European Economic History

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: James
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1355
End: 1510
Field Work: Day 1 - Gdansk - Tuesday, 12 August | Poland
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course examines European economic development over almost a millenium,
from 1000 AD to the Great Depression in the twentieth century. The focus is on the
structure, functioning, and impact of economic institutions and their evolution over
time, along with technical and demographic change. Beginning with the economic
institutions of feudalism, the development of markets, trade, banking and finance are then
examined; in the modern era topics include the demographic transition, industrialization,
globalization, as well as long-term changes in living standards and comparisons with
non-European economies. Finally, in the early twentieth century we consider war,
revolution, hyperinflation, and depression.

Field Work

Country: Poland
Day: 1 - Gdansk - Tuesday, 12 August

We focus on the nature and course of economic and urban development in medieval and early modern  Danzig/ Gdansk, a major Baltic city-state crucial in the revival of medieval trade after the Dark Ages.  Activities include a guided walking tour of the old/ medieval city and visits to the Historical and Central Maritime Museums.  Academic Objectives: 1.  To illustrate the importance of foreign trade in the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern period 2.  To show the importance of trade in the rise and relative decline of Danzig in particular 3.  To examine the pattern and character of urban growth in the late Middles Ages/ early modern period