Journal Article

Balanced Accounts? Constructing the Balance of Payments Problem in Post-war Britain

Jim Tomlinson

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXIV, issue 509, pages 863-884
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cep185
Balanced Accounts? Constructing the Balance of Payments Problem in Post-war Britain

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This article re-assesses the character of the balance of payments ‘problem’ experienced by Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, and how it was represented in contemporary policy discussion and pronouncements. It argues that this problem had little to do with any underlying ‘decline’ in British economic performance, but rather reflected the ambitious foreign policy ambitions of contemporary governments. This problem of ‘overstretch’ presented formidable presentational challenges for these governments, which resulted in the issue being portrayed in a misleading perspective that historians need to correct.

Journal Article.  10514 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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