Lessons from the financial preparations in the lead-up to the first world war

16 07 2014

by Harold James, 9 July 2014

Abstract: The 1907 panic affected the world, demonstrating the fragility of the international financial system. This column discusses the steps the US and Germany took in fortifying their financial systems following 1907. There is a link between the financial crisis and the escalation of diplomatic relations that led to war in 1914. And this link has implications for today as the world is recovering from the 2008 crisis.

Read the full article here.

The Long Shadow Cast by Europe’s Wars

5 02 2014

Harold James has published a great piece on the social memory of warfare in Europe. He suggests that the memory of past conflicts plays a greater role in politics in the countries on the edge of Europe, such as the United Kingdom and Russia, than in the countries at the heart of the European project (i.e., France and Germany). James wrote:

Reflecting on the legacy of the Great War has also been an occasion for reviving the era’s mentalities. In the United Kingdom, Education Secretary Michael Gove recently issued a polemic against historians who emphasized the futility of the war, calling it a “just war” directed against the “ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites.” This looks like a thinly veiled allusion to the power struggles of contemporary Europe.

James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and Professor of History at the European University Institute, Florence. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union.




Financial Crisis and the First World War

15 07 2013

That’s the title of a recent column by Harold James, a noted historian of international economic relations.