Riches and Poverty: Capitalism in Britain, 1680-1830 - Sources (HIH3023)

30 credits

Bookended by financial and industrial revolutions, the long eighteenth century was a time of significant commercial development. What impact did these economic transformations have on people’s everyday lives? The market is much more than a place for exchanging goods. It is the space where power is brokered, and it structures human relationships. This module concerns Britain’s transition to a capitalist market society in the long eighteenth century (c.1680-1830), explored from social, cultural and economic perspectives. The module will consider what it meant to be in debt, the role that gender played in economic life, and the ethics that governed the market. We will consider how wealth and property were defined in terms of the value of things, and the value of people and their bodies. By studying the history of capitalism, we will address concepts that continue to sit at the basis of our economy today.