which linked Europe, Africa and America.
The third one was about the new countries that broke the monopoly of the Hispanic Monarchy and Portugal, and they were England, France and Holland.
The fourth exercise was about trading companies and in this exercise we have copied the definition from the Powerpoint: companies dedicated to trade, whose shareholders invested money in a commercial business and recieved benefits in proportion to their investments.
In the last one we had to explain the Thirty Years' War and the Westphalia Treaty. This war from 1618 to 1648, confronted the Protestant kingdoms of the north of Europe with the Catholic kingdoms of the south of Europe and finished with the Westphalia Treaty, that had some consequences: All the kingdoms accepted the Peace of Augsburg, independence of the Low Countries, the kingdom of France became hegemonic and the consolidation of State-nations and Absolute Monarchy.
After this, Paqui has shown us a Powerpoint about Absolute Monarchy while she was explaining it. She has explained us that kings went on consolidating their authority over their subjects (over the privileged groups). Some wise men wrote books saying that the kings' power came from God, so they "proclaimed" themselves as untouchable; their decisions were unquestionable although the Parliaments limited their power, so they avoided to call the Parliaments. Luis XIV of France (also known as the Sun King) moved the court to Versailles and he entertained the nobles with parties to control them and to avoid revolts. Then, he created the post of intendant to control the government of the provinces.
After, Paqui has explained us The English Revolutions. From the Middle Ages the kings' power was limited by the Parliament and some kings such as Charles I wanted to rule as an absolute Monarch but later he was decapitated.
We have learned some expressions like HABEAS CORPUS (you can't be arrested if you haven't committed a crime or anything against the law and it was established by the deputies to limit the power of the king in 1660), To get rid of (deshacerse de) and Mercenary ( proffessional soldier who fights in exchange for money).
Finally, Paqui has given us some exercises for homework: 8,9 and 10 from page 117.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Hello everybody!
I ´m writing this comment , because I want to tell you that I miss you a lot . I´m very nostalgic, remembering last year , because I have a lot of memories with you. The last year was a fantastic year for me, with all of you, I learned so much ...and I had a good time with you. You are great classmates and  fantastic friends.
Don´t forget me :) I know that the lessons won´t be the same  without me, of course :P jaja 
Well, this is all I wanted to say .
Have a very good year all of you. And study a lot.
See you  
one kiss :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Give your opinion!

As you know, we have a specific classroom for Social Sciences this year. But our room is impersonal and cold right now. It would be a good idea to decorate the walls with some posters including inspirational quotes related to history. Here you have a poll to choose the quotes you like more. Please, vote and explain your choice on the comments´ section.

  • Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. (Martin Luther King)
  • Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (Plato)
  • It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. (Voltaire)
  • He who knows best knows how little he knows. (Thomas Jefferson)
  • A small leak can sink a great ship. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison (Henry David Thoreau)
  • Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. (Martin Luther King)
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. (Karl Marx)
  • There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will. (Albert Einstein)
  • Women, wake up; the tocsin of reason sounds throughout the universe; recognize your rights.(Olympe de Gouges)
  • The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. (Maximilien Robespierre)

22nd September 2011


I have included a image of the triangular trade.

