The military defeat in 1898 questioned the validity of the regime, its policies and national identity. However, the crisis, which had its origin in the loss of colonial power, also meant the start of the country’s modernization. Processes such as educational reform and improvements in social legislation, industrialization and the construction of public works experienced a spectacular boom starting precisely in 1898. Other key features of the time were a more intensive process of production and the increased political impact of peripheral nationalisms, as well as the assumption by intellectuals of a fundamental role in society. The final years of the century were the start of a literary and artistic splendor that continued for three decades, in which a new public formed by urban middle classes took part. These questions were analyzed in the cycle of talks on El 98 (1898) organized by the BBV Foundation in collaboration with the Grupo Correo Foundation.