AP European Post #10

Why did Britain’s National Government and France’s Popular Front deal with the Depression in different ways?  Which way was better?  Explain.

This post will close April 6 at 5:00 pm.



42 thoughts on “AP European Post #10

  1. Britain’s National Government and France’s Popular Front dealt with the Depression differently because Britain’s National Government was more involved with the economy than the Popular Front. Britain made several attempts for changes to imprive said incident while the French tended to adhere from interfering with things. I think Britain’s efforts may have made their choices seemingly better.

  2. The Great Depression affected the whole world with a collapse of economies. Great Britain solely focused on its economy when this happened, they cute interest rates, targeted higher inflation and devalued the pound which helped UK exports and boosted domestic demand which stimulated the economy. On the contrary in France, The popular front’s initial reaction to the Great Depression was unity with its people. It attracted many lower class laborers, peasants, workers and their unions but also the lower middle classes. The popular front consisted of a workers front and broaders people’s front against fascism. To help the workers, France created a new deal that gave workers the right to collective bargain, have a 40 hour work week in the industry, have a 2 week vacation and minimum wage salaries.

    • I feel like Britain’s focus on the economy was more important than France trying to bring people together because the economies had to be put back on track. Also unity wouldn’t have been a huge issue since France just came together to fight in World War I.

    • I completely agree; Britain was really focused on the economy especially with abandoning the gold standard.

  3. The Great Depression rocked the economies of the world after World War I. A large impact was felt in Europe, where Great Britain and France in particular had different ways of tackling the issue. In Great Britain, a coalition ministry known as the National Government, took three steps in dealing with the Depression. It raised taxes, cut insurance benefits, and lowered governmental salaries. In September 1931, Britain said so long to the gold standard. Then I’m 1932, the Import Duties Bill was passed, which placed a 10% tariff on certain exports. Meanwhile in France, the depression came late and lasted longer. The Popular Front, a coalition of left-wing parties, dealt with the workers and their wages, which were raised between 7 to 15%. Overall, the National Government was better because they were more active in trying to help everyone out instead of a select group, which is what the Popular Front was doing in focusing solely on workers for socialist purposes.

    • I agree that once the National government started to help the whole rather than focusing on individual groups, there was improvement.

    • I agree with you that the French were quite politicized in their response to the Great Depression and I agree that their reforms were targeted at groups who shared their opinions. So I agree that the English did it better.

    • I think it’s also worth noting the particular reasons why they pursued such different paths that led to the different results as you explained. France had experienced a very long period of economic stagnation, over 3 years minimum. Great Britain, by contrast, suffered a sharp drop in their economy, and this state of emergency is what prompted the abandonment of some of the previously held economic principles in Great Britain in favor of new ones to stabilize the economy. France’s economic stagnation is what gave rise to their new policies led by a coalition of various left-wing political groups. I agree with your last point as well that the National Government was more successful then the Popular Front, as this can simply be seen in the results in that Great Britain’s economy actually started to recover thanks to those new policies.

    • I agree, the National Government was much more effective than the Popular Front in terms of bringing people together and raising up the economy during and after the Great Depression.

  4. In Britain, citizens had faith in their government and through the National Government, both industrial production and employment rates increased significantly: they focused on building a strong economy. In France however, because the depression lasted longer citizens had lost faith in their government. Unemployment rates continued to be considerably low and it seemed like not much was being done to help them get out of the economic depression. The National Government was much more effective and proved to be better at combating the depression.

    • I agree with your point about how France lost its citizens faith. The Popular Front only focusing on workers hurt the country as a whole.

    • I agree, I think that the National Government was much more successful in helping Great Britain’s economy in this time period. As you mentioned, they experienced economic growth and a housing boom, but, by contrast, nearly all of France’s citizens had lost faith in the republic. The left was divided, businesses were fearful of socialism, and the right hated the republic in principle. So, I agree that Great Britain had the most success in recovering from this economic depression.

    • I agree. And I like that you brought up the attitudes of the citizens toward their respective governments. It’s definitely an important factor.

    • I agree, the French needed to get the respect of their people before they could get the economy back in gear.

    • I agree that due to the longevity of the Great Depression in France, they people lost faith musch sooner then in Britain.

