John Maynard Keynes' 1919 Book "The Economic Essay

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John Maynard Keynes' 1919 book "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" provides information making it possible for readers to understand how individuals in Europe played an active role in bringing the continent to a particularly damaged state consequent to the First World War. This process was lengthy and it began long before the war actually came into effect, as Europeans during the 1870s started to promote an illusion concerning how everything was perfect and that they could do anything they wanted to without risking to deteriorate their general condition. Previous to 1870 people across Europe appear to have had a more complex understanding of the fragility of the social order entailing countries on the continent and the relationship between them.

From Keynes' point-of-view, European countries had invested a great deal of sources in industries that were likely to be unprofitable in the long run (Keynes 9). The fact that they became obsessed with technological progress and did not consider the economic impact of their actions led to the increasing set of conflicts from the early twentieth century. Moreover, most European countries during the period had the tendency to focus on personal progress rather than to try and support each-other in achieving success and stability. This led to a series if divergences appearing between European countries as a result of considering that they were not exploiting their position sufficiently.

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According to Keynes, major European powers wanted to secure their position on the continent after 1870. These countries wanted to be prepared in case of a large conflict and they thus got Europe as a whole to express more interest in the military aspect of progress rather than in trying to achieve economic progress. Germany, for example, changed their orientation from being "agricultural and mainly self-supporting" (Keynes 13) to being "a vast and complicated industrial machine, dependent on its working on its equipoise of many factors outside Germany as well as within." (Keynes 13)

TOPIC: Essay on John Maynard Keynes' 1919 Book "The Economic Assignment

Keynes was particularly concerned in using his book with the purpose of denouncing behavior in Germany and other European countries. He emphasized that what many perceived as constructive progress was actually the result of irresponsible behavior that was going to lead to significant problems (Berend & Berend 224). What many individuals, especially the Germans and the Russians, believed to be the result of their passion, was actually the result of exploiting resources at an abnormal rate and of increasing the number of people without realizing that this destabilized economies.

The First World War and people's struggle to recover from its consequences have taken a huge toll on Europe. While the continent was ravaged from the fighting that went on within its borders, the French and the British devised a peace strategy that was likely to damage it even further. It seemed that the Germans were not the only ones who were blind as a result of their power during the period. The Central Powers started the war in an attempt to demonstrate that they were one of the strongest forces in the world. Similarly, the victors considered that it was only natural for them to impose a destructive penalty system on Germany. They failed to understand that it was in their best interest to have Europe progress as a whole rather than to allow the Germans to lose almost all the resources they had access to. "As a young Treasury economist, Keynes believed that the imposition of such massive reparations, set at £6600 million in 1921, would… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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