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Júpiter - Sistema de Gestão Acadêmica da Pró-Reitoria de Graduação

Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas
Disciplina: FLH0138 - Origins of Capitalism

Créditos Aula: 5
Créditos Trabalho: 1
Carga Horária Total: 105 h
Tipo: Semestral
Ativação: 01/01/2020 Desativação:

Learning objectives:

Important notice: The entire program will be held in English, including all required readings, the discussions in the classroom, and group oral presentations. Hence, this course is aimed at students who have an upper-intermediate level of listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in English. If you have any queries about your qualifications, please reach out to the professor via email before the beginning of the classes at

The course intends to familiarize students with the social, cultural and political dimensions of the diverging paths in the development of capitalism from the Commercial to the Industrial Revolution. Between 1500 and 1800, northwestern Europe (and northeastern America) attained better living standards than the rest of the world, including the most developed areas of Asia and other parts of Europe. These changes, dubbed Great (and Little) Divergence, happened while Europe came to control a large part of intercontinental trade and maritime transportation, and started to colonize a large extent of the globe. The introduction of American species elsewhere spurred population growth and urbanization globally. The world became dependent on currency made of silver extracted in Spanish America. Empires drove intercontinental migration, including coerced workforce, alongside the decimation of native Americans through violence and disease. 

In the 21st century, the study of the origins of capitalism has been one of the most vibrant and innovative areas of investigation among both historians and economists. The course aims to introduce students to a diverse range of topics that prominently feature in the current scholarly debates.
Docente(s) Responsável(eis)
129383 - Daniel Strum
Programa Resumido
Course content

The course examines the role of mechanisms that facilitated the expansion of trade, the thorny development of currency, the responses to religious constraints to credit, and the evolvement of financial markets. It also pays close attention to two significant effects of the development of Capitalism, proliferation of consumption and mounting urban poverty, together with the various forms in which societies reacted to them. 

While largely focused in the West, the course looks at the impacts of both European War Capitalism in Asia and Slave Capitalism in the Americas and Africa. It also covers trading networks across Eurasia and the Atlantic, Muslim approaches to interests, and Chinese patterns of welfare. Finally, it reviews different theories for divergent development within Europe (and their colonies) and between Europe and other regions on the globe.

1.	Introduction 
2.	Between history and economics
3.	Commercial Revolution
4.	War Capitalism in Asia
5.	Slavery and Capitalism
6.	Currency and prices
7.	Usury and credit
8.	Finances and banking
9.	Poverty and poor relief
10.	State and development
11.	Consumer Revolution and Industrious Revolution
12.	Industrial Revolution
13.	Great Divergence
14.	Final exam
15.	Retake
Evaluation methodology Attendance, required readings, participation in discussions of texts and group oral presentations, and completion of final exam.
Evaluation criteria To pass the course, students are required to attend at least 70% of the course, to hand over their final exams (in English or Portuguese) and to take part in one group oral presentation. Please, find the readings and submit assignments via e-disciplinas website. All required readings are in English; and discussion in the classroom will be held in English as well.
Norma de Recuperação
Retake According to the resolution COG 3583 of 29/09/89, students are entitled to retake provided they attended to a minimum of 70% of the classes and achieved a final grade equal or higher than 3,0 (three). The retake will be a written exam. The final grade after the retake will be the sum of the original final grade and the retake divided by two.

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