War debts and reparations

War debts and reparations - War debts and reparations The...

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Unformatted text preview: War debts and reparations. The total war debt incurred by Europe exceeded $10 billion, the bulk of which Great Britain and France owed to the United States. Although the nation's wartime allies wanted the United States to cancel the debts altogether, both the Harding and Coolidge administrations approved only reducing the interest rates and forgiving a portion of the obligation. For example, the interest rate Italy paid was lowered to .4 percent and more than 80 percent of Italy's debt was canceled in 1926. Even with these adjustments, European countries found it difficult to pay off their loans. They argued that the high rates imposed by the Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922) dramatically reduced the amount of U.S. dollars they could earn through exports and also that they would not be able to pay back their war debts until Germany paid them reparations. Germany, however, was unable to make its reparations debts until Germany paid them reparations....
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