Department of Political Economy

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The Department of Political Economy was created in 1888 with the appointment of W.J. Ashley as Professor of Political Economy and Constitutional History. From 1892 to 1924 it was called the Department of Political Science, although the head of the department was still called "Professor of Political Economy". In 1924 it was renamed the Department of Political Economy and embraced the disciplines of political science, economics, sociology, and commerce. A separate Department of Sociology was created in 1963. In 1982 separate departments of economics and of political science were established and the Department of Political Economy was abolished.

From 1909, the department started to offer a four-year honor course in commerce and finance that lead to a B.A. degree. Other different courses were added over time.

The history of the Department is adequately covered by Ian Drummond in the reference cited below. The histories of the successor departments will be found elsewhere.


Drummond, Ian M. with the assistance of William Kaplan. Political Economy at the University of Toronto: A history of the Department, 1888-1982. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, 1983

Ashley, W.J. ‘The present position of Political Economy,’ Economic Journal 17, 68 (December 1907) 467-489


Charles Allen Ashley

William James Ashley 

Vincent Wheeler Bladen

Alexander Brady

W.T. Easterbrook

James Mavor

S.J. McLean