This course is offered as part of the History Department program. It is structured to provide the student with a broad appreciation of the historical traditions and methodology of business administration of capitalist enterprise in the broader context of American economic development. This course examines American business from the colonial mercantile era through World War I. Topics include America as a developing economy; trade and commerce during the revolutionary period; the industrial revolution; the American system of manufacture; the labor movement and the coming of managerial capitalism. Students will be expected to present and discuss readings and cases concerning business developments from the origins of the United States through 1917. It will be geared to students with an adequate background in economics and an appreciation of American history, and is designed to further their skills and knowledge in integrating historical analysis into their portfolio of analytical and presentation skills.
Requirements: The Course work will comprise approximately 50 pages of readings for each class, and the preparation of "briefs" for presentation of readings and cases as the basis of class discussion. In addition, each week each student will turn in a "question card" of two questions concerning the readings. There will be a midterm exam and a final exam each counting 25% of the final grade. Class "brief" presentations, question cards and class participation will count the remaining 50% of the final grade. Students are encouraged to use the Internet sites suggested and other sites, as appropriate to amplify the readings, and in preparation of their class presentations.
Briefs: These are one page (250-300 words) summary statements of the assigned readings and cases, which are to be given orally, 5-10 minutes, and submitted as given by the chosen presenter. The brief is divided into five sections; a Summary of the Reading or Case laying out the relevant facts situation, the Issues (production, labor, financial, marketing, political) that pertain to the evolution of American business.