Economic History

Fifteen Eighty Four


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  • 8 Jun 2023
    Maanik Nath

    Climate, Courts and Indian Moneylenders

    The evil moneylender exploiting the vulnerable borrower is a recurring genre in popular fiction. Oliver Twist depicts moneylenders as crooked gangsters operating illegal businesses and luring impoverished groups into crippling debt arrangements. Indian cinema told similar stories, proselytizing villainy of moneylenders and stirring compassion for deprived borrowers. Mother India, released in 1957, is a classic […]

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  • 24 Apr 2023
    Kenneth Mouré

    The Rutabaga Game

    Food shortages were a fact of life throughout Europe during the Second World War, and a daily struggle for most consumers. In France a children’s board game, the “Jeu de rutabaga” (Rutabaga Game, 1942), replicated the adult frustrations in shopping for food. Players rolled two dice to determine which square they would go to, in […]

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  • 10 Jan 2023
    Christina Lubinski

    Mental Maps of Nationalisms

    Mohandas Karamchand [Mahatma] Gandhi (1869-1948), anti-colonial nationalist who led nonviolent campaign for India's national self-reliance and independence from British rule; with spinning wheel and caption “The future depends on what we do in the present”. Tomoji NAKAMURA, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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  • 23 Nov 2022
    Johan Fourie

    How do you win the World Cup?

    A year or so before South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a visiting professor gave a talk at a South African university. He asked a very simple question: How do you win a world cup? Do you, he continued, appoint a very expensive coach? This, in fact, was exactly what South Africa had […]

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  • 7 Oct 2022
    Trevor Jackson

    Impunity and Economic History

    In the spring of 1716, the entire French financial community was put on trial in a ritual prosecution known as the chambre de justice.  Over the preceding centuries, these trials were held periodically, usually after wars, when a royal debt crisis was looming.  Although they mostly were not very effective (most of the richest financiers […]

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  • 19 Aug 2022
    Ghassan Moazzin

    Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China

    If one visits Shanghai’s iconic waterfront known as the Bund (or Waitan in Chinese) today, one immediately notices the many historical buildings that line the western side of the Huangpu River. Remnants of Shanghai’s former foreign-controlled International Settlement, between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries many of these buildings were erected and occupied by the leading […]

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  • 24 Aug 2020
    John D. Turner, William Quinn

    Is There a Bubble in the Stock Market?

    Our study of over 300 years of bubble history reveals that for there to be a bubble, there are three necessary conditions...

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  • 8 Jun 2020
    William Caferro

    A Distant Mirror? Economic Lessons from the Black Death

    Historians have long argued that the value of their field lay in its applicability to the present day. It serves society best, according to a recent formulation, as a guide that encourages broad perspective and careful judgement among policy makers in the public sphere. The judgments appear particularly appropriate now, as the world endures a […]

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