American Economic History: 1910 to Present


This course examines the dynamics of the U.S. economy over the past century.


What you can learn.

  • Develop a solid understanding of the structure of the U.S. economy as it changed over time
  • Examine several theories on causes for major economic phenomena including the 2008 economic crisis
  • Understand and apply methods of multiple disciplines developed to study the U.S. economy

About this course:

Examine the dynamics of the U.S. economy over the past century. Topics include the end of first wave globalization; changing character of the U.S. state in relation to the economy; the '20s bubble and aftermath of the Great Depression; shocks of the two World Wars; post-war economic order driven by Cold War ideology; Keynesian growth and rising international competition; a second reconfiguration of the state and the economy; '70s stagflation and oil shocks; and the rise of neoclassical economic policy under Carter and Reagan. The last two decades of the 20th century witnessed a second wave of globalization and ended with the '90s technology boom and bubble. Review each phase through different methodological and ideological lenses, spotlighting the role of institutions, class, race, and gender, and the role of the market in ideology and practice. Finally, the course explores the political economy of decision-making and the intended and unintended outcomes of state policy, corporate practice, and worker contestation, as well as the long- and short-term causes of the current economic meltdown. Transferable for UC Credit. 

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