Spanish Colonial Rule

Alicia Campos Serrano, Irene Gonzalez, Francesco Correale, pubblicazione online, 2018

Segnaliamo “Spanish Colonial Rule”, bibliografia critica dell’Africa ex-spagnola pubblicata online.


Historically, the Spanish presence in Africa has been characterized by a relationship of convergences and divergences—particularly intense in the northwest part of the continent, most especially the northern region of early-21st-century Morocco and the hinterland of the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla—and the traditional contacts maintained with the Atlantic fishing grounds near the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands. During the 19th century, Spanish interest expanded to other regions, such as Western Sahara and the Gulf of Guinea. After Spain lost its last colonies in Cuba and the Philippines in 1898, its interest in the African continent increased. The effective Spanish colonization of Africa was finally established in the first third of the 20th century. North Morocco, Ifni, the Tarfaya region, Western Sahara, and the territories of early-21st-century Equatorial Guinea comprised what broadly could be defined as Spanish colonial Africa. Spain’s colonial presence in Africa—with its different periods of colonization, various links between the colony and the metropoles, a plurality of legal forms (protectorate or colony), and diverse regional contexts (Arab world or sub-Saharan region)—produced a geographical and administrative division of the colonies. There was a distinction between North Morocco—whose very colonization was accompanied by a series of violent clashes that had immediate repercussions in Spain—and Spanish Western Africa, which constituted the other African colonial space. In the early 21st century, this division made by the Spanish administration is reflected in academic research, but few publications have made a comprehensive study of the Spanish colonization of Africa. Although the number of publications on Spanish colonial policy in Africa has increased in recent years, many subjects have not been addressed as of the mid-2010s. Political studies have only slowly given way to research into history, economy, anthropology, literature, health, education, and religion. Because of this research, it is now possible to have a broader understanding of this topic, with complementary views of Spanish colonization in Africa. Studies of Spanish colonial policy on the continent have not been grouped into a separate field; rather, these studies are incorporated into thematic areas or geographic areas. Thematic areas include modern history, political science, anthropology, and geography. Geographic areas include North African studies, North African and Middle East studies, and African studies (when the topic is North Morocco, Western Sahara, or Equatorial Guinea). This demonstrates the complexity of Spanish Colonial studies, the lack of interconnection in the field, and the dearth of comprehensive studies for the African context.