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Facing the Second World WarStrategy, Politics, and Economics in Britain and France 1938-1940$
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Talbot C. Imlay

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261222.001.0001

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The Political-Economic Dimension in France

The Political-Economic Dimension in France

Chapter:
(p.243) 5 The Political-Economic Dimension in France
Source:
Facing the Second World War
Author(s):

TALBOT C. IMLAY

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261222.003.0006

This chapter argues that France's economic preparations were far less effective than suggested by some scholars. The economic orientation adopted by France would be greatly influenced by the changing power balance among industry, labour, and the government. In 1938, the government allied with industry to ensure that France's economic effort continued along liberal economic lines with the burden falling disproportionately on labour. This was an unfortunate choice, since laissez-faire, a liberal economic choice was at odds with the needs of an expanding power economy, which required greater coordination and direction. The resulting chaos fostered a sense of economic failure among French leaders, further eroding confidence in a long-war strategy based on the assumption that time was an ally.

Keywords:   France, economic preparations, economic orientation, long-war strategy

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