The Post World War I World Economy & The Plunge Into The Great Depression

Reviews the weakness of the post-WWI British economy & the hesitancy of U.S. policymakers of the era as the primary causes of the Great Depression.

With the end of World War I, international efforts were begun to restore the workings of the international economy and the gold standard. But the restoration of the gold standard also meant the re-establishment of the old political order. Britain, however, lacked the economic power to fulfill the role she had played in the prewar system and the United States, her major economic rival after the defeat of Germany, was not prepared to fill the vacuum. This analysis will maintain that Britain’s economic weakness and the inability of the United States to use its economic power to bolster the international economy were key sources of the structural weakness of the interwar gold standard. This general factor, combined with the financial complications of (…)

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