Funding the Great War and the beginning of the end for British hegemony

Subject

Economics

Publishing details

CEPR discussion paper

Authors / Editors

Ellison M; Sargent T J; Scott A

Biographies

Publication Year

2019

Abstract

Britain was the richest country in the world at the outbreak of the Great War, benefitting from all the resources of an industrialised country and a large empire. Funding the war contributed to the beginning of the end for British hegemony. Financiers in London extracted a high price for lending their money to the government to pay for the supplies and munitions needed to win the war. The US extracted a similarly high price for lending to Britain during the war. Russia never paid its war debts to Britain; France, Italy and Belgium got off lightly; but for a long time the US insisted on Britain repaying in full.

Keywords

Economic history; Monetary economics; Fluctuations

Series Number

13848

Series

CEPR discussion paper