Slavery and Capitalism: The Economic World of Early America
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: DO NOT USE
Course Number: LHIS 2151
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
This course is a survey of American economic history from Colonization through Reconstruction, and traces the emergence of slavery and capitalism as the dominant modes of production and social organization in the United States. How should we view America’s past, and present in light of slavery? Was plantation slavery simply a Southern anomaly or rather a driving force in American economic development? We will explore these issues through a consideration of the histories of slavery and capitalism. We will also examine the power relations that shaped economic life in early America. Additionally, this course will consider various approaches to the economic past, using tools from several disciplines and applying the insights of social and cultural history to ask how notions of economic “rationality” and “morality” have changed. In the process we may develop insights regarding contemporary issues like globalization, environmental sustainability, and wealth inequality.
Open to Undergraduate students.