ECON 2101 Economic History of Europe

Syllabus ECON 2101 Economic History of Europe

Course and Instructor Information

Course Title: Economic History of Europe (ECON 2101 ) Credits:Instructor: Richard N. Langlois E-mail: Phone: (860) 821-0152
Office Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11:00-12:15 by arrangement in my Webex room:


Course Materials


Required Text: A Concise Economic History of the World by Rondo Cameron and Larry Neal Oxford University Press, 5th edition, 2016. (Earlier editions are fine.)
Required Text: The Industrial Revolution: a Very Short Introduction by Robert C. Allen Oxford University Press, 2017.
Guns, Germs, and Steel Recommended Text Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond W. W. Norton and Company, 1999.

Course Description

This course studies the economic development of Europe from prehistoric times to the early twentieth century. Although the course is chronological, the vastness of such a history necessarily means that we will be selective in our treatment, focusing on a few episodes and approaches. In general, the course will try to explain the uniqueness of Western Europe. Why was Western Europe (including Great Britain) able to achieve sustained economic growth in a way that no other part of the world – including the great civilizations of history – was able to do?

This is a mostly asynchronous, self-paced course. You will work through six modules, available in the Learning Modules link in the left menu. Although this is a large class, HuskyCT will break the class into five groups of 20-25 students each, and you will engage in discusssions of six topics, spread out over the course, within your group. This should mean that you get to know the people in your group and that you feel as though you are in a much smaller class. The exams will be given at specific times (see below) and you will need to be available at those times.

Course Goals

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain and manipulate theories of economic growth and related economic concepts.
  • Identify key historical phenomena in time and relate them to economic concepts and theories.
  • Analyze the economics of the ancient Mediterranean and the rise and fall of Rome
  • Analyze the economics of the European Middle Ages, including the Manorial System, the Open-Field System, and the Enclosure Movement..
  • Analyze the economics of Mercantilism and the nation-state in the Early Modern Period.
  • Analyze the concept of the Industrial Revolution and be able to evaluate the reasons why the industrial revolution took place in Britain.
  • Discuss the history and economics of British economic and political dominance in the nineteenth century.


Course Requirements. Your grade will be based on two midterms, a final, and your participation in an online discussion board.



Midterm 1


Midterm 2






Although the course is mostly asynchronous, the exams will be given at specific times — and you have to be available at those times. The first exam will be Thursday 2/25/21, 11:00-12:15. The second will be on Thursday 4/1/21, 11:00-12:15. The final will be given at the time specified by the Registrar’s Office. That time will appear in your student center in Student Admin later in the semester.

The first midterm will cover the material in Modules 1 and 2. The second midterm will cover the material in Modules 3 and 4. The final will be cumulative, but will stress the material in Modules 5 and 6.

All of the exams will be online multiple-choice using LockDown Browser in HuskyCT. This is a stable platform designed specifically for taking tests. You will need to install the LockDown Browser software on the computer that you will be using the take the tests. Please read the following carefully.

  1. Go to the “Student Help” tab in HuskyCT to

    Here is the quick-start guide.

  2. To take a test, start LockDown Browser on your computer, log into HuskyCT, and navigate to the exam. The test title will indicate that it requires LockDown Browser. Please note: any test requiring LockDown Browser cannot be taken using a regular browser. You will be directed to close your current browser and open LockDown Browser.
  3. When taking an online exam, follow these guidelines:
    • Turn off all mobile devices, phones, etc.
    • Clear your desk of all external materials — books, papers, other computers, or devices.
    • Remain at your desk or workstation for the duration of the test.

    LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.

  4. For assistance, contact UITS — HuskyTech (860-486-4357 (HELP),


The discussion board is really our “classroom” — where you talk with me and with your classmates. So the importance of the discussion goes way beyond its contribution to your grade. It is your chance to test your understanding of the material, to interact with me and others, and to ask questions.

HuskyCT will break the class into five random groups of 20-25 students each. You will discuss within your own group, not with the whole class, and you will stay in the same group all semester. This will allow you to get to know the people in your group. Start by introducing yourself — tell everyone a little about yourself and your interests.

