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What is the lasting legacy of the Spanish Empire?

This enquiry focuses on the consequences and long-lasting impact of Spain’s huge ‘New World’ empire.

Spain was one of the first European powers to develop a large overseas empire. Although many countries that came under Spanish control gained their independence in the 19th century, the impact of Spanish influence was felt for many years after this.

In this enquiry, students are first faced with a moral dilemma: should modern politicians/leaders apologise for the atrocities committed under the auspices of imperialism in the past?

Then, students categorise information about the different consequences of the Spanish empire.

Having considered the views of different historians about the extent to which Spanish influence in the Americas was positive, students bring together their new knowledge to answer the enquiry question.

A lesson which underlines the ongoing impact of history which can seem rather remote from our lives today!


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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
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  • Resource 1: PDF
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