John Maynard Keynes: The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920)

John Maynard Keynes, one of the most important British economists of the 20th century, wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920) in response to the Treaty of Versailles. Keynes in his piece focuses on Germany and uses them as a representation as to what will happen, economically, if citizens of these countries follow this treaty.

Keynes argues that Germany, with a booming population and a rapidly increasing industry, can’t survive with the treaty’s proposed sanctions. He believes that the intellectual elite of the victorious countries fails to realize the stability of Europe, as a whole, and doesn’t promote economic solidarity in any way. The main danger here, Keynes believes, is that a rapid depression of the standard of life can leave to the starvation of many. He says, “Those who sign this treaty will sign the death sentence of many millions of German men, women and Children” (Keynes).

Although Keynes makes valid economic criticisms, his argument is more economic based and less political based. The political situation of 1919 has a lot of importance in what is happening throughout Europe and Keynes fails to address that and also fails to provide alternative solutions to the readers’ problems.

2 thoughts on “John Maynard Keynes: The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920)

  1. I like your view on Keynes’ contribution to understanding Europe’s problems in 1919. I agree that he takes a more economic approach than political. Being an Economics major, I’ve studied a lot about him. His understanding of Germany’s rapid depression and its correlation to starvation is valid.

  2. A lot of great content in your post. I agree that his writing did a fantastic job on being more economically reasonable rather than politically reasonable. His points are more scientific/reasonable which in my eyes makes him a very reliable author.

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