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The Origins of Global Capitalism: Economic History, 1400-1800

HIST 268
Spring 2013
Section: 01  
Certificates: International Relations

This lecture/discussion course 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 by 1800. Among other things, it seeks to provide answers for why China's economy--perhaps the most sophisticated in the world before 1500--fell into relative stagnation and why Europe was the first region to develop mechanized industry and break out of a poverty trap that had restricted prosperity for millennia. The course begins by exploring late medieval European agriculture, market systems, institutions, and technology to reveal how the paths of economic development taken in Europe began to diverge fundamentally from those taken by societies in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. It will explore the role of the spice trade in the expansion of European influence abroad, the significance of new food and cash crops in the development of plantation systems and long-haul trade, the impact of organized coercion in the development of monopolies and monopoly companies, and the role of proto-industrial methods of production and colonial economies in the birth of the Industrial Revolution. The course aims to be accessible, broad, and comparative, drawing insights from many fields to consider the environmental, geographical, cultural, institutional, and political factors shaping the economic changes that have created modern capitalism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST)(SISP-Hist Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-19-2014
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