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Rebuilding A World Economy Class 10 History NCERT
Class 10 History students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Rebuilding A World Economy in standard 10. This NCERT Book for Grade 10 History will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks
Rebuilding A World Economy NCERT Class 10
Rebuilding a World Economy: The Post-war Era
The Second World War broke out a mere two decades after the end of the First World War. It was fought between the Axis powers (mainly Nazi Germany, Japan and Italy) and the Allies (Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the US). It was a war waged for six years on many fronts, in many places, over land, on sea, in the air. Once again death and destruction was enormous. At least 60 million people, or about 3 per cent of the world’s 1939 population, are believed to have been killed, directly or indirectly, as a result of the war. Millions more were injured.
Unlike in earlier wars, most of these deaths took place outside the battlefields. Many more civilians than soldiers died from war-related causes. Vast parts of Europe and Asia were devastated, and several cities were destroyed by aerial bombardment or relentless artillery attacks. The war caused an immense amount of economic devastation and social disruption. Reconstruction promised to be long and difficult.
Two crucial influences shaped post-war reconstruction. The first was the US’s emergence as the dominant economic, political and military power in the Western world. The second was the dominance of the Soviet Union. It had made huge sacrifices to defeat Nazi Germany, and transformed itself from a backward agricultural country into a world power during the very years when the capitalist world was trapped in the Great Depression.
4.1 Post-war Settlement and the Bretton Woods Institutions
Economists and politicians drew two key lessons from inter-war economic experiences. First, an industrial society based on mass production cannot be sustained without mass consumption. But to ensure mass consumption, there was a need for high and stable incomes. Incomes could not be stable if employment was unstable. Thus stable incomes also required steady, full employment. But markets alone could not guarantee full employment. Therefore governments would have to step in to minimise fluctuations of price, output and employment. Economic stability could be ensured only through the intervention of the government. The second lesson related to a country’s economic links with the outside world. The goal of full employment could only be achieved if governments had power to control flows of goods, capital and labour.
Thus in brief, the main aim of the post-war international economic system was to preserve economic stability and full employment in the industrial world. Its framework was agreed upon at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference held in July 1944 at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, USA.
The Bretton Woods conference established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deal with external surpluses and deficits of its member nations. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (popularly known as the World Bank) was set up to finance postwar reconstruction. The IMF and the World Bank are referred to as the Bretton Woods institutions or sometimes the Bretton Woods twins. The post-war international economic system is also often described as the Bretton Woods system.
The IMF and the World Bank commenced financial operations in 1947. Decision-making in these institutions is controlled by the Western industrial powers. The US has an effective right of veto over key IMF and World Bank decisions. The international monetary system is the system linking nationalcurrencies and monetary system. The Bretton Woods system was based on fixed exchange rates. In this system, national currencies, for example the Indian rupee, were pegged to the dollar at a fixed exchange rate. The dollar itself was anchored to gold at a fixed price of $35 per ounce of gold.
Write in brief
1. Give two examples of different types of global exchanges which took place before the seventeenth century, choosing one example from Asia and one from the Americas.
2. Explain how the global transfer of disease in the pre-modern world helped in the colonisation of the Americas.
3. Write a note to explain the effects of the following:
a) The British government’s decision to abolish the Corn Laws.
b) The coming of rinderpest to Africa.
c) The death of men of working-age in Europe because of the World War.
d) The Great Depression on the Indian economy.
e) The decision of MNCs to relocate production to Asian countries.
4. Give two examples from history to show the impact of technology on food availability.
5. What is meant by the Bretton Woods Agreement?
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