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Economic and Social History Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2017

The cash book of the Netherlands

Guest post written by Dr. Corinne Boter:   Most research on the financial history of the Netherlands tells the story from above, looking at the development of formal institutions such as banks and insurance companies. That is why we know very little about how ‘normal’ people used to manage their finances. In the project Kasboekje…

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Hive-mind: Best Economic History articles for Bachelors students

Recently we did a hive mind exercise with the group of scholars who work in the Economic and Social history group at Utrecht University. I had been asked to look at a research methods course manual for second year undergraduate students, and provide a recommendation for an article that was quantitative in nature, reflected recent…

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Book of Hywel Dda

The original inhabitants of the British Isles were, by successive waves of invasion by Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, pushed slowly into what became the Welsh kingdom. Here they codified their laws and customs, many of which ran counter to those developing in England at the time. We can see this in the book of Hywel Dda…

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Agency book

Jan Luiten van Zanden, Auke Rijpma and Jan Kok (eds.) recently released the book Agency, Gender and Economic Development in the World Economy 1850-2000, Routledge. This book is the culmination of the research project of the same name conducted at Utrecht University and Radboud University Nijmegen. Working with Selin Dilli, Lotte van der Vleuten and…

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Position of women 1: Child brides

For some marriage is seen as the ultimate rite of passage for young women, an indication of reaching adulthood. In America, and countries heavily influenced by Anglo-American culture, the ubiquitous white dress, diamond rings and expensive ceremonies have become almost mandatory. Over 36 million people watched the coverage of the royal wedding depicted above. However…

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History of (un)happiness

By Jan Luiten van Zanden Someone who commits suicide is extremely unhappy. The happiness industry has also made abundantly clear that people are unhappy The number of victims of violent crime has plummeted. Have we become madder since Freud?   How did people feel in the past? Suicide, prisons and psychiatric patients. A history of…

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Best books for teaching quantitative methods to historians?

I have been looking into books for teaching quantitative historical methods to undergraduate students. In general the experience with exposing history students to numerical content is mixed. I therefore need a book that doesn’t presume that students would want to take a quantitative approach and which somehow makes numbers come alive in the way that…

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