Assignment: To investigate some event in European economic history. Your paper should focus on an event between the fall of the (Western) Roman Empire and the end of World War II.
You may use papers or books read in this class as sources, but you must cite at least five outside sources.
Expectations: The purpose of this exercise is to apply economic logic to some event in European economic history.
An economic analysis is mandatory. A mere description of events will not suffice. Papers which merely overview a period or event in economic history (without giving an economic analysis) will get no better than a C.
Your paper should search for a causal link between two or more phenomena (e.g., “Did medieval peasants desire for starvation insurance entail that open field farming was optimal?”).
That is, you should construct a well structured economic hypothesis and argue its merits using historical information. Use of economic terminology is strongly encouraged, but do not go overboard.
To get an A, you will need to:
i) construct a falsifiable hypothesis using economic logic,
ii) support your
hypothesis with historical evidence, and iii) consider alternative hypotheses.
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