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Culture and education

One of the challenges of this period was education, because most people were illiterate. Before 1857 there was no free education. Moyano’s Law was then introduced, which proclaimed free education for all children, girls and boys, from 6 to 9 years old and after that organised education in three levels (Primary, Secondary and University). Few resources were allocated to education by the government, but eventually the “Institución Libre de Enseñanza” was constituted to improve educational levels and teachers’ background. This brought to Spain European pedagogical and scientific points of view and in 1907 the “Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios” was introduced to develop research into science and culture.

Foreign influences such as Romanticism eventually reached Spain. Not-so-new trends collided with old ways, becoming an exaltation of the glorious past. The loss of the last overseas territories influenced an intellectual movement, the “Generación del 98”, which linked into “Regeneracionismo” (Regenerationism) and developed ideas for the needs of the country: education, democracy and Europisation, while having a critical overview of the past and the reasons for the decadence of the Spanish Empire.