The Gold Standard at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Rising Powers, Global Money, and the Age of Empire

Steven Bryan

Columbia University Press

The Gold Standard at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

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Pub Date: August 2010

ISBN: 9780231152525

288 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $70.00£58.95

Pub Date: August 2010

ISBN: 9780231526333

288 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $69.99£58.95

The Gold Standard at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Rising Powers, Global Money, and the Age of Empire

Steven Bryan

Columbia University Press

By the end of the nineteenth century, the world was ready to adopt the gold standard out of concerns of national power, prestige, and anti-English competition. Yet although the gold standard allowed countries to enact a virtual single world currency, the years before World War I were not a time of unfettered liberal economics and one-world, one-market harmony. Outside of Europe, the gold standard became a tool for nationalists and protectionists primarily interested in growing domestic industry and imperial expansion.

This overlooked trend, provocatively reassessed in Steven Bryan's well-documented history, contradicts our conception of the gold standard as a British-based system infused with English ideas, interests, and institutions. In countries like Japan and Argentina, where nationalist concerns focused on infant-industry protection and the growth of military power, the gold standard enabled the expansion of trade and the goals of the age: industry and empire.

Bryan argues that these countries looked less to Britain and more to North America and the rest of Europe for ideological models. Not only does this history challenge our idealistic notions of the prewar period, but it also reorients our understanding of the history that followed. Policymakers of the 1920s latched onto the idea that global prosperity before World War I was the result of a system dominated by English liberalism. Their attempt to reproduce this triumph helped bring about the global downturn, the Great Depression, and the collapse of the interwar world.
A welcome addiction to the work focusing on experience outside the European core to the gold standard world. Kenneth Mouré, Journal of World History
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Pasts Imperfect
Part I. Gold and the Late Nineteenth-Century World
1. The Late Nineteenth-Century World
2. National and International Money
3. Nations and Gold
Part II. Industry and Argentine Money
4. Gold and Industrial Developmentalism
5. Strange Bedfellows
6. Law 3871 and the Gold Standard
Part III. The Meiji Gold Standard
7. The Meiji Gold Standards
8. Industry and the Economic Uses of Gold
9. Empire and the Political Uses of Gold
Epilogue: The Rules of Globalization
Notes
References
Index
Web Features:

About the Author

Steven Bryan is an attorney in Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. His next project is a comparative history of Japan in the 1920s and 1990s.