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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 to the present (ECSH10099)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThe 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.
Course description This special subject 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 spine of twelve seminars which introduce the concepts and academic debates concerning an financial innovation and/or crisis in a roughly chronological order. Interleaved among these are (a) four seminars which cover wider related themes that apply across the whole period; (b) five seminars that introduce and discuss the various classes of primary sources that inform financial history, again with application across the whole period. One seminar in Semester Two is earmarked for student presentations. 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 Students MUST NOT also be taking Innovations and crises: the rise and tribulations of financial capitalism, c. 1600-1914 (ECSH10098)
Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3040).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 345 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Primary Source Analysis (15%)
3,000 word Primary Source based Essay (25%)

2,000 word Take-Home Examination Essays (2 of 6 questions) (20%)
Exam (3 of 8 questions) (30%)

Non-Written Skills:
Oral Presentation (10%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their oral presentations and 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)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. 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 Marketa Vejskalova
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