How Did the Depression Affect France?

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The closing days of the 1920’s were a start of what would be the worst economic disaster that had ever been witnessed. The effect that the Great Depression had on capitalist countries such as Germany and the United States, was that their stocks and shares heavy economy plunged, leaving businesses unable to trade, and poverty throughout the nation. In the case of France, the depression initially did not suddenly bring the economy down drastically as it had to the more industrialised nations. Although relatively unscathed at first, by 1931 the ripple effect had hit France which steamrolled the economic downturn of the French economy. With France following the gold standard, the economic downturn lasted much longer than other affected nations. The lack of international trade between nations caused by protectionism, effected the revenue that the French economy needed to recover fully from the end of World War one, and during the era of The Great Depression. The end product of the Treaty of Versailles was that Germany was primarily responsible for the destruction of the war, and was enforced to pay reparations in which France benefitted financially. In 1932 Germany was again no longer able to pay these reparation payments, and reduced the payments from thirty-eight million marks, to a minor three million marks (Bury, 1969, p.271). Also the effects of the German extremes of socialist and communist influences left France contemplating that “The problem of disarmament was going to be still more difficult” at a time when France was really struggling in the economic crisis (Bury, 1969, p.272). Following the boom in worldwide economies rising in the aftermath of World War One, France experienced a rise in the value of the Franc with GDP incr... ... middle of paper ... ...es of economic crisis, but being the lesser industrialised nation, it experienced a much longer period of depression in comparison to Germany and the USA. The issue of protectionism throughout the world during The Great Depression resulted in France using their own resources for themselves which in effect left a revenue gap, which was previously filled with exportation of produce. Bibliography Bury, J (1969). France 1814-1940. London: Methuen & Co LTD. Jackson, J (1988). The Popular Front In France. Cambridge: Cambridge University James, H (2003). Europe Reborn A History, 1914-2000. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited. McMillian, J (2003). Modern France. Oxford: Oxford University Press Tint, H (1970). France since 1918. London: B.T.Batsford Ltd. Journals- Beaudry, P. (2002). The French Depression in the 1930s. Review of Economic Dynamics. 5 (1), 73-99.
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