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Britain’s Grand Strategy of Restrained Punishment

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controls); (2) securing labor’s and industry’s cooperation to shift skilled labor into defense industry and training unskilled labor for these tasks; and

  • (3)

    Chamberlain as prime minister in 1935 rather than 1937 (Shay 1983,

  • 90)

    . The ‹rst and second options were resisted by the free traders. Free

traders feared that minor state encroachment and partial controls would lead to general controls and would require government intervention fur- ther back and forward, destroying their laissez-faire precepts of liberalism and voluntarism.

One lasting consequence of empowering economic nationalists was that it made it dif‹cult to reverse Britain’s grand strategy in later periods. The superior strength of the economic nationalists retarded Britain’s lib- eralization, even after other states, such as the United States, reversed their foreign commercial policy. As a result, empowered economic nation- alists clashed with the United States, whose goal was to dismantle the British empire and to roll back imperial preferences. Washington used the leverage created by London’s dependence on American ‹nancial assis- tance during the war to punish Britain by destroying its imperial economic bloc, dismantling Ottawa, and breaking up the Sterling Area (Kimball 1971). The United States included clauses in the Atlantic Charter and the Lend-Lease Act calling for the elimination of nondiscriminatory trade barriers. Not surprisingly, Winston Churchill called Lend-Lease the “most unsordid act.”

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