Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Overview

We will endeavor to teach you about three things in the course:

  1. Economic History, in particular, processes like industrialization and demographic change that took a long time, and policies that affected them.
  2. Applied Economics, emphasizing the great variety of approaches that have been used to formulate and test hypotheses.
  3. Paper Writing, by examining critically the economic-history literature and giving you an opportunity to practice writing a paper suitable for a professional journal (as some term papers, after revision, have been).

Course Requirements

The assigned reading should be completed before the date noted on the syllabus. Class discussion will be more productive and enjoyable if you have done the reading. There will be a short final exam in the last scheduled class period and a term paper that is due at the end of the semester. Additional details about the paper can be found in the assignments section.

The term paper is the most important part of the written requirement for this subject. Extensions will be given only for unanticipated events. Late papers will receive lowered grades on a gradient that makes passing this course problematical with a paper that is more than a few days late. Plan accordingly.


Agrarian Economies and the Industrial Revolution
1 Ancient Rome
2 Early Modern Europe
3 European Expansion
4 Malthusian Demography
5 The Demographic Transition
6 English Financial Institutions
7 The Industrial Revolution: Description
8 The Industrial Revolution: Analysis
The Spread of Industrialization
9 Northern Europe
10 Southern Europe
11 Africa
12 Ottoman and Russian Empires
13 China
14 Japan
15 Latin America
The United States
16 Industrialization in the North
17 The South and Slavery
18 The Aftermath of Slavery
19 Labor Participation
20 The Modern Corporation
The Twentieth Century
21 The Great Depression
22 Recovery
23 The Economics of Wars
24 Assessing U.S. Growth
25 Inequality
Final Exam