The course is designed to introduce students not only to a wide variety of topics and issues, but also to the wide variety of approaches used by historians. The course includes analyses of the original leading nation, Britain, and its replacement, the United States, as well as the catch-up of areas such as continental Europe, and the failure to catch-up of earlier well-placed areas such as Latin America. The effects of major events - such as wars and debt crises - are investigated, and we also consider the implications of changing global economic institutions, such as the Gold Standard and IMF, as well as the effects of sometimes rapid changes in product and process technology.