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FIN 406 Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective (3 Credits)

Students will survey the changing socio-economic relations and the overall conditions of material life in Europe during the Medieval period with reference to the comparative perspective of contemporary Chinese, central Asian, and Islamic experiences. The course emphasizes the study of institutional and technological factors that have contributed to the development of economic growth and capitalism in Western Europe.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Survey the conditions of material life and the changing social and economic relations in medieval Europe.
  • Compare and contrast with contemporary Islamic, Chinese, and central Asian experiences.
  • Understand the emergence and decline of feudal institutions, the transformation of peasant agriculture, living standards.
  • Analyze the course of epidemic disease, and the ebb and flow of long-distance trade across the Eurasian system.
  • Understand those factors, both institutional and technological, which have contributed to the emergence of capitalist organization and economic growth in Western Europe in contrast to the trajectories followed by the other major medieval economies.