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2nd Semester AY 1999-2000, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213

Instructor: Keith T. Poole

Office: 231F GSIA (new bldg)

Classroom: Simon Auditorium
Time: 1:30 - 2:50 TuTh

The following texts will be used in this course:

American Economic History, Jonathan Hughes & Louis P. Cain
The Rise of the Western World, Douglass North & Robert Thomas

The readings listed in the assignments are in the course packet.


Grades will be determined by three examinations--two midsemester exams worth 30 percent each and one final exam worth 40 percent. The exams will all be essay and short answer questions.

Course Outline

  1. Antecedents: Private Property Rights and a Means of Enforcement
    Assignment: The Rise of the Western World

  2. The Early Colonial Period
  3. Assignment:
    1. Chs. 1 & 2 of Hughes
    2. "The Rise and Fall of Indentured Servitude in the Americas: An Economic Analysis," by David W. Galenson, Journal of Economic History 44, March 1984, pp. 1-26.
    3. "Urban Amenities and Rural Sufficiency: Living Standards and Consumer Behavior in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1643-1777," by Lorena S. Walsh, Journal of Economic History, 43, March 1983, pp. 109-117.

  4. The Later Colonial Period and the American Revolution
  5. Assignment:
    1. Chs. 3 & 4 of Hughes
    2. The Declaration of Independence
    3. "The Navigation Acts Revisited."by Larry Sawers, The Economic History Review 45, May 1992, pp. 262 -284.
    4. "The Cost of Empire," by Lance Davis and Robert Huttenback, in Explorations in the New Economic History.
    5. "Aspects of Revolutionary Finance, 1775 - 1783,"by Ralph V. Harlow, American Historical Review 35, Oct. 1929, pp.46 -68.

  6. The Constitution and Hamilton's Economic Program
  7. Assignment:
    1. Ch. 5 Hughes
    2. The Constitution
    3. "Alexander Hamilton's Market-based Debt Reduction Plan," Carnegie-Rochester Series in Public Policy, by Peter M. Garber

  8. Economic Development Prior to the Civil War
  9. Assignment:
    1. Chs. 6 - 9, 11, 12, Hughes

  10. The Economics of Slavery
  11. Assignment:
    1. Chs. 10, Hughes
    2. "African and European Bound Labor in the British New World: The Biological Consequences of Economic Choices," by Philip Coelho and Robert McGuire. The Journal of Economic History, 57, March 1997, pp. 83-115.

  12. The Economic Effects of the Civil War
  13. Assignment:
    1. Ch. 13, Hughes
    2. "The Impact of the Civil War and of Emancipation on Southern Agriculture," by Robert Ransom and Richard Sutch, Explorations in Economic History, 12, 1979, pp.1-28.
    3. "The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications," by Claudia Goldin and Frank Lewis. The Journal of Economic History, 35, June 1975, pp.299-326.
    4. "The Decline in Southern Agricultural Output, 1860-1880," by Garland Brinkley. The Journal of Economic History, 57, March 1997, pp. 116-138.

  14. Railroads, Silver and Gold: Politics and the Economy in the latter half of the 19th Century

  15. Assignment: Chs. 14 - 17, Hughes

  16. Big Business and Government Regulation of the Economy

  17. Assignment: Chs. 18 - 21, Hughes

  18. Why Did the Great Depression Happen?

  19. Assignment: Chs. 22 - 24, Hughes

  20. Did the New Deal Help or Hurt Economic Recovery?

  21. Assignment: Chs. 25 - 26, Hughes

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