This course is discontinued

HIS4315 – Business History: Europe and the United States since 1800

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

’Business’ has been a fundamental part of the human story in western Europe and the USA during the last 200 years. We will follow the development of firms from the Industrial Revolution to globalization, examining along the way the wide range of organisational forms and strategies, the way firms reflect and shape the world around them, and the variations across time and place.

This course places business in a very broad historical context, and the readings and lectures will explore many aspects of business history. The seminar/lectures will provide the ‘big picture’, including some of the theoretical discussions, and the literature will give you more focused studies to consider. In the seminars we will also discuss and explore the literature more fully.

Learning outcome

Students will acquire two sets of skills. First, the ’stuff’ of business history – important events, the kinds of businesses, famous leaders, government-business relations, and so forth. Second, analytical skills that are important to understand (a) why historical events related to business occurred as they did, (b) how an historical account gets developed (kinds of evidence, argument, theses).
After the course you should have a good understanding of the evolution of firms in the US and in Europe, and the contexts within which firms operated, over the last 200 years.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

A good ability to read and write English is required for this course.


The course will be taught in the form of seminars, one double seminar per week for 12 weeks.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Students are assessed by a six-hour written examination.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring 2007


Spring 2007

Teaching language