Today in Social Sciences, Paqui at the beginning of the class has gone to the teacher's room to get the book of Laura Meco. In this period, Paqui has told us to prepare exercises one and two of page 117 for correct them. When Paqui has arrived, Silvia has corrected the first question: What where the main features of demography in the 17th century? And Ángel and Laura Meco have correted the second one: What were the main changes in society in the 17th century? Between the questions, Paqui has become argry because we haven't kept silence. After this, we have continued the unit, Dani has read the page 101 about the section of trade, a summary of this part:
- The triangular trade: which linked Europe, Africa and America.
- Trade companies were created and their ships received the protection of thier States.
Some of the words that we have learned today are to seize (apoderarse de), galleons (galeones) that they were the ships that cross the Atlantic ocean in the first travels to America and loan (préstamo).
Afterwards, Paqui has written on the blackboard a summary of the economy point and we have copied it in our notebooks.
After the summary, Paqui has put an example with Silvia and some classmates of the class. Silvia is merchant, she wants to sell spices, she needs to go to India to buy spices but she hasn't money to go to India by herself. She needs 10,000 "euros" to go to India, she asks for help to 10 merchants and she collects the money, she goes to India, she buys the spices and she comes back. She has earned 50,000 "euros" so she has to return a 10 percent of their earnings to the 10 merchants (I put euros because I don't know what was the coin in this period, Paqui can you tell me?). Paqui has wanted to explain that there was a business in this trade. After, we have started to watch a powerpoint about this unit and Paqui has had problems with the powerpoint. We have started to watch maps of the different colonies in some areas of Asia maps of Castilian and Potuguese trade routes. After, we have started the point 3 of the unit: Politics in the 17th century: the thirty years was, absolute monarchy and the english revolution. We have only read the Thirty Years War that was ocurred form 1618 to 1648. We the bell has rung, Paqui has given for homework the exercises three to seven o the page 117.

I have included this image because Alejandro suggests me that explain the colonies in the 17th century, and a image means more than one hundred words.

I have an idea for the blog: we can put the tags (etiquetas) of the different units that we are in the moments to find information in the different post. I have included the tag of unit 9.

See you tomorrow, Juan Carlos

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 1

Five mercenaries in the Thirty Years´War

Hi everybody!

As we have lessons on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this year, the weekly challenges will be set on Thursday afternoon. This way you will have more time to research and solve them. Let´s inaugurate this year´s challenges with some questions about the Thirty Years´ War.


One of the most famous Spanish painters immortalized the result of a victory of the Hispanic Army during the Thirty Years´ War. Who was this painter? What is the name of that painting?


There is a famous series of novels, which explain different aspects of life, culture and politics in the Hispanic monarchy during the  17th century. The main character of these novels fought and died in the Battle of Rocroi, considered to be the beginning of the end of the Hispanic hegemony in Europe. What is the name of this fictional character? Who is the author of this series of novels?


The casualties of the Thirty Years´ War were numerous, especially in the German States, where the main battles took place. The use of mercenaries caused a lot of damage to the civil population. They attacked and sacked cities and villages and acted with extreme cruelty. Some regions didn´t recover until 100 years later. What percentage of the population of the German States died in this war?

The hanging, one of the prints of The miseries and misfortunes of war, Jacques Callot, 1632


One of the consequences of the Thirty Years´War was the independence of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. What type of State had this new country? What type of State is the Netherlands at present?

The questions are not difficult. Researching and learning more are the main objectives. Come on, participate!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Today in Social Sciences, at the beginning of the lesson, Paqui has told us to participate at least twice a month and she has given us the books of 3rd year of ESO, because we are going to continue with the last unit of the book, the first for this year:´´The 17th Century: Absolute Monarchy and Baroque`` It´s The GOLDEN CENTURY. We have copied the index of the unit which is divided into four points. 1st: Demography, society and economy. 2nd: Politics(The thirty Years´War,Absolute Monarchy and The English Revolutions).3rd: The decline of the Hispanic Empire. 4th: Art and culture in the 17th century(The Scientific Revolution and Rationalism and Baroque style). In the Baroque, many writers, painters appeared, such as:Góngora,Velázquez... Afterwards, we have read the introduction and Paqui has explained it. The main features of the 17th century are crisis and contrasts.In some parts of Europe(the Catholic countries), the nobles dominated the society, but in other parts of Europe(the Protestant countries) the bourgeoisie developed and they imposed their values and their way of life. The predominant political system was: Absolute Monarchy, but it was critizised in some places. Art and culture reflected these contrasts and changes, and as I have said before the new art style was Baroque. The Scientific Revolution took place with the evolution of the science and thinking. There were many scientific discoveries, for example Galileo Galilei discovered more planets, Kleper... The 17th Century is like the continuation of the 15th Century, because there are some common features. After the introduction we have continued with the second point, and we have read DEMOGRAPHY: very slow population growth because there were high mortality rates caused by epidemics, wars and strong famines, only in some places like England and the Low countries, the population grew, because agriculture improved. SOCIETY: it continued divided into estates: Privileged (nobles and clergy) and Underprivileged (bourgeois and peasants). The bourgeois were unhappy because they were richer and influential, but they didn´t have political power. The bell has rang, so Paqui has given our homework. We have learnt some new words such as: Golden Century(Siglo de Oro), Mess (lío), Famines (hambruna), Harvests (cosechas) and Starvation (muerte por hambre). We have to do two exercises for next day about the demography and the society of the 17th century.

