Manual Europe’s Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature

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Price controls were also used for instance, the price of restaurant meals was capped.

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In the post-war period, progressive taxation persisted. Inheritance taxes also had an effect. Rationing in the United Kingdom lasted until Allied war bonds matured during the post-war years, transferring cash from governments to private households. In Japan, progressive tax rates were imposed during the Allied occupation , at rates that roughly matched those in the United States at that time.

Marginal tax rates were high on the rich, until falling quickly in the s. During the Arab oil embargo of —the first oil shock—the price of oil rapidly rose to double in price. Among the causes can be mentioned the rapid normalization of political relations between former Axis powers and the western Allies. After the war, the major powers were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the Great Depression , some of which were ascribed to post—World War I policy errors. The Marshall Plan for the rebuilding of Europe is most credited for reconciliation, though the immediate post-war situations was more complicated.

Institutional economists point to the international institutions established in the post-war period. Structurally, the victorious Allies established the United Nations and the Bretton Woods monetary system , international institutions designed to promote stability. This was achieved through a number of policies, including promoting free trade , instituting the Marshall Plan , and the use of Keynesian economics. In the United States, the Employment Act of set the goals of achieving full employment, full production, and stable prices.

It also created the Council of Economic Advisers to provide objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. In its first 7 years the CEA made five technical advances in policy making: [25]. Japan and West Germany caught up to and exceeded the GDP of the United Kingdom during these years, even as the UK itself was experiencing the greatest absolute prosperity in its history. In France, this period is often looked back to with nostalgia as the Trente Glorieuses , or "Glorious Thirty", while the economies of West Germany and Austria were characterized by Wirtschaftswunder economic miracle , and in Italy it is called Miracolo economico economic miracle.

Most developing countries also did well in this period. Belgium experienced a brief but very rapid economic recovery in the aftermath of World War II. The comparatively light damage sustained by Belgium's heavy industry during the German occupation and the Europe-wide need for the country's traditional exports steel and coal, textiles, and railway infrastructure meant that Belgium became the first European country to regain its pre-war level of output in Economic growth in the period was accompanied by low inflation and sharp increases in real living standards.

However, lack of capital investment meant that Belgium's heavy industry was ill-equipped to compete with other European industries in the s. This contributed to the start of deindustrialisation in Wallonia and the emergence of regional economic disparities. The economic growth occurred mainly due to productivity gains and to an increase in the number of working hours. Indeed, the working population grew very slowly, the " baby boom " being offset by the extension of the time dedicated to study. Productivity gains came from catching up with the United States. Among the "major" nations, only Japan had faster growth in this era than France.

The extended period of transformation and modernization also involved an increasing internationalization of the French economy. France by the s had become a leading world economic power and the world's fourth-largest exporter of manufactured products. It became Europe's largest agricultural producer and exporter, accounting for more than 10 percent of world trade in such goods by the s. The service sector grew rapidly and became the largest sector, generating a large foreign-trade surplus, chiefly from the earnings from tourism.

The Italian economy experienced very variable growth. In the s and early s the Italian economy boomed , with record high growth-rates, including 6. This rapid and sustained growth was due to the ambitions of several [ quantify ] Italian businesspeople, the opening of new industries helped by the discovery of hydrocarbons, made for iron and steel, in the Po valley , re-construction and the modernisation of most Italian cities, such as Milan, Rome and Turin, and the aid given to the country after World War II notably through the Marshall Plan.

After Japan's economy recovered from the war damage and began to boom, with the fastest growth rates in the world. Japan emerged as a significant power in many economic spheres, including steel working, car manufacturing and the manufacturing of electronics. Japan rapidly caught up with the West in foreign trade, GNP, and general quality of life.

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The high economic growth and political tranquility of the mid to late s were slowed by the quadrupling of oil prices in Another serious problem was Japan's growing trade surplus, which reached record heights. The United States pressured Japan to remedy the imbalance, demanding that Tokyo raise the value of the yen and open its markets further to facilitate more imports from the United States. In the s the Soviet Union, having reconstructed the ruins left by the war, experienced a decade of prosperous, undisturbed, and rapid economic growth [ citation needed ] , with significant technological achievements most notably the first earth satellite.

The nation ranked in the top 15 most prosperous countries [ citation needed ]. However, the growth slowed and ended by , as the Khrushchev regime poured resources into large military and space projects, and the civilian sector languished. While every other major nation greatly expanded its service sector, that sector in the Soviet Union medicine, for example was given low priority.

