SoSe 15: The Other Great Divergence: Capitalism in North and Latin America
Long before Kenneth Pomeranz famously diagnosed a "Great Divergence" in the economic development of coastal China and Northwestern Europe beginning around 1800, economic historians debated the ... read more
Long before Kenneth Pomeranz famously diagnosed a "Great Divergence" in the economic development of coastal China and Northwestern Europe beginning around 1800, economic historians debated the dissimilar economic performances of North and Latin America. Here, too, the accumulation of wealth in the United States and the descent into poverty of many Latin American countries was by no means foreordained - Latin America had in fact boasted some of the world's richest cities in the seventeenth century. Building on recent approaches in global economic history, such as Pomeranz's, this seminar thus takes up an older debate to enquire into the reasons for the disparate economic histories of North and Latin America. After a short survey of the possible weight of colonial institutions in this development, the seminar will concentrate mostly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, blending a series of theoretical approaches, large-scale comparisons, and specific case studies, and examining the role of economic and political institutions, natural resources, culture, and religion.
The seminar will be jointly taught by Michael Goebel and Catherine Davies.