This course deals with a classical question in economic history: why are some countries rich and others not? Simon Kuznets, when he received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1971, stated that technology is a permissive, but not sufficient, source of economic growth; institutional and ideological changes are also needed to achieve Modern Economic Growth. This course explores how and why some countries followed a path towards Modern Economic Growth, while others did not. This brings focus to transformations of major institutions, such as the end of serfdom and slavery, public versus private property rights, and civil and political rights. More specifically, this course discusses two of the most fundamental drivers of economic development: the formation of the modern nation state and the role of egalitarianism.