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The Battle of Bretton Woods: Shaping the Post-World War II Financial Order

Jese Leos
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Published in The Battle Of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes Harry Dexter White And The Making Of A New World Order (Council On Foreign Relations (Princeton University Press))
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The Bretton Woods Conference, Held In New Hampshire In 1944, Brought Together Representatives From 44 Countries To Establish A New Global Financial System. The Battle Of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes Harry Dexter White And The Making Of A New World Order (Council On Foreign Relations (Princeton University Press))

The Battle of Bretton Woods, held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire from July 1 to July 22, 1944, was a historic conference that laid the foundation for the post-World War II international financial system. The conference was attended by representatives from 44 countries, and its outcome had a profound impact on the global economy for decades to come.

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes Harry Dexter White and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations (Princeton University Press))
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations Books (Princeton University Press))
by Benn Steil

4.5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 4141 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
X-Ray : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 580 pages

The conference was convened in response to the economic chaos that had followed World War I. The gold standard, which had been the basis of the international financial system since the 19th century, had collapsed, and the world was plagued by inflation, deflation, and currency instability. The Bretton Woods Conference aimed to create a new international financial system that would prevent such chaos from happening again.

The conference was dominated by two competing visions for the postwar financial order. The United States, which had emerged from the war as the world's leading economic power, favored a system based on the gold standard and free trade. The United Kingdom, which had been the world's leading economic power before the war, favored a system based on Keynesian economics and managed trade.

In the end, a compromise was reached that incorporated elements of both visions. The Bretton Woods agreement established a new international monetary system based on the gold standard, but it also allowed for managed trade and Keynesian fiscal policies. The agreement also created two new international institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The Bretton Woods System

The Bretton Woods system was based on four main principles:

1. The gold standard: The United States dollar was pegged to gold at a fixed rate of $35 per ounce. Other currencies were pegged to the dollar at fixed rates. 2. Managed trade: Countries were allowed to impose tariffs and other trade restrictions to protect their domestic industries. 3. Keynesian fiscal policies: Governments were encouraged to use fiscal policy to stimulate aggregate demand and maintain full employment. 4. International cooperation: The IMF and the World Bank were created to provide financial assistance to countries in need and to promote international economic cooperation.

The Bretton Woods system helped to promote economic recovery and growth in the postwar period. However, it began to show signs of strain in the 1960s as the United States began to run large balance-of-payments deficits. In 1971, the United States suspended the gold standard, and the Bretton Woods system collapsed.


The Legacy of Bretton Woods

The Bretton Woods system is widely regarded as one of the most important international agreements of the 20th century. It helped to create a stable and prosperous global economy in the postwar period. However, the system's collapse in 1971 led to a period of economic uncertainty and instability.

The legacy of Bretton Woods is still debated today. Some argue that the system was too rigid and that its collapse was inevitable. Others argue that the system was a victim of political mismanagement and that it could have been saved.

Regardless of one's view of the Bretton Woods system, there is no doubt that it had a profound impact on the global economy. The system's collapse in 1971 marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new period of economic uncertainty.

The Battle of Bretton Woods was a pivotal moment in the history of the global economy. The conference's outcome shaped the postwar financial order and had a lasting impact on the world economy. The legacy of Bretton Woods is still debated today, but there is no doubt that it was one of the most important international agreements of the 20th century.

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes Harry Dexter White and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations (Princeton University Press))
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations Books (Princeton University Press))
by Benn Steil

4.5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 4141 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
X-Ray : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 580 pages
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The book was found!
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes Harry Dexter White and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations (Princeton University Press))
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order (Council on Foreign Relations Books (Princeton University Press))
by Benn Steil

4.5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 4141 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
X-Ray : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 580 pages
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