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The Effects Of Great Depression On Foreign Policy - Essay Example

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The paper "The Effects Of Great Depression On Foreign Policy" describes what Great Depression refers to a period in history, from 1929 to 1939, in which the world economy reached its lowest ebb. It was the period marked by the decline in employment, international trade, industrial production etc…
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The Effects Of Great Depression On Foreign Policy
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The Effects Of Great Depression On Foreign Policy

Download file to see previous pages... The gold standard, which was introduced by the government in 1920s, added fuel to the fire resulting a complete disappearance of gold from the country. ("Great Depression in the United Kingdom")
Expectedly, the British foreign policy was also affected. There are three aspects of British foreign policy, " Peace, Security and Trade"---the first two became of immense importance after the First World War, especially because after the war British had become militarily weak. It lost its position as a great power and on the other hand, Germany, America and Russia became immensely powerful. Thus the Americans, to great extent, dictated foreign policy of the British. The further aggravation of economy during the Great Depression weakened the position of Britain on international level. (Willert, 1928)
British realized that they could not afford another major conflict with any power as the war and depression has made them very vulnerable. Thus they adopted a policy of appeasement during this period, as explained by Paul Kennedy in his book " Strategy and Diplomacy" as follows: "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and compromise, thereby avoiding the resort to an armed conflict which would be, expensive, bloody and possibly dangerous." The most prominent case of appeasement was that with Hitler by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in late 1930s when the Munich Agreement was signed, which eventually failed.There were several reasons for the appeasing Hitler. Firstly, there was fear of spread of communism. British believed that if they continued to fight Germany in the West and didn't pay any attention to the Soviets, the latter...
After the fall of Macdonald's government over pound issue, Neville Chamberlian began the Chancellor of Exchequer in 1931 and strict economic, especially trade policies were implemented. For the first time, the government abandoned the policy of free-trade. The Government imposed high tariffs and duties on imports. People were encouraged to buy products made within the British Empire.This was done to protect local industry and agriculture which was already facing many problems resulting from Great Depression—local demand, local production, high unemployment, high taxes etc.The Government nationalized important industries, including coal and wages and salaries were fixed for workers in these industries. Many industries lost business as they failed to cope up with increased modernization and competition. While the situation within the British Empire compounded, both economically and politically, new competitors entered the international market. The United States of America became a tough competitor, along with Germany who had recovered from the Great Depression as a result of massive rearmament. From 1935 onwards, it was clear that Mussolini and Hitler had other goals than recovering from the damaging effects of Depression. The stage for another war was being set up. However, it is believed that it was the anticipation of another war that increased demand and investment and consequently pulled the world out of depression, otherwise the world would have entered another Great Depression by 1937. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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