ECON20130 Economic History: From the Middle Ages to the Second World War

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course draws on economic reasoning to examine the transformation of European economies from a predominantly agrarian base to a much more diversified economic structure. This transformation culminating in what is often called the Industrial Revolution marks one of history's great changes. This course aims to provide both historical perspective on Europe and on Ireland and experience in the application of economic analysis to major issues. The topics of the course divide into three chronological and logical sections. The first examines the preconditions of European economic development, paying particular attention to the demographic, technological and institutional changes that supported growth. The second section focuses on the Industrial Revolution in England asking what exactly it was, how it can be measured, and who benefited? The third examines the shift to modern economic growth in other European economies, including (eventually) Ireland. This course also enables us to explore the question 'why are some so rich and some so poor?' and provides a basis for your understanding of both the Irish economic growth and that occurring in other parts of the world.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

This is a course in applied economics. To that end, topics have been chosen to illustrate how evidence and theory are combined to further our understanding of particular historical events. The economist, by his or her training, tends to become expert in the construction and manipulation of theories and hypotheses. The historian tends to become expert on sources, evidence, and their reliability. A satisfactory social science should combine both of these aspects. Economic history presents a great opportunity to observe the use of economics as a mode of explanation across a wide range of questions and issues.The examination of these themes will combine the historical literature with the theoretical constructs of economics. This application of economic reasoning to issues often raised by non-economists should deepen your appreciation of the application of economics to the task of understanding the evolution of societies and the current global debate concerning north and south.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Attend lectures and do some additional reading 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

No requirements

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Economic History (ECON27130)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: You will have to do three short essays (1500 words max) from a list of five. The topics will be given towards the end of the semester and you will have until the end of the exam period to submit. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
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