The Origins of Global Capitalism
This 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. 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 changing trading patterns 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.
1. Midterm paper of 8-10 pages (50%)
2. Final paper of 8-10 pages (50%)
Both papers will be essay assignments that will allow you to choose from a number of questions treating different aspects of the material covered in the first and second half of the semester, respectively. These essays must demonstrate a critical mastery of the assigned readings and a sound command of the topics discussed in class. It is important that students come to class having completed all of the required reading for each session. Due to the compressed nature of this course and the importance of class discussion in synthesizing the material of the course, regular attendance is crucial.
For your convenience, papers may be submitted to me as e-mail attachments but must arrive in my inbox on or before the day and time outlined on the syllabus. Papers received late will be penalized 1/3 of a grade for each day late (i.e., from A to A-, then A- to B+, etc.). If you do better on one of the exams than on the other, the better of the two will count for more in determining your final grade.
In making references in your
papers, please use footnotes following the Chicago notes/bibliography style
outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style (14th or15th edition). These
citation conventions are usefully summarized in Kate L. Turabian, A
Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed.
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), chs. 15-16. Papers must be
double spaced. Please use a font no smaller than 12 points and provide
generous margins (1 ¼ inches minimum).
1.) Bernstein, William J. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0871139795 (Henceforth "Bernstein").
2.) McCraw, Thomas K., ed. Creating Modern Capitalism. How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions. Cambridge, Mass and London: Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0674175563 (Henceforth "McCraw, ed.").
3.) Mokyr, Joel. The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0195074772 (Henceforth "Mokyr").
4.) Pomeranz, Kenneth. The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the World Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). ISBN-13: 978-0691090108 (Henceforth "Pomeranz").
5.) A selection of readings available as PDF files from the course Blackboard.
The textbooks will be available
for purchase from the University Bookstore, 45 Broad Street, Middletown.
Call to assure the texts are in stock: (860) 685-7323. Please note that the
Blackboard readings may also be purchased as a course packet from PIP
Printing, 179 Main Street, Middletown. This packet will only be made upon
request. Call PIP to place an order: (860) 344-9001. Please be sure to
bring the relevant texts to class.
Th, Sept. 11: No class.
Th, Sept. 18: The Medieval Origins of the Early Modern Economy
Bernstein, pp. 110-151.
Mokyr, pp. 3-16, 31-56.
Th, Sept. 25: Daily Bread—Agriculture before the Dawn of Industry
Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, vol. 1, pp. 104-182 (Blackboard).
Th, Oct 2: Early Modern Technology and Trade
Bernstein, pp. 152-213.
Mokyr, pp. 57-80.
Th, Oct. 9: States and Markets
Bernstein, pp. 214-240.
Braudel, Civilization and
Capitalism, vol. 2, pp. 25-137, 514-553, 581-599
Pomeranz, pp. 166-207.
Th, Oct. 16: The Industrial Path— Why Europe and not China?
Bernstein, pp. 241-279.
Mokyr, pp. 151-92, 209-38.
Pomeranz, pp. 211-97.
Midterm exam will be handed out.
Th, Oct. 23: The Industrial Revolution in Britain and the Expansion of Global Trade
Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, vol. 3, pp. 536-609 (Blackboard).
McCraw, ed., pp. 19-50, 51-67.
Mokyr, pp. 81-112.
Fri, Oct. 24: Midterm exam due 6:30 pm.
Th, Oct. 30: Germany, the United States and the Second Industrial Revolution
Bernstein, pp. 316-337.
Chandler, Scale and Scope, pp.1-46 (Blackboard).
McCraw, pp. 67-85, 133-152, 185-263, 264-339.
Mokyr, pp. 113-48.
Th, Nov. 6: The Great War, the Depression and the Collapse of Global Trade
Bernstein, pp. 338-352.
Garraty, The Great Depression, pp. 182-257 (Blackboard).
McNeill, The Pursuit of Power, pp. 262-345 (Blackboard).
Th, Nov. 13: The Second World War and the Postwar Economic Order
Bernstein, pp. 352-365.
Findlay and O’Rourke, Power and Plenty, pp. 473-496 (Blackboard).
McCraw, pp. 96-129,
McNeill, The Pursuit of Power, 345-361 (Blackboard).
Th, Nov. 20: Japan and the Third Industrial Revolution
McCraw, pp. 351-393, 398-489.
Final paper assignment will be handed out.
Th, Nov. 27: No class. Thanksgiving recess.
Th, Dec 4: Reglobalization
Bernstein, pp. 366-385.
Findlay and O’Rourke, Power and Plenty, pp. 496-546 (Blackboard).
F, Dec 12.
Final paper due 6:30 pm.