Chapter 29

Wars and the International Trading System, 1900–2000

H. Rockoff

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA


Wars have often had profound consequences for the structure of the international trading and financial system. After the Napoleonic Wars, for example, Britain, the world’s leader in industry and military power, adopted the gold standard; and as the century progressed, country after country followed Britain and joined the gold bloc. During the twentieth century, there were three major reorganizations of the international trading and financial system, each produced by a war. The early years of the twentieth century were dominated by the international gold standard. But as a result of World War I, this system ...

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