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A Superpower TransformedThe Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s$
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Daniel J. Sargent

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395471.001.0001

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The Dollar and Decline

The Dollar and Decline

(p.100) 4 The Dollar and Decline
A Superpower Transformed

Daniel J. Sargent

Oxford University Press

By the late 1960s, the dollar-based international monetary order was in crisis. Its undoing owed to the relative decline of US economic power within the West and to the rise of transnational finance, which had destabilized the Bretton Woods international monetary system. Only partially comprehending these factors, the Nixon administration sought to reinvigorate US economic power by orchestrating a devaluation of the dollar. Doing so proved contentious with US allies and stymied the international cooperation on which the Bretton Woods order depended. Eventually, the international economic crises of the early 1970s would be resolved, not with the restabilization of the international monetary system on terms more favorable to the United States, as Nixon had intended, but with the breakdown of the postwar international economic order and with the ascent of market-led globalization.

Keywords:   globalization, transnational finance, Bretton Woods, international monetary relations, Richard Nixon, US foreign economic policy

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