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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: The U.S. Economy since 1918 (ECSH10021)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the development of the US economy from the 1920s to the present day. Initially we will consider the prosperity of the 1920s, and why this proved fragile. Attention will be given to the new patterns of consumer spending, and how these were made possible by new technology and marketing methods. The positions of the banking and farm sectors will also be considered, as will the changing position of the USA in the world economy. The economic collapse of 1929-33 will be assessed, taking account of the varying theoretical perspectives of economists. Thereafter the economic policies of the New Deal will be examined, and their roles in promoting or retarding recovery from the Great Depression will be gauged. The extent that World War Two marked an economic watershed for the USA will be investigated, as will the economic consequences of higher military spending since 1945. Particular attention will be paid to understanding the productivity record of the US economy, and its consequences for the changing international economic position of the USA. The causes of the economic slowdown of the 1970 will be assessed, as will the extent to which Reagan's economic policies of the 1980s led to improved performance, and to the 'New Economy' of the 1990s. Attention will also be given to the demographic and labour forces changes of the years since 1945, and how these contributed to the productivity and growth performance of the US economy.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first-level historical or economics courses or equivalent, and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second-level historical or economics courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admissions Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3783).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  26
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 75 %, Coursework 25 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of 3000 words which will count as 25% of the final assessment.

One two-hour degree exam which will count as 75% of the final assessment.
Visiting Student Variant Assessment
One essay of 3000 words which will count for 25% of the final assessment.
One take home examination essay which will count as 75% of the final assessment.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
The course seeks to develop:
- An understanding of the contours of US economic growth during the twentieth century, and of the evidence on which this is based.
- An awareness of the alternative interpretations of the literature, and of the theoretical perspectives on which these are based.
- An appreciation of the use of economic theories for understanding economic history.
- An appreciation of the use of quantitative data for understanding economic history.
- An ability to construct written and verbal argument based on a variety of evidence.
- An appreciation of how the study of history helps the understanding of economic development.
- Student-led seminars are intended to develop the presentation and verbal skills of participating students.
- Written assignments are intended to develop the literary skills of students and their ability to construct coherent argument and analysis.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsThe US Economy
Course organiserProf David Greasley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3838
Course secretaryMrs Caroline Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
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