John Maynard Keynes Aided WWII Reconstruction

John Maynard Keynes

Economist John Maynard Keynes is known for his adept grasp of economic theory, but one of his lesser known accomplishments is his leadership of the Snakebite Party. Their goal was to restore a balance that had been lost long before, and many blamed this failing of worldwide economy to be a big part of the lead-up to the Second World War. This large team of economists, led by John Maynard Keynes, aimed to restore the world’s financial climate to its former state.

They met at a New Hampshire hotel known as Mount Washington. In a meeting referred to as Bretton Woods, the Snakebite Party worked on a problem that had been in existence for decades at that point.John Maynard Keynes was not in the best of health at the time, suffering from heart disease. He was not, however, the only one in a precarious position. Some of the economists sailed to New Hampshire on the same boat as prisoners, one of them on the same boat as a bomb. One was an escapee from a POW camp.

The main problem faced by the Snakebite Party was that with so many economists representing various nations, each of those nations had a representative that wanted their own economy restored. John Maynard Keynes wanted the United Kingdom to take position as the center of the deal the economists were negotiating, but there was another man by the name of Harry Dexter White who made sure that distinction went to the United States, The Telegraph reports.

In the fight to establish the World Bank, Britain and America were hardly the only two countries who wanted to be at the center of the arrangement. To make matters even more complicated, the Bretton Woods conference was only halfway through when John Maynard Keynes was declared dead due to heart attack. In some ways, this inaccuracy was helpful as the Germans stopped planning for economic reform when the false news broke. The inability of the Allied nations to cooperate, however, is said to have later played a major part in the Cold War.

Even with several disagreements between nations, John Maynard Keynes managed to spearhead an agreement by the time the conference was over. While it did not last forever, there were at least a few years during which exchange rates were solid and unchanging. Through intelligence and sheer patience, John Maynard Keynes helped to show that diverse nations could work together, even when each of them was fighting for their own stake.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE