How has world trade changed over time? What kinds of commodities have been traded worldwide since the industrial revolution? What kind of networks do commodities create? Who are the actors involved in trade and what kind of institutions and policies are necessary to foster trade? How do commodities connect different places?
1. Key Readings
G. B. Magee, and A. S. Thompson, Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c. 1850-1914 (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 117-69 (ch. 4 ‘Markets and Consumer Cultures’)*
Paul Gootenberg, “Cocaine in Chains: The Rise and Demise of a Global Commodity, 1860-1950,” in Steven Topik, Carlos Marichal and Zephyr Frank, eds., From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500-2000 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 321-351. HY 3700.F7
John Tully, “A Victorian Ecological Disaster: Imperialism, the Telegraph, and Gutta-Percha,” Journal of World History, 20/4 (2009), pp. 559-579.*
On specific commodities:
Global Commodities Resource:
work in groups of 2-3 on one specific commodity and choose a selection of primary sources.
Write a 200-300 -word introduction of your work on the Global Commodities Resource
hard copies of the handout will be circulated in class