Chapter

The Classical Gold Standard in Interwar Perspective

Barry Eichengreen

in Golden Fetters

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101133
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869626 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195101138.003.0002
The Classical Gold Standard in Interwar Perspective

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This book is organized chronologically to convey a sense of how events appeared to those who made the critical decisions that led toward the Great Depression. Chapter 2 begins with the prewar gold standard. Besides documenting the role of credibility and international cooperation in the operation of the system, it highlights differences in the functioning of the gold standard at the center (in Britain, France and Germany) and the periphery (North and South America, Australia and New Zealand). It is shown that the smooth operation of the prewar system hinged on a particular conjuncture of economic and political forces – forces that were in decline even before the outbreak of World War I. The chapter finishes by explaining why interwar observers failed to appreciate the tenuous basis of the prewar system.

Keywords: Australia; Britain; credibility; France; Germany; gold standard; international cooperation; interwar gold standard; New Zealand; North America; prewar gold standard; South America; World War I

Chapter.  20398 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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