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Profits of PeaceThe Political Economy of Anglo-German Appeasement$
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Scott Newton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202127.001.0001

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The Failure of Reconstruction and the Political Economy of Normalcy, 1914–1931

The Failure of Reconstruction and the Political Economy of Normalcy, 1914–1931

(p.16) (p.17) 1 The Failure of Reconstruction and the Political Economy of Normalcy, 1914–1931
Profits of Peace

Scott Newton

Oxford University Press

The First World War was marked by growing reliance on economic interventionism by the British state. Although at first arrangements were largely ad hoc, all pretence at ‘business as usual’ disappeared during 1915. The agenda which emerged from the extension of the state's role in the economy was corporatist rather than socialist. However, the rise of corporatism notwithstanding, Britain's pre-war policymaking elite had undergone no intellectual conversion. Within the Square Mile as within the Treasury the liberal optimism which regarded war as a deviation from normality continued to prevail. It was therefore accepted, first, that abnormal circumstances justified abnormal measures, and secondly, that once the emergency ended there was every reason to return to the laissez-faire policies which were seen to be responsible for pre-war prosperity.

Keywords:   British economic policy, wartime economy, industrial production, post-war economy, economic intervention

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