As the countries of today’s European Union advance toward a common currency, there is a sense that history is being made. Few commentators seem aware that these efforts toward economic unity represent not the first but the second major attempt to establish a common European marketplace. This book retrieves from widespread archives a comprehensive account of an earlier, forgotten attempt at pan-Europeanism that regulated most of European trade from 1860 to 1892. Peter T. Marsh describes the rise and fall of the first common market, an initiative that resonates in many intriguing ways with the experience of the European Monetary Union now, more than a century later. In the late Victorian age, Marsh explains, tariffs rather than interest rates were the levers of commercial negotiation. The network of tariff-reducing treaties that spread across western and central Europe in the 1860s grew from a British initiative and precipitated a prosperous expansion of trade and an open European market. But when economic depression revived protectionism, tariff barriers rose again on the Continent though not in Britain, and the first common market nearly collapsed. Germany salvaged it in diminished form, while Britain turned away to cultivate poorer prospects overseas.
Detalhes do Produto
Subtítulo: BRITAIN AND THE FIRST COMMON MARKET, 1860-1892