Whatever one's definition of modernity, Spain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was certainly not one of Europe's more successful modern nations. This chapter discusses how Spaniards have dealt with the issue of tradition and modernity in basically ideological terms. The other side of the analysis concerns the traditional continuity of social institutions and, even more, of codes of social interaction between classes and individuals in a society that until the 1940s employed more than fifty percent of its active males in agriculture. The chapter examines patterns of recruitment as well as the day-to-day patterns of interaction in institutions and modern bureaucracies such as universities, factories, and government offices. Spain clearly illustrates S. N. Eisenstadt's insight that the destruction of tradition is not necessarily a step towards modernity or a requirement for modernization. The chapter concludes with remarks on the discontinuity of traditions in the twentieth century.