Sweden emerged almost unharmed from World War II, and experienced tremendous economic growth until the early s, as Social Democratic Prime Minister Tage Erlander held his office from to Sweden used to be a country of emigrants until the s, but the demand for labor spurred immigration to Sweden, especially from Finland and countries like Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia.

Urbanization was fast, and housing shortage in urban areas was imminent until the Million Programme was launched in the s. A speech by UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan [35] captures what the golden age felt like, even before the brightest years which were to come in the s. Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good. Go round the country, go to the industrial towns, go to the farms and you will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime — nor indeed in the history of this country.

Unemployment figures [36] show that unemployment was significantly lower during the Golden Age than before or after:. The period from the end of World War II to the early s was one of the greatest eras of economic expansion in world history. Bill financed a well-educated work force.

The middle class swelled, as did GDP and productivity. The US underwent its own golden age of economic growth. This growth was distributed fairly evenly across the economic classes, which some attribute to the strength of labor unions in this period—labor union membership peaked during the s.

Much of the growth came from the movement of low-income farm workers into better-paying jobs in the towns and cities—a process largely completed by Libertarian historian Burton W. Folsom Jr. The predicted postwar depression never happened and the economy grew rapidly as unemployment stabilized at 3.

West Germany , under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and economic minister Ludwig Ehrhard , saw prolonged economic growth beginning in the early s. Journalists dubbed it the Wirtschaftswunder or "Economic Miracle". Labor union's support of the new policies, postponed wage increases, minimized strikes, supported technological modernization, and a policy of co-determination Mitbestimmung , which involved a satisfactory grievance resolution system and required the representation of workers on the boards of large corporations, [44] all contributed to such a prolonged economic growth.

West Germany played a central role in the creation of European cooperation; it joined NATO in and was a founding member of the European Economic Community in The post-war economic boom had many social, cultural, and political effects not least of which was the demographic bulge termed the baby boom.

Movements and phenomena associated with this period include the height of the Cold War , postmodernism , decolonisation , a marked increase in consumerism , the welfare state , the space race , the Non-Aligned Movement , import substitution , counterculture of the s , opposition to the Vietnam War , the Civil Rights Movement , the sexual revolution , the beginning of second-wave feminism , and a nuclear arms race.

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In the United States, the middle-class began a mass migration away from the cities and towards the suburbs. Thus, it can be summed up as a period of prosperity in which most people could enjoy a job for life, a house and a family. In the West, there emerged a near-complete consensus against strong ideology and a belief that technocratic and scientific solutions could be found to most of humanity's problems, a view advanced by US President John F.

Kennedy in Johnson's Great Society programs, which aimed at eliminating poverty in the United States. The sharp rise in oil prices due to the oil crisis hastened the transition to the post-industrial economy , and a multitude of social problems have since emerged. During the s steel crisis , demand for steel declined, and the Western world faced competition from newly industrialized countries.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Agricultural productivity. Main article: Belgian economic miracle. Main article: Trente Glorieuses. Main article: Italian economic miracle. Main article: Japanese economic miracle.

Main article: Record years. Main article: Wirtschaftswunder. The Cambridge history of twentieth-century political thought. Cambridge University Press. The British Economy Since Palgrave Macmillan. Keynes: The Return of the Master. Allen Lane. The Golden Age of Capitalism. Clarendon Press. Retrieved Fixing Global Finance.

Yale University Press. Economic Growth. Westport, CT; London: Praeger. Heidelberg and New York: Physica-Verlag. They built transport, energy, communication and other infrastructures.

Europe's Infrastructure Transition Economy War Nature Hogselius per

They believed in progress, in economic growth ending forever war, and in their ability to alter nature for the better. The authors show that, despite their bold utopian intentions, the builders encountered political uncertainties, national technical vulnerabilities, and unexpected and severe environmental costs that still have done little to dampen their enthusiasm.

This book should be of interest to broad audiences. Far more than a study of technical systems, it reveals the profound roles of infrastructural integration in social and political rapprochement as well as how infrastructures were dysfunctionally managed, disconnected, or destroyed for national competition, war, and ideology.

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Economy, War, Nature

Publishing With Us. Book Authors Journal Authors. Making Europe. Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book Europe's infrastructure both united and divided peoples and places via economic systems, crises, and wars. Show all. From the first railway tracks of the s to migrants walking those tracks today, changing means of circulation have redefined the meaning of 'Europe.