Kindleberger (2000)- Rise of Free Trade in Western Europe

Kindleberger (2000)- Rise of Free Trade in Western Europe -...

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Rise of Free Trade in Western Europe Charles P. Kindleberger (2000) Kindleberger, Charles P. 2000. The Rise in Free Trade in Western Europe. International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth. Eds. Jeffry A. Frieden, David A. Lake. New York: WW Norton Company. Abstract: Charles P. Kindleberger, a leading economic historian, examines the process by which mercantilist trade restrictions were dismantled and evaluates several of the best-known theses concerning the ascendance of free trade in Western Europe. Presenting a domestic-society- centered argument, Kindleberger contends that free trade in many instances arose as individual entrepreneurs pressured their governments to lift restrictions on international trade and finance so that they could pursue overseas business opportunities. Yet Kindleberger points out that political activity by entrepreneurs cannot explain the rapid expansion of free trade in Europe after 1850. He suggests that this “Second Wave” of free trade may have been motivated by ideology rather
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Unformatted text preview: than economic or political interests. This important article offers a persuasive explanation of how and why the market principle gained dominance within the international economy during the 19 th century. From Milner: Milner, Helen V. 1998. “International Political Economy: Beyond Hegemonic Stability.” Foreign Policy. 110: 112-123. Hegemonic Stability Theory: “…first espoused by Charles Kindleberger in the 1970’s, focuses on the role of leading states-for example Great Britain in the 19 th and the US in the 20 th centuries-and on how changes in the distribution of capabilities affect the world economy.” 113 If Adam Smith is correct, and free and open trade with no govt intervention is correct, why would hegemony be needed for global economic stability? Shouldn’t all trade and monetary systems be subjected to the whims of the market? Would hegemony be a damper on free trade and floating monetary systems?...
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