There will be six discussion topics during the course of the semester, which will track the modules in HuskyCT. See the Learning Modules link in the left menu. I will grade your particpation after each topic/module closes, and your discussion grade for the course will be the average of those grades.


Open Date:

Close Date:

Note: all module discussions open/close at 11:59 p.m.

Module 1: Theories of Economic Growth Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Module 2: Ancient Economies. Wednesday, February 3, 2021 Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Module 3: The Medieval Economy. Thursday, February 18, 2021 Thursday, March 4, 2021
Module 4: The Mercantilist Economy. Friday, March 5, 2021 Friday, March 19, 2021
Module 5: The Industrial Revolution Saturday, March 20, 2021 Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Module 6: Britain and the World in the 19th Century Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Discussions are graded according to the rubric linked below. Discussion Board posts are to be the original work of each student. When a source is cited or included in any way in a post, a full citation should appear in the post so that the instructor and other students can examine the underlying source document. Students must follow the University’s Student Code on discussion boards as with other activities completed for this course. The discussion counts 15 per cent of your grade. Click here for a complete set of instructions in the Discussion Grading Rubric Posting early and often is important for a good discussion — and for your grade in the discussion.


Undergraduate grading scale


Letter Grade






































Student Responsibilities and Resources

As a member of the University of Connecticut student community, you are held to certain standards and academic policies. In addition, there are numerous resources available to help you succeed in your academic work. This section provides a brief overview to important standards, policies and resources.

Student Code

You are responsible for acting in accordance with the University of Connecticut’s Student Code Review and become familiar with these expectations. In particular, make sure you have read the section that applies to you on Academic Integrity:

Cheating and plagiarism are taken very seriously at the University of Connecticut. As a student, it is your responsibility to avoid plagiarism.

Copyrighted materials within the course are only for the use of students enrolled in the course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.

Avoiding Plagiarism

As a student, it is your responsibility to avoid plagiarism and meet University expectations related to academic integrity. The University of Connecticut Library recommends the following resources for students to understand and avoid plagiarism:

Netiquette and Communication

At all times, course communication with fellow students and the instructor are to be professional and courteous. It is expected that you proofread all your written communication, including discussion posts, assignment submissions, and mail messages. If you are new to online learning or need a netiquette refresher, please look at this guide titled, The Core Rules of Netiquette.

Academic Support Resources

Technology and Academic Help provides a guide to technical and academic assistance. Students needing special accommodations should work with the University’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD). You may contact CSD by calling (860) 486-2020 or by emailing If your request for accommodation is approved, CSD will send an accommodation letter directly to your instructor(s) so that special arrangements can be made. (Note: Student requests for accommodation must be filed each semester.) Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility using two sets of standards: the WCAG 2.0 standards issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued in the United States federal government.” (Retrieved March 24, 2013 from Blackboard’s website)

Software Requirements and Technical Help


The technical requirements for this course include:

This course is completely facilitated online using the learning management platform, HuskyCT. If you have difficulty accessing HuskyCT, you can access the in person/live person support options available during regular business hours through HuskyTech. Students also have 24×7 Course Support including access to live chat, phone, and support documents. Accessing Your Course from a Foreign Country Some foreign countries may limit or prohibit access to certain US web-sites, including YouTube, HuskyCT and other sites required for completing your online course. It is your responsibility to review the course syllabus ahead of time and to understand any limitations there may be in accessing required content. Although using  UConn’s VPN might or might not allow you to gain access to take the course, it is your responsibility to be aware of and abide by any laws and regulations where you are located.


Minimum Technical Skills


To be successful in this course, you will need the following technical skills:

  • Use electronic mail with attachments.
  • Save files in commonly used word processing program formats.
  • Copy and paste text, graphics or hyperlinks.
  • Work within two or more browser windows simultaneously.
  • Open and access PDF files.

University students are expected to demonstrate competency in Computer Technology. Explore the Computer Technology Competencies page for more information.


Evaluation of the Course


Students will be provided an opportunity to evaluate instruction in this course using the University’s standard procedures, which are administered by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE). Additional informal formative surveys may also be administered within the course as an optional evaluation tool.