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

Undergraduate Course: Innovations and crises: the rise and tribulations of financial capitalism, c. 1600-1914 (ECSH10098)

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 development of the practices, institutions, and instruments of financial capitalism in the Early Modern period, the periodic crises that punctuated this development, and the accompanying debates that surrounded both.
Course description The course addresses the development of the practices, institutions, and instruments of financial capitalism starting in the Early Modern period, the periodic crises that punctuated this development, and the accompanying debates that surrounded both. It should be of equal interest to aspiring economic, social and intellectual historians, being particularly well suited to interdisciplinary study. It is envisaged both as a purely financial history course, but also as an analysis of contemporary discourse on matters of finance and the wider economy. It is mainly for this latter purpose that the course intends to give strong emphasis to crisis episodes. Financial innovation and financial crisis have an inherently symbiotic relationship. The first can often create the conditions for the outbreak and propagation of financial distress. Crises in their own turn inform contemporary discourse, and often aid lead to the adoption of regulatory and financial responses, to the development of economic thought, and to the evolution of cultural tropes that enter the collective mind-set.

The main geographical focus will be on Britain and the United States, but France, the Netherlands, Italy and Japan enter this story both as archetypes of Anglo-Saxon institutions and practices, and directly as geographical locations where the various crises under investigation either originated or later spread to from initial Anglo-Saxon outbreaks.

The course is structured around a ten seminars which introduce the concepts and academic debates concerning an financial innovation and/or crisis in a roughly chronological order. As mentioned above, one seminar will focus on the various classes of primary sources that inform these debates. In all cases, the reading list will include both a traditional viewpoint and a revisionist re-examination. Students will be encouraged to take a position in these debates and to frame their arguments as much as possible based on the primary sources.
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 courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767)
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
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 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2 hour exam (60%)
1000 word written presentation of a primary source related to a crisis episode (15%)
3000 bibliographical essay on the academic controversies surrounding a financial innovation or crisis episode (25%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their essays. Sufficient time will be given between assignments so that feedback can be incorporated into correcting and improving future performance. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their feedback with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, intellectual integrity and maturity, and an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Larry Neal, A Concise History of International Finance (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Kindleberger, Charles, Manias, Panics, and Crashes: a history of financial crises (Wiley, 4th edition, 2000)

Shiller, Robert, Irrational Exuberance (Princeton University Press, 2005)

Murphy, Anne L., The Origins of English Financial Markets: Investment and Speculation before the South Sea Bubble

Karen Ho, Liquidated (Duke University Press)

Youssef Cassis, Capitals of Capital (Cambridge University Press)

Richard H. Thaler, Misbehaving: the making of behavioural economics (Penguin 2015)

Abolafia, Mitchell Y., Making Markets: Opportunism and Restraint on Wall Street, Cambridge (Mass): Harvard University Press, 1996

Niall Ferguson, The ascent of money: a financial history of the world, London 2008

Neal, Larry, The Rise of Financial Capitalism: International Capital Markets in the Age of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 1990)

John Turner, Banking in Crisis, (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Chancellor, E., Devil Take The Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation, Macmillan, 1999
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will help students to develop the following core graduate attributes:

- Skills and abilities in research and enquiry;
- Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy;
- Skills and abilities in communication;
- Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Paul Kosmetatos
Tel: (0131 6)50 3838
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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