ECON 5101 Reading List

Syllabus ECON 5101 Economic History of Europe

Course and Instructor Information

Course Title: Economic History of Europe ECON 5101

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor
Instructor: Richard N. Langlois


Phone: (860) 486-3472

Course Materials

Required Text:

A Concise Economic History of the World
by Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron. 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?

The course will meet with the undergraduate version of the course, ECON 2101, but will have different assignments. Students in the graduate version of the course will write three 5-8 page papers over the course of the semester and take the same final exam as students in ECON 2101. The three papers and the final will each count 25 per cent of the grade.

Sequence of topics

      1. Theories of Economic Growth
      2. Ancient Economies
      3. The Medieval Economy
      4. The Mercantilist Economy
      5. The Industrial Revolution
      6. Britain and the World in the 19th Century
        • Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron , A Concise Economic History of the World (Oxford, 2016), chapters 8, 9, and 12.
        • Niall Ferguson, Empire. New York: Basic Books, 2004, chapter 1.
        • Joel Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy (Yale 2009), chapter 8.
        • "What Were the Real Penalties of the Early Start?" by Professor N.F.R. Crafts, University of Warwick.

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. See Plagiarism: How to Recognize it and How to Avoid It. 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.

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)