Gold, Debt and the Quest for Monetary Order: The Nazi Campaign to Integrate Europe in 1940

Stephen G. Gross

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article explores Nazi visions for a new monetary order in 1940 and compares these plans with European monetary integration after 1945. It shows how Nazi experts identified the same core monetary challenges facing Europe as Allied planners did during and after the Second World War, above all challenges stemming from the Great Depression and associated with the gold standard, international debts, capital scarcity and bilateral treaties. This comparison suggests a certain logic was inherent to reconstructing European monetary relations after the depression, insofar as few viable alternatives seemed open - either in 1940 or after 1945 - to some form of multilateral payment system that was divorced from gold, yet that still fixed Europe's currencies to one another. Ultimately, it argues that 1940 marks an important step in a longer process in which Europe moved away from territorial currencies toward a monetary union, and in doing so expanded the framework of fiat currency beyond national markets to encompass the continent.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)287-309
    Number of pages23
    JournalContemporary European History
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History

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