Partie ou chapitre de livre
The Financial Challenges of Total War: Britain, France, and Their Empires in the First World War
A World of Public Debts
261 - 286 p.
All the states involved in the First World War issued massive war loans. These operations, combined with taxes, money creation, and foreign credits, had both economic and political motives. They not only mattered for domestic ends but also had international implications. By focusing on British and French war loans and the way they were campaigned for in both the metropolis and the empire, this chapter stresses the role of transnational practices of observation for financial reforms. While they created new opportunities for mass participation in public finances, war loans also brought about new risks, given that so many people were now involved in the business of funding the state, a matter that would become explosive after 1918. The First World War therefore ushered in a much more unstable world of public debts, while dramatically increasing the power of the state to penetrate civil society and regulate markets.