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Sophomore Seminar: The Origins of Global Capitalism--Economic History Since 1600

HIST 163
Fall 2009
Section: 01  
Certificates: International Relations

This sophomore seminar explores how the modern market economy came into being in Europe and why this system expanded outward to bring the rest of the world into its orbit. It seeks to provide answers for why China's economy, perhaps the most sophisticated in the world before 1600, fell into relative stagnation and why Britain was the first country to develop mechanized industry and break out of a poverty trap that had restricted prosperity for millennia. Likewise, it will explore how once "backward" economies in the 19th century (Germany, the United States, and Japan) were able to surge forward rapidly to become industrial leaders in the 20th century. We will begin by studying the profound transformation of Europe's overwhelmingly rural and agricultural economy into the most dynamic urban industrial region in the world, looking closely at entrepreneurs, technology, and trade during various phases of this process. Following this, we will consider the economic impact of technological transfer, great power rivalry, war, protectionism, and depression, highlighting the complex relationship between economic and political power. We will conclude by discussing reconstruction after the Second World War, the rise of high-technology industries, and global economic integration in the late 20th century. The course aims to be accessible, broad, and comparative; we will draw insights from many fields to consider the geographical, cultural, institutional, and political factors shaping the economic changes that have created modern capitalism. In addition to providing a firm grounding in the processes that have shaped the world economy since the 17th century, the seminar aims to develop and refine the critical and analytical skills needed for historical research.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
This seminar develops the skills of historical analysis and interpretation. Numerous writing assignments will be given and the course culminates in a longer research paper.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST-MN)(HIST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-22-2024
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