Globalization: A Hitchhikers Guide to World Capitalism

History 224A, Duke University
Mondays and Wednesdays: Lecture 1:15-2:05 Carr 136

Fridays: Discussion 1:15-2:05

1. Course Description

This course will explore the global contours of economic, political history by tracing the flows of commodities, people and ideas across geographic and ideological boundaries. An overarching theme will be the various ways in which commerce is supported by political and extra-political entities and coordinated between different groups and cultures. Reading materials for lectures will come from secondary works while readings for discussions will be drawn from primary sources. There is a correlation between the lectures and reading material, but students should note that the latter will include discussions of economic and geo-political events that the readings might not emphasize.

Instructor: Fahad Bishara (Section 01 West Duke 104)
Office and Hours – Carr 330, Mon., 2:30-3:30
Contact Information: fahad.bishara@duke.edu

Instructor: Elizabeth Brake, (Section 02 East Duke 103)
Office and Hours – Carr 208; Wed., 2:30-4:00
Contact Information: ekb6@duke.edu

Instructor: Risha Druckman (Section 03 Allen 103)
Office and Hours – Carr, 208; Fri., 10:30-12:00
Contact Information: rad@duke.edu.

Instructor: Robert Penner (Section 04 Biddle 121)
Office and hours – Carr 208, Thurs., 9:00-10:30
Contact Information: rgp6@duke.edu

2. Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this course, you will be able to do the following:

3. Evaluation

I. Exams and assignments

A. Two Analyses of Primary Sources (25%)

Select two primary sources assigned in the semester and write a 3-4-page critical analysis of each. Your paper should examine the primary sources in light of the overall themes of the course, demonstrate close reading of the document, and form a well-crafted argument about the issues raised by the reading. You will have the opportunity to re-write your papers in order to improve your grade. Although you may write about any single primary source or any combination of two or more primary source readings, the first paper must be completed no later than Monday, February 11 at 12:00 noon, with re-writes due by Monday, 25 February at 12:00 noon. The second paper must be completed no later than Monday, March 31 at 12:00 noon, with re-writes due by Monday, 14 April at 12:00 noon. Please Submit your papers via the digital drop box on Blackboard. For more details about the assignment, including a grading rubric, please see the “Guide for Primary Source Analysis” on the Blackboard site under Course Documents.

B. Paper Title (25%)

This course emphasizes the interconnectedness of regions and peoples through globally traded commodities, capital flows, and the migration of workers. You will write two papers that focus on that interconnectedness by choosing a particular aspect or closely related aspects of global trade and explaining its/their function and importance in more detail. Papers will be due after the conclusion of each of the course’s two units and will focus on the historical period covered by that unit. You may choose from a list of possible topics for each period, or propose your own with the approval of an instructor. Possible topics include: law, banking or other systems of credit and finance, transportation networks, capital flows, social networks, specific or related technologies, or labor systems.

While each paper will necessarily cover different historical periods because they are linked to class units, you may not choose to focus exclusively on the same commodity or theme for both papers. Papers should be 6-8 pages in length.

This paper will be due by Monday, 21 April at 12:00 noon. You may submit a draft up to one week before the due date, if you like, in order to receive feedback before completing your final paper. Papers will be submitted via the digital dropbox on Blackboard. For more details about the assignment, including a grading rubric, please see the “Research/Synthesis Paper Guide on the Blackboard Site under Course Documents.

C. Final Exam (25%)

The comprehensive final exam, to be administered on Friday, 30 April from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00p.m., will consist of three parts:

1.) A list of ten commodities. You will explain when and where each was mostimportant and why they were significant.

2.) Five short answer questions to be chosen from ten options. A “short answer” means 3-4 sentences.

3.) Two essays to be chosen from five options. These essays will askyou to use specific examples from the lectures or readings to make largerarguments about globalization and world capitalism

D. Participation (25%)

Your participation grade will be based on three factors.

1.) During the Monday and Wednesday lectures, you are expected to actively participate. Active participation includes asking questions, volunteering answers, and otherwise demonstrating that you have read and thought about the readings. If you are uncomfortable asking questions or volunteering answers in lecture, you may demonstrate your participation by submitting brief (one paragraph) reading responses to your TA by your Friday discussion group meeting. These reading responses should not summarize the readings – instead, they should address a problem you found with the reading or a question it raised in your mind.

2.) During the Friday discussion groups, you are also expected to actively participate in the discussion. Your participation should indicate that you have read and thought about the primary source.

3.) Attendance at all lectures and discussion group meetings is required, and you are expected to be on time. You may have up to four total absences without penalty, but each subsequent absence will result in a loss of one point from your participation grade. (Thus, your fifth absence would decrease your highest possible participation grade from 25 to 24 points; a sixth would decrease it to 23 points, etcetera). These four permitted absences are intended to cover sickness, travel, or any other reason that would cause you to miss class.

II. Grading Scale

98-100 – A+
93-97 – A
90-92 – A-
88-89 – B+
83-87 – B
80-82 – B-
78-79 – C+
73-77 – C
70-72 – C-
68-69 – D+
63-67 – D
60-62 – D-
<60 – F

4. Course Policies

I. Honor Code

Each Duke student has promised to abide by the Honor Code, which states:

Cheating, plagiarism, or any other type of academic dishonesty will be dealt with severely and may result in sanctions ranging from a failing grade on the assignment to expulsion from the university. For more information, please visit the Academic Integrity Council at http://www.integrity.duke.edu/ugrad/.