See you :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

40,000 visits!

Hello everybody!
Today we have a commemorative post because we have reached to 40,000 visits (and counting). As we know, we have many visits from other countries as the USA, India, the UK, Canada and some other places, for all this, we should participate more on the blog, writing and commenting the classmates and teachers' post, because this is YOUR blog!

We promise to continue writing many interesting things from this subject: Social Sciences.

Waiting for the 50,000 visits!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to school!

Hello everybody!
Today it has been our first class of Social Sciencies after holidays! We all know each other except a new girl in the class: Sara. We have also reminded three classmates that are not with us this year: Mónica, Daniel and Carlos. Paqui has said we might change the photo of the blog.

First Paqui has read us the Social Sciencies Assessment Criteria because it has changed in some things with respect to last year. And she has given us our books. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we take care on our books because they have been made by Paqui and Cristina, and they have dedicated a big part of the summer to do them.

Then, we have started the lesson. Paqui has explained us that we are going to continue with this blog and she has told us that every time we add images, we have to write the source below them. She has explained us another change as well. We all have to participate a minumum amount of times in this blog, and if we don't obey her our mark will be worse.

She has showed us some posts of the glog that she posted in summer. One of them was about crisis and the debt ceiling (techo de deuda). This picture explains that in the developing countries people live in a continuous crisis, so they don't notice the crisis as in the developed countries.

Some of the new words we have learnt and reminded are the following:
"Etching" and "print" which mean "grabado".
"Glue stick" which means "pegamento".
And "ring binder" which means "archivador".

At the end of the class, Paqui wanted to show us the video of "Tanto monta, monta tanto" but the bell has rung. Next day we are going to study the last unit of third of ESO: the 17th century: Absolute Monarchy and Baroque.

I hope to have a great year and we must use all our effort and participation to learn. See you on Wednesday classmates and teacher!! :)

Oh Paqui, I have written my wrong gmail account. So please remember me to write it well in the next class because you know that I always forget about things jajaja!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Update: Reform of the Constitution

Last Friday a majority of  deputies of the Congress voted for the reform of the Spanish Constitution. The majority parties (PSOE and PP) reached an agreement to reform Article 135. This article referred to the debt and loans the State can get. The new writing of the article includes a limit to the possibility of the State and Autonomous Communities of getting into debt and obtaining loans. The limit (debt ceiling) will be established in a  subsequent Organic Law. The majority parties have decided that the deficit of the Spanish administrations can´t be more than 0.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This loans and public debt limit tries to satisfy the demands of austerity and deficit control of the EU and to appease the so-called markets (investors for some, speculators for others). 

This reform has been very controversial, because limiting the possibility of getting debts can mean the restriction of public investments and social expenses. The way the reform has been made has also caused a lot of protests. Two deputies of the PSOE voted against the reform and the minority parties consider that the constitutional consent has been broken, because the majority parties have decided the reform by themselves and very urgently. These parties criticize that there won´t be a referendum to ask the population for their opinion about the reform. 

Here you have the text of article in English before the reform:

And this is the new article in Spanish: 

The reform has to pass in the Senate as well.