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Britain – The Economy, 1918-39

2. 1920s: Nailed to a Cross of Gold

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about the performance of the British economy in the 1920s, up to the beginning of the Great Depression, focusing in particular on: (i) the short, sharp recession that began the decade; (ii) Britain’s over-arching priority – return to the gold standard by 1925: (iii) what the gold standard was and how it worked; (iv) the perceived benefits of the gold standard – both economic and political; (v) the deflationary measures adopted in the first half of the 1920s in order to get Britain back on the gold standard, and the impact on the economy; (vi) two more factors (in addition to government policy) that negatively impacted the British economy in this period: the reduction in international trade in the years following the First World War and the rise in unemployment; (vii) the particular industries (and regions) that were worst hit by unemployment; (viii) the impact of government policy on national debt; (ix) the return to the gold standard in 1925, and the state of the British economy in the second half of the 1920s; and (x) the arrival of the Great Depression in 1929.

Course

In this course, Dr Christopher Price (York St John University) explores the development and performance of the British economy between 1918-39. In the first module, we consider the state of the British economy in the immediate aftermath of the First World War (1914-18), and the major differences between the pre- and post-war economy. In the four modules that follow, we look at four distinct periods in the performance of the British economy – the difficulties of the 1920s, the Great Depression, recovery in the first half of the 1930s and rearmament in the lead-up to war. In each case, we think about the economic and political considerations that informed economic policy, as well as the extent to which the international situation shaped the British economy in this period.

Lecturer

Dr Christopher Price is a Senior Lecturer in History at York St John University. His research interests encompass political, economic and military history with a particular focus on British and US history in the period surrounding the Great Depression and the two World Wars. His most recent publications in 2014 and 2015 explore the scientific and mathematical bases of British performance in twentieth century conflicts. His earlier publications investigated the performance of the British and US economies in the interwar period and the economic and financial basis of Anglo-American relations in the re-armament period before the outbreak of war in 1939.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Price, C. (2021, January 14). Britain – The Economy, 1918-39 - 1920s: Nailed to a Cross of Gold [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-the-economy-1918-39/1920s-nailed-to-a-cross-of-gold

MLA style

Price, Chris. "Britain – The Economy, 1918-39 – 1920s: Nailed to a Cross of Gold." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jan 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-the-economy-1918-39/1920s-nailed-to-a-cross-of-gold