John Maynard Keynes, an English economist, wrote his piece ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’ in 1920. It was a reaction to the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. Keynes seems adamant in his prose that Europe was excessively punished following the Great War, seen when he wrote “This treaty will sign the death sentence of many millions of German men, women and children”1. Keynes wrote with the Allies as his audience as they were the authors of this treaty and should be held responsible for these ramifications. … Read the rest here
Oswald Spengler wrote The Decline of the West following World War One, after his nation lost and was made weak. Spengler was a German philosopher and historian as well as an avid advocate for German hegemony. In his post-war writings he postulated that the European hold in world politics would inevitably come to an end.1 To prove his point he showed a trend in history where empires would reign for decades, even centuries, but would eventually collapse in on themselves.… Read the rest here
The Economic Consequences of Peace addresses the effects of the Versailles treaty on the already fragile German system. It described provisions of the Versailles treaty and then illustrates the tragic effects. Keynes explained how before the war the population was living “without much margin of surplus” (Keynes), and in the aftermath people had to restore this system before starvation became a huge issue. Keynes also issued the warning that “men will not always die quietly”, directing this at politicians and men in power and saying that the negative temperaments brought on by starvation/desperation could be fuel for future issues.… Read the rest here
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.… Read the rest here
1. Germany was forced to surrender much of the territory they gained during the war. They lost the territory that they gained from France and also had many other restrictions. They also had many restrictions put on their control of the Rhine, saying “Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications” around the Rhine. They were forced to return all of their newly controlled territories.
2. Germany was forced to disassemble their armed forces. … Read the rest here
1. Territory– The following territories were taken away from Germany:
- Alsace-Lorraine (given to France)
- Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium)
- Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark)
- Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia)
- West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia (given to Poland)
Germany must relinquish power over any overseas colonies to the League of Nations as well as any additional territory seized in the war not mentioned above.
2. Military– Germany’s army was reduced to 100,000 men and no tanks were allowed.… Read the rest here
The “Boycott of French Fashion Goods” excerpt from the Weimar Sourcebook focused on French Fashion’s place in German society. This piece encouraged a boycott of all French Fashion. Items could be inspired by French Fashion and made in Germany or other countries, but nothing bought could be of French origin.
It was interesting to discover that this boycott took place in 1933. This was about 15 years after the Treaty of Versailles. The fact that there was still such a level of animosity between the two countries at this point in time is very telling.… Read the rest here
Keynes’ argument is based on the fact that he believes the environment in Germany established by the Treaty of Versailles will create conditions that force desperate men and women to political instability and radical forms of government in order to survive. When a group of people are pushed into a position of survival, they do not go quietly into the night; rather, they group together to fight for their common interests and survive as a whole.… Read the rest here
As the founder of his eponymous economic school of thought, John Maynard Keynes contributed many influential theses on the economics of his day. Nowhere is this more notable than in 1920’s The Economic Consequences of Peace, his controversial criticism of the Treaty of Versailles. Keynes asserted that the Treaty would do little other than prolong and perhaps exacerbate the period of postwar unrest in Europe, noting that “the Treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of Europe” (Keynes). … Read the rest here
In this article, Keynes talks about the Treaty of Versailles, and it’s failure to address the economic issues of a post-Great War Europe. He states that victorious Allied powers fail to realize that the stability of Europe, and thereby the stability of both France and Britain as well, is reliant on a complicated system of continental and global trade, which the Treaty attempts to disintegrate.
He focusses on Germany and uses them as a representative of post-war Europe.… Read the rest here