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Golden FettersThe Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939$
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Barry Eichengreen

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195101133

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195101138.001.0001

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The Classical Gold Standard in Interwar Perspective

The Classical Gold Standard in Interwar Perspective

(p.29) 2 The Classical Gold Standard in Interwar Perspective
Golden Fetters

Barry Eichengreen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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