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The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936$
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Peter Clarke

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202196.001.0001

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Prologue to Part II

Prologue to Part II

(p.26) (p.27) Prologue to Part II
The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936

Peter Clarke

Oxford University Press

Even after the disruptive experience of the First World War, the economic role of the state was conceived in terms which had become canonical in the late nineteenth century. The Treasury and the Bank of England saw themselves as guardians of sound finance. Budgets had to be balanced; the parity of the pound sterling had to be maintained so that it was ‘as good as gold’; and Free Trade had to be preserved. Only by elevating these interlocking policies into matters of principle could they be rendered ‘knave-proof’. The same conception can be found in the Treasury View of the late 1920s, as promulgated by Churchill. The authorities' principled commitment to sound finance in the late 1920s is thus no myth and the Treasury View was, as Keynes suggested, a crucial barrier against the adoption of an active policy to tackle unemployment.

Keywords:   World War, free trade, Bank of England, Keynes, unemployment

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