HIST 2381 Corruption, Collusion, and Commerce in Early America and the Caribbean (also AMST 2381, LATA 2381) (HB) (HA-AS, HST-AS) (HPE, HNA)
Tuesday and Thursday: 1:00-2:15
Professor Casey Schmitt
Corruption in politics and economics has become a significant issue in the modern world. This course introduces students to the study of corruption and collusion from the perspective of early America and the Caribbean from 1500 through 1800. By examining the historical evolution of corruption, the course addresses questions such as: What is corruption and, by contrast, what is good governance? Who creates law and when is it enforced? Can societies be corrupt or only institutions? And, does economic corruption help or hurt financial development? Our readings and discussion will examine the intersection of politics, culture, gender, and economics. We will reflect on how early Americans understood corruption and collusion and what that can tell us about similar modern issues. In the end, the course focuses on the concept of corruption as a complex social function through the lens of bribery, piracy, sex crimes, and other forms of social deviancy.