Not available in 2013/14
Towns, Society and Economy in England and Europe 1450-1750

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Patrick Wallis C414


This course is available on the BA in History, BSc in Economic History, BSc in Economic History with Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History and BSc in Economics with Economic History. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

The course examines in outline the social and economic history of European towns between the mid-15th and the mid-18th centuries. Towns and economic development; the urban economy: manufactures, services and domestic and international trade; town-country relations, towns and rural industry; towns and the state; capital cities; urban hierarchies and networks; social structure and social mobility; standards of living; social conflict, crime and criminal repression; population structure; women, family and work; poverty and welfare; medicine and health; religion, education and literacy.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 2 hours of classes in the ST.
Weekly lectures and classes (EH205). Classes are designed to discuss at greater depth topics covered in the lectures. Students are expected to prepare discussion papers for each class.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write four essays or equivalent pieces of written work in the course of the year.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists are distributed at the beginning of the course. The following are useful general works: S R Epstein, Town and Country in Europe 1300-1800 (2001); C Friedrichs, The Early Modern City, 1450-1750 (1995); P M Hohenberg & L H Lees, The Making of Urban Europe, 1000-1950 (1985); J Goodman & K Honeyman, Gainful Pursuits: The Making of Industrial Europe, 1600-1914 (1988); C M Cipolla (Ed), The Fontana Economic History of Europe, Vol 2 (1979); H A Miskimin, The Economy of Later Renaissance Europe, 1460-1600 (1977); G C Clay, Economic Expansion and Social Change: England, 1500-1700 (2 vols, 1984).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Teachers' comment

Survey questions on feedback to students may be non-informative because assessed work comes later in the term than the survey.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2012/13: 17

Average class size 2012/13: 10

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information