Political History of the Economy

A Political History of the American Economy

 

Michael Zakim

Tel Aviv University

Spring 2018

 

Course Requirements:

 

  1. Three short papers (of 2-3 pages) analyzing primary sources discussed in class.  (3*25% of final grade)
  2. Take-home final exam. (25%)
  3. Regular attendance.

 

 

Weekly Lesson Plan:

Introduction

The Economy: Some General Themes

  1. Kubrick, “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), excerpt
  2. General Motors, “Master Hands” (1937), excerpt
  3. “Sex and the City” (2008), excerpt
  4. “Margin Call” (2011), excerpt

 

Household

James Henretta, “Families and Farms: Mentalité in Preindustrial America”

  1. John Cotton, On the Just Price (1639)
  2. Robert Filmer, Patriarcha (1680)
  3. J. Hector St. John Crevecouer, Letters from an American Farmer (1782)
  4. Shays Rebellion (1786)

 

Market

Joyce Appleby, “The Promise in Prosperity,” from Capitalism and a New Social Order, pp. 25-50

  1. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, book 1, ch. 2 (1776)
  2. Alexander Hamilton, Report on Public Credit (1790)
  3. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1785)
  4. Tom Paine, “On Commerce,” from The Rights of Man (1791)

 

Property

Morton Horwitz, “The Transformation in the Conception of Property in American Law, 1780-1860”

  1. John Adams, Property (1787)
  2. New York Constitutional Convention of 1821, pp. 187-197
  3. Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837), pp. 163-169
  4. Andrew Jackson, Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the United States (1832)

 

Slavery

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, 1619-1877, pp. 4-13, 111-132

  1. Farmer’s Register (1837)
  2. George Skipwith (1847)
  3. Frederick Law Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (1856)
  4. George Fitzhugh, “Slavery, Its Effect on the Free,” from Cannibals, All! (1857)

 

Labor

Karl Marx, “Capital and Wage Labor”

  1. Judge Edwards, Tailors’ Conspiracy Trial (1836)
  2. Mary Paul, Letters (1845-1848)
  3. “Weihe Testimony,” Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (1892)
  4. Frederic Winslow Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (1911)

 

Home Economy

tba

 

Machine

Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command, pp. 714-723

Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Railway Journey, pp. 9-15, 33-44

  1. Horace Greeley, “Machinery and Inventions,” from Art and Industry (1853)
  2. Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship (1866), pp. 24-32
  3. Henry Ford, My Life and Work (1929), pp. 77-90
  4. Amber Case, “We are All Cyborgs Now”

 

Corporation

Robert Heilbroner, The Making of Economic Society, pp. 112-132

  1. Railroad Organizational Charts, New York and Erie Railroad (1855)
  2. Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889), pp. 657-661
  3. Walter Lippman, Drift and Mastery (1914), pp. 43-49
  4. William Whyte, Organization Man (1956), pp. 63-73

 

Consumption

Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumers’ Republic, pp. 112-129  

  1. Sears Roebuck Catalogue (1897)
  2. Sinclair Lewis, Babbit (1922)
  3. Ford ads over the years  

 

Poverty

Benjamin M. Friedman, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, pp. 158-179

  1. Henry George, Poverty and Progress (1879)
  2. Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives (1890)
  3. Michael Harrington, The Other America (1962); Lyndon Baines Johnson, The War on Poverty (1964)
  4. Cato Institute, Welfare Reform (1995)

 

 

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