Prof. John H. Munro

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Prof. John H. Munro

Department of Economics

University of Toronto
ECO 303Y1: The Economic History of Modern Europe, to 1914
Mid Year Test: Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Answer ONE and only one of the following twelve (12) questions, excluding any questions that are in any way related to your first term essay. If in doubt, choose another topic. Note that the topic of your first term essay has been recorded, along with your grade. Answer the entire question, and do so fully, as posed. Your essays should be about 2300 - 2700 words, or about 7-8 pages in typed form, and no more than 10 pages (with about 330 words per page), using double-spacing with 11 or 12-point font. Please prepare your answer on a word-processor (computer). Put your name (printed), student number, e-mail address, and the question number at the top of the first page or on the title page of your paper. Underline or capitalize your surname (printed). Make sure that you clearly identify the question being answered, by providing both the title and the question number.
Your take-home exam is due by 5:30 pm, Wednesday, 16 January 2013, with no extensions permitted, for any reason. If you do not submit the exam by this date, you must instead do another and more formal term essay (with footnotes and annotated bibliography), which will be due on Thursday, 28 March 2013 (one week before the last day of classes, on Thursday, 4 April – the day before Good Friday).
QUESTIONS: note that all of the first-term A list essay topics are included in these questions
1. Which decade do you think was the more important in providing ‘crucial turning points’ for the origins of the English/British Industrial Revolution: the 1660s or the 1760s? In your answer, discuss, for both decades, the major economic and social changes that proved to be important in explaining why Great Britain became the ‘homeland’ of the modern Industrial Revolution. [If your arguments are sound in proving your case, do not worry about choosing the ‘wrong’ decade.]
2. Discuss the nature and consequences of the economic decline of the Netherlands in the 18th century, in relation to the British Industrial Revolution (ca. 1760 - 1820), in terms of these questions:

a) Was that economic decline due more to endogenous or to exogenous factors?

b) Was it more of a relative or an absolute economic decline?

c) Is there any relationship between the economic decline of the Netherlands and the advent of the British Industrial Revolution? Did one influence the other?

3. Discuss the role of religion in British society and the British economy from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to and including the entire Industrial Revolution era (ca. 1760 - 1820): in particular its impact on entrepreneurship and industrial innovation. What other socio-economic factors interacted with religious beliefs and religious institutions in fostering productive entrepreneurship in this era?
4. Was the 18th-century Demographic Revolution, in Great Britain, a primary cause or a major consequence of the ‘Industrial Revolution’ (ca. 1760 - ca. 1820)? In your answer, analyse the interrelationships between demographic forces – both those pertaining to fertility and to mortality – and other economic and social forces that led to the Industrial Revolution.

5. To what extent did the operation of demographic forces (decline and growth) explain the major structural changes in English agriculture, from the 1660s to the 1830s: in terms of both the agrarian recession from the 1660s to the 1750s and the ensuing, so-called ‘Agricultural Revolution’ era, from the 1760s to the 1830s. In particular, explain the role of demographic factors in influencing changes in both relative prices (micro-economics) and changes in the price level (macro-economics), i.e. in terms of deflation and inflation.

6. Analyse and explain both the causes and consequences, economic and social, of enclosures in the English agrarian economy, from the 1660s to the 1830s. In particular, answer these two questions: (i) did these enclosures prove to be necessary for and make possible an ‘Agricultural Revolution’ in England (to the 1830s); and (ii) what was the more important in supplying the necessary urban labour for the Industrial Revolution: the Demographic or Agricultural Revolutions?
7. Compare and contrast the patterns of overseas trade and overseas colonial structures of the Netherlands and England, from the 1660s to the 1820s. In the context of the policies and philosophies of early-modern Mercantilism, explain why the English commercial and colonial policies were more conducive to modern industrialization than were those of the Dutch Republic.
8. To what extent did the English/British economy undergo a ‘Financial Revolution’ from the 1660s to the 1840s? In your answer, briefly compare the performance of the Dutch and British (English and Scottish) financial institutions, in both the private and public sectors, in explaining the economic decline of the Netherlands and the onset of the British Industrial Revolution.
9. Compare and contrast the roles of the textile and metallurgical industries in the economic development of England/Great Britain from the later 17th century to the mid-19th century. In your answer, compare the nature and consequences of both the technological and related organizational changes that both industries underwent during this period. In particular explain why the cotton industry, as a consumer goods industry, became the paradigm of pure competition, while the iron industry, as a capital goods industry, became the paradigm of oligopolistic competition.
10. Why and how did Great Britain jettison Mercantilism to adopt Free Trade, from the 1840s? In doing so, were Free Trade and related Laissez-Faire economic policies compatible with the actual conduct of British foreign affairs related to overseas colonies and British Imperialism, in the mid 19th century (1830s to 1870s)?
11. Discuss the role of the state – in particular, government commercial, fiscal, banking, and monetary policies – in the economic development of England, and then of Great Britain (from 1707), from the 1660s to the 1870s. Discuss both the costs and benefits of these government economic policies.
12. Discuss the importance of changes in modes of both maritime and overland transportation for the economic development of, first the Netherlands and England, from the 1660s to the 1820s, and then of Great Britain, from the 1820s to 1914.
Warning!! The answer submitted must be uniquely your own work. Your answer must not be a mere repetition of lecture notes and must show some evidence that you have read not only the lecture notes (imperative!) but also some of the recommended texts, books, essays, or articles for this course (on the reading lists for the major topics, especially). Footnotes and bibliographies are not required, but you may supply in-text references, or a brief list of references at the end.

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