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書面報告 (PDF)
Paper Assignments (PDF)

報告 1
Paper 1


Sample paper topics for the first paper assignment from the last several years in which the course has been taught.

1. Henri Pirenne在其1925年的經典著作《中世紀城市》(普林斯頓大學出版, 1969/1925)中表示,在古典時代晚期與高中世紀時期之間,社經的發展出現全面停滯。他表明這段時間為第五至第九世紀,並將此現象與伊斯蘭在地中海東部及南部的興起相連。請依實證來支持或反駁此一論點。

1. Henri Pirenne argued in his now classic 1925 work Medieval Cities (Princeton University Press, 1969/1925) that there was a complete break between the socio-economic developments of late antiquity and those of the High Middle Ages. Furthermore, he dated this break squarely in the 5th-9th centuries and associated it with the rise of Islam in the eastern and southern Mediterranean regions. Evaluate the evidence for and against this proposition.

2. 直到羅馬帝國瓦解階段,阿爾卑斯山地帶才緩慢而明顯地出現中世紀農業技術。請就羅馬與日爾曼對此一技術演進的影響進行討論。

2. A distinct medieval agricultural practice emerged only very slowly in trans-alpine Europe in the centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Discuss the relative influence of Roman and Germanic traditions upon this development.

3. 在《早期歐洲經濟的發展》(康乃爾大學出版社,1974)中,George Duby認為:「 在當時有關財富的真正偏見是,財富並非取決於土地的擁有權,而是取決於對於人的掌控權力。 (第13頁)」。請自指定讀物中找出相關證明,來檢視中世紀初期(約為第五至第九世紀)的此一論點;仔細思考課堂上對 「富有」(wealth)一詞的多重定義。

3. Georges Duby argues in his book The Early Growth of the European Economy (Cornell University Press, 1974) that "what constituted the real basis of wealth at that time was not ownership of land but power over men" (p. 13). Use evidence drawn from the readings to test this proposition for the period of the early Middle Ages (roughly the 5th through the 9th centuries). Be sure to think carefully about the various ways in which we understand the term 'wealth.'

報告 2
Paper 2

基本上,第二份報告沒有明確的指定題目,不過希望學生能夠就中世紀流行的淋巴腺腫鼠疫等複雜的歷史事件為題。學生可自由選擇當時文獻做細節上的分析; 或從抽象角度思考例如「自然」環境與人類社會經濟組織的關聯。

Generally I do not assign specific questions for the second paper, but rather encourage students to come up with an essay topic on their own connected in some way to the complex of historiographical issues associated with the medieval pandemic of bubonic plague. They can do anything from selecting a primary source document to analyze in detail to thinking rather more abstractly about the connections between the 'natural' environment and human social and economic organization.

報告 3
Paper 3

雖然「西方」在經濟發展這項長期角力上被公認起步甚晚,但卻在近代初期領先與其對立的東方。長久以來,經濟史家一直為此問題所吸引。 1981年,Eric Jones 在《歐洲奇蹟》(The European Miracle)(劍橋大學出版社)一書中表示,歐洲的政治文化是主要原因ふ。他認為,歐洲 (相對於東亞與中亞的帝國) 一直避免成為 「掠奪機器」(plunder machine),而相較於其亞洲對手們,「歐洲的君王向來沒有絕對的權力」。其他專家則認為,比起人口過多的東方競爭者,歐洲舒緩的人口分佈與低死亡率均為優勢。Jared Diamond的作品也指出:基本上,歐洲環境在各個層面都佔上風。近來,哈佛重要的史學家David Landes在《國家富窮論》(The Wealth and Poverty of Nations) (W.W. Norton出版社, 1998) 強調:「學習經濟發展史最大啟示是,文化為其主要關鍵。」 (此乃作者花了五百頁縱覽世界史後所下的定論)。諾貝爾經濟學獎得主Douglas North也指出,西方在諸如市場開放及私人財產保障等措施都較為完善。Joel Mokyr等人也強調:西方技術(以及科學)的先進締造了這些優勢。晚近的議題則大多圍繞著貿易打轉,尤其是「大西洋經濟」(Atlantic Economy) 的益處。麻省理工學院教學同仁 Daron Acemoglu最近在《歐洲的興起: 大西洋貿易、制度改變與經濟成長》(The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth)一文中也討論了相關議題。(NBER 論文,號碼:w9378,十二月 2002).

Economic historians have long been fascinated with the question of why the 'west,' after a late start by most measures, moved ahead of its eastern rivals in the early modern period in the long race of economic development. In 1981 Eric Jones, in a book titled The European Miracle (Cambridge University Press), argued that political culture made all the difference. He claimed that Europe [in contrast to East and Central Asian empires] had avoided the "plunder machine" and that "European kings were never as absolute" as their Asiatic counterparts. Others have argued instead that Europe enjoyed a much more benevolent demographic regime, i.e., that it was not nearly so overpopulated as its eastern rivals, and enjoyed lower mortality as well. Indeed, Jared Diamond's work suggests that Europe enjoyed a more benevolent environmental context in virtually every respect. Recently, the eminent Harvard historian David Landes has argued in his book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (W.W. Norton, 1998) that "if we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference." (This comes at the close of a 500 page tour de force of world history.) Douglas North, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, has argued that the west had better institutions, like an open market and secure private property rights. Joel Mokyr and many others have posited the west's ultimately superior technology (and science too). The latest round of debate has centered on trade and in particular the merits of the "Atlantic Economy," including a recent paper coauthored by a MIT faculty member Daron Acemoglu titled "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth" (NBER Working Paper No. w9378, December 2002).


Choose at least one of these broad theories about the origins of the European success story and assess it in the context of the material we have read and talked about this semester. You need not attempt to answer fully the big question posed at the outset. Rather just find a piece of the puzzle which can be tackled given the reading you have done and reflect on the implications of the evidence you have seen so far. In particular, be thinking about the themes we have covered most recently, that is, the expansion of trade networks, the rise of consumer culture, the insights provided by historical demography, and the politics of mercantilism.

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