Money in History

University of Mannheim

Faculty of History

The recent financial and currency crises have shown a frightening inability to cope with monetary challenges although this kind of problem is known for centuries. Also, money has always been a key element to achieve justice (or to fail to do so) in both historic and modern societies. Therefore, the fundamentals of monetary history are tought in this course, from its inception in the 7th century BC to the present.

We are intending to cover

  • Monetary theories
  • Monetary regimes and policies
  • Monetary issues

This course is suitable for international students studying history, economy or business on an advanced level. The classes will take place in November and December 2012 in two two-day courses (Blockseminar). It will include a one-day excursion to the Money Museum at the Bundesbank in Frankfurt am Main.

Dates of the “Blockseminar”

A preliminary meeting will take place on Friday, 14 September 2012 at 10 a.m. – 12 a.m. (EO 186)
Friday, 9 November 2012, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EW 151)
Saturday, 10 November 2012, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (EO 154)
Friday, 30 November 2012, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EW 151)
Sunday, 2 December 2012, excursion

Essential reading

S. Todd Lowry and B. Gordon (eds): Ancient and medieval economic ideas and concepts of social justice, Leiden 1998; P. Spufford: Money and its use in medieval Europe, Cambridge et al. 1988 [and several reprints]; M. Friedman and A.J. Schwartz: A monetary history of the United States 1867-1960, Princeton 1963 [and several reprints].


Friday, 9 November 2012

9–9.30 a.m. – Monetary theory, I: Ancient Greece

9.30–10.00 a.m. Monetary theory, II: Nicholas Oresme

Literature – Charles Johnson (ed.): The De moneta of Nicholas Oresme and English Mint Documents, London et al. 1956.

10.15–10.45 – Monetary theory, III: Marxism

Literature – Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Collected works, vol. 28: Karl Marx. Economic Works 1857-61, Moscow 1986.

10.45–11.15 a.m. – Monetary theory, IV: Chartalism

Literature – Georg Friedrich Knapp: The State Theory of Money, London 1924.

11.15–11.45 a.m. – Monetary theory, V: Quantity theory

Literature – Irving Fisher: The purchasing power of money. Its determination and relation to credit, interest and crises, New York 1911.

1.00–1.30 p.m. – Monetary theory, VI: Keynesianism

Literature – John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, 7), London and Basingstoke 1973. (Robin Brunsmeier)

1.45-2.15 p.m. – Monetary theory, VII: Monetarism

Literature – Milton Friedman: The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays, Chicago 1969.

2.15–2.45 p.m. – Financial innovations

Literature – William N. Goetzmann and K. Geert Rouwenhorst (eds.): The Origins of Value. The Financial Innovations That Created Modern Capital Markets, Oxford et al. 2005. (Casey Wallace-Melton)

2.45–3.15 p.m. – Venice, I: Coinage

Literature – Alan M. Stahl: Zecca. The Mint of Venice in the Middle Ages, Baltimore and London 2000.

3.30–4 p.m. – Venice, II: Money and Banking

Literature – Frederic C. Lane and Reinhold C. Mueller: Money and Banking in Medieval and Renaissance Venice, vol. 1: Coins and Moneys of Account, Baltimore and London 1985; Reinhold C. Mueller: Money and Banking in Medieval and Renaissance Venice, vol. 2: The Venetian Money Market. Banks, Panics, and the Public Debt, 1250-1500, Baltimore and London 1997. (Daniel Nowack)

4–4.30 p.m. – England

Literature – Martin Allen: Mints and Money in Medi­eval England, Cambridge et al. 2012. (Maureen Ricks)

4.30–5 p.m. – Closing discussion

Saturday, 10 November 2012

9–9.30 a.m. – USA

Literature – Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz: A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960 (National Bureau of Economic Research. Studies in Business Cycles 12), Princeton 1963. (Fabian Stehr)

9.30–10 a.m. – China

Literature – Richard von Glahn: Fountain of Fortune. Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700, Berkeley et al. 1996. (Priska Lowe)

10.15–10.45 a.m. – East Germany

Literature – Jonathan R. Zetlin: The Currency of Socialism. Money and Political Culture in East Germany, Cambridge et al. 2007. (Nina Vallen)

10.45–11.15 a.m. – West Germany

Literature – Deutsche Bundesbank (ed.): Fifty Years of the Deutsche Mark. Central Bank and the Currency in Germany since 1948, Oxford et al. 1999.

11.15–11.45 a.m. – The Bank for International Settlements

Literature – Gianni Toniolo and Piet Clement: Central Bank Cooperation at the Bank for International Settlements, 1930-1973, Cambridge et al. 2005.

1–1.30 p.m. – The International Monetary Fund

Literature – Harold James: International Monetary Cooperation Since Bretton Woods, Washington D.C. and Oxford et al. 1996. (Kaley Davis)

1.45–2.15 p.m. – Territorial currencies

Literature – Eric Helleiner: The Making of National Money. Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective, Ithaca and London 2003. (Friederike Seybold)

2.15-3 p.m. – Closing discussion

Friday, 30 November 2012

9–9.30 a.m. – Small change

Literature – Thomas J. Sargent and François R. Velde: The Big Problem of Small Change (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World 5), Princeton and Oxford 2002.

9.30–10 a.m. – Money and Industrialisation

Literature – Richard Doty: The Soho Mint & the Industrialization of Money (British Numismatic Society Special Publication 2), London 1998.

10.15–10.45 a.m. – Financial centres

Literature – Youssef Cassis: Capitals of Capital. A History of International Financial Centres, 1780-2005, Cambridge et al. 2006. (Mårten Hagman)

10.45–11.15 a.m. – Monetary unions, I: The Latin Monetary Union

Literature – Luca Einaudi: Money and Politics: European Monetary Unification and the International Gold Standard (1865-1873). Oxford et al. 2001. (Philipp Fränkle)

11.15–11.45 a.m. – Monetary unions, II: The Scandinavian Monetary Union

Literature – Krim Talia: The Scandinavian Currency Union 1873-1924. Studies in Monetary Integration and Disintegration, Stockholm 2004. (Joakim Öhrner)

1–1.30 p.m. – Monetary unions, III: The European Monetary Union

Literature – Kenneth Dyson and Kevin Featherstone: The Road to Maastricht. Negotiating Economic and Monetary Union, Oxford et al. 1999. (Charidimos Roditis)

1.45–2.15 p.m. – Financial crises, I: General

Literature – Charles P. Kindleberger and Robert Aliber: Manias, Panics, and Crashes. A History of Financial Crises, Hoboken NJ 52005. (Niklas Grönberg)

2.15–2.45 p.m. – Financial crises, II: The Asian crisis of 1997 and 1998

Literature – Pierre-Richard Agénor, Marcus Miller, David Vines and Axel Weber (eds.): The Asian Financial Crisis. Causes, Contagion and Consequences, Cambridge et al. 1999. (Benedikt Noe)

2.45–3.15 p.m. – Financial crisis, III: A quantitative approach

Literature – Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff: This Time Is Different. Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton and Oxford 2009.

3.30–4 p.m. – Inflation

Literature – Peter Bernholz: Monetary Regimes and Inflation. History, Economic and Political Relationships, Cheltenham and Northampton MA 2003. (Mohammed Ahmed)

4–4.30 p.m. – International financial advice

Literature – Marc Flandreau (ed.): Money Doctors. The experience of international financial advising 1850-2000, London and New York 2003.

4.30–5 p.m. – Closing discussion