The Fall of the Roman Republic

we will spend much of our time discussing the ideas developed by Acemoglu and Robinson in their book, Why Nations Fail. This book is extremely wide ranging, covering human events from 11,000 years ago to the present day. Acemoglu and Robinson analyze and discuss many, many interesting and important historical episodes. These include
? the end of the Roman Republic in the first century B.C.,
? the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century,
? the Black Death, which killed a huge fraction of the population of Europe in the late 1340s,
? the expansion of trade between Europe and the Americas in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries,
? the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which established that the English King was subordinate to Parliament,
? the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which put Japan on the path to economic development,
? the rise and fall of the Soviet Union,
? the Civil Rights era in the southern United States,
? the economic rebirth of China after 1978,
and many more.

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