II. Learning Resources

A. Academic Resource Center

If you are having trouble with the class, please meet with me or with your TA.

If you still require assistance with study techniques and time management, or if you have a learning disability, you may get in touch with the Academic Resource Center. Their website is http://aaswebsv.aas.duke.edu/skills.

B. English for International Students

If you are an international student, or if English is not your first language, and

you are having language difficulty, you may contact the English for Inter- national Students program. Their website is http://www.duke.edu/web/eis.

C. Student Disability Access Office

For any special accommodations, students with physical disabilities should contact Emma H. Swain, director of the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO), at 668-1267 or eswain@duke.edu.

III. Changes to the Syllabus

The number and nature of exams and assignments will not change. However the course schedule and a limited number of readings may change if we need more time to cover a particular topic or if I find a reading that could better illustrate the topic we are covering in lectures or discussion groups. Under no circumstances will I assign you extra required readings without eliminating or making optional another assigned reading.

7. Reading List

All primary and secondary readings are posted on Blackboard under “Course Documents.”

8. Class Schedule

Unit 1 – 1250: Silk, Spices

Week 1: Introduction

Wednesday

Lecture: Course Introduction

Friday

Discussion

Week 2: Commodities and Trade in the Muslim Indian Ocean and Mediterranean

Monday

Lecture: Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean

Wednesday

Lecture: Muslim trade in the Iberian Peninsula

Friday

Discussion

Week 3: Explaining European Involvement in Late-Medieval Trade

Monday

Lecture: Early Chinese trading networks

Wednesday

Lecture: Comparative advantage in trade: politics and institutions

Friday

Discussion

Unit 2 – 1500: Gold, Silver, Sugar

Week 4 – Portuguese and Spanish Expansion

Monday

Lecture: In search of spices: Portugal in the Indian Ocean trade network

Wednesday

Lecture: “Do you eat gold?”: Spain in Mexico and Peru

Friday

Discussion

Week 5 – Portugal in the Atlantic World and the Rise of Sugar

Monday

Lecture: Sugar and the development of a slavery-based economy: Portugal in the Atlantic World

Wednesday

Lecture: The spread of sugar to the Caribbean; Sugar’s global reach

Friday

Discussion

Week 6 – The Colonization of North America

Monday

Lecture: “That the wilderness should turn a mart”: North American commodities and their effects on the environment

Wednesday

Lecture: Charter company colonies and early southern commodities

Friday

Discussion

Unit 3 – 1750: Sugar, Cotton, Slaves, Tobacco

Week 7: The Slave Trade

Monday

Lecture: The global slave trade and the “Atlantic Triangle”

Wednesday

Lecture: The Middle Passage and the horrors of slavery

Friday

Discussion

Week 8: Cotton and the Industrial Revolution

Monday

Lecture: The British Industrial Revolution

Wednesday

Lecture: The textile industry: cotton supply to finished product

Friday

Discussion:

Week 9: Meanwhile in the East

Monday

Lecture: Omani empire and the Dutch East Indies coffee plantations

Wednesday

Lecture: Chartered trading companies

Friday

Discussion:

Spring Break: No Class

Week 10: Trade, Dependency and Discontent

Monday

Lecture: Origins of Discontent

Wednesday

Lecture: Independence and Interdependence: the complex world of the tobacco trade

Friday

Discussion:

Unit 4 – 1875: Tobacco, Grain, Mining, Oil

Week 11: Industrial Enterprise in the US: Coordination and Overseas Expansion

Monday

Lecture: BAT, industrial integration, and overseas expansion

Wednesday

Lecture: Mass production, regulation, and coordination in the US grain industry

Friday

Discussion:

Week 12 – Imperialism, Resource Extraction, and Distant Markets

Monday

Lecture: Local Trade and Colonialism in Africa/What is a trade diaspora?

Wednesday

Lecture: Dependency in Latin America

Friday

Discussion:

Week 13: Mining

Monday

Lecture: The Culture of Gold

Wednesday

Lecture: Politics of Copper and Silver

Discussion:

Week 14: Oil and New World Orders

Monday

Lecture: OPEC, non-alignment, and the Cold War

Wednesday

Lecture: A new New World Order?

Friday

Discussion:

1. Mufson, Steven. 2006. As China, U.S. Vie for More Oil, Diplomatic Friction May Follow. The Washington Post, April 15

2. Kahn, Joseph. 2007. Why China Needs Its Own Progressive Era. New York Times, Oct 22-Nov 5, 2007. Vol. 140, Iss. 4/5; pg. 10, 3 pgs

3. Neil, Dan (The Times' automotive critic) 2008. Buy GM, Really. Los Angeles Times, December 2, Section A

4. Gros, Daniel. 2008. The China Bubble Fuelling Record Oil Prices. Financial Times (London, England), July 10, Asia Edition 1

Week 15 – Course Wrap-up

Monday

Lecture: Tying it all together

Final Exam: Wednesday, April 30, 7:00-10:00 P.M.