  5. In Britain the British National Government participated more the economy. They raised taxes and cut benefits then they went of the international gold standard, they imposed a tariff on goods. In France,they lost a large amount of supporters following the attack by police on unemployed protesters. The government was better at helping the whole rather than the individual groups.

  6. I agree that once the National government started to help the whole rather than focusing on individual groups, there was improvement.

  7. I think that the British people had more trust in their government and were able to handle being taxed more while the French were less trustworthy because they had been down a similar path before, so the French government had to focus more on uniting their country

  8. As the Great Depression affected many nations across Europe, many new governments rose to try and provide economic stability. Two prominent examples of these were Britain’s National government and France’s Popular Front, both of which enacted new policies to fight the Great Depression. However, they both had key differences in the policies they pursued, and this led to clearly different results. The differences in these policies were due to the economic conditions at the onset of the war. Great Britain’s economy was launched into a state of emergency, which led to a coalition of political parties (National Government) in charge of the government that abandoned previously held economic policies in favor of new ones. France, by contrast, suffered from a long period of economic stagnation instead of an immediate emergency, leading to bold political and economic programs sponsored by left-wing political parties (Popular Front) to solve this issue. Thus, each government pushed new programs. However, when examine the results, Britain’s methods were superior to those of France. Because of the abandonment of supposedly “sacred” economic policies that had been in Great Britain in favor of new programs, Great Britain avoided a banking crisis, expanded industrial production, and experienced a large housing boom, with many industries doing much better than at the start of the Depression. The Popular Front, by contrast, was not successful at all, and resulted in many people losing faith in France and the idea of the republic: the left remained divided, businesspeople found the republic inefficient and subject to socialism, and the right hated the republic in principle. Thus, Great Britain’s National Government was more successful in dealing with the Great Depression.

    • I agree with you. Britain’s strategy of ‘emergent measures’ was far more successful than France’s and allowed for the stable (and faster) recovery of Britain’s economy.

    • I agree; I also think the speed with which Britain reacted to the depression was crucial to how successful the government was.

  9. The Great Depression was a worldwide event, that permanently changed/altered longstanding economic, social and political systems in Europe. Each country responded in their own fashion, some more successful than others.
    Great Britain underwent a great political upheaval and change in its system following the war. This occurred when the War Coalition was split, leading to the growth of the Conservatives, and the loss of the Liberals. The new Conservative government— the “National Government”— responded to the Depression with emergency measures. At first, these measures only worsened the economy and increased unemployment. When Britain abandoned the traditional gold standard— however— the exchange rate of the pound fell by 25%, from $4.86 for one pound to $3.40. British exports were now much more competitive, which laid the ground for a gradual economic recovery.
    France, however, dealt with the Great Depression in a different manner.
    In 1934-35, the Pierre-Étienne Flandin government allowed a less restrictive policy allowing short-term indebtedness. The Banque de France lost 15 per cent of its reserves and the government was replaced by one led by Pierre Laval, who installed a provisionally deflationist policy before himself accepting a public deficit. The franc ran into a new crisis.
    Laval tried in 1935 to reduce salaries in an effort to lessen unemployment. He ran into the resistance of unions in the public sector.
    The inability of French production to take off was in contrast to the experience of the United Kingdom, which had devalued in 1931. Devaluation was something France didn’t want and it happened only in 1936.
    Britain was the more successful of the two, as it implemented important and necessary changes before France did, allowing its economy to heal much sooner. Had France taken action earlier, it would have experienced more positive results.

  10. While Britain’s national government was much more hands on with the economy, as they implemented emergency changes very quickly which although did lead to decline and unemployment, overall led to the increase in comeptivness for British exports and Britain abandoned the gold standard leading to a needed devaluation of the pound. France on the other hand desperately wanted to make little waves so tried to change as little as possible for as long as possible. Although devaluation did occur, it only occurred in 1936 a full 5 years after Great Britain. Out of the two, Great Britain’s system was indeed superior as they were able to reach economic stability much faster.

      • I agree that in their attempt to make “little waves” it ultimately resulted in their economy falling behind

    • I think England was much better at getting a full force and dealing with big issues together- they had a better system for doing so. France on the other hand had to implement new systems in waves and not at full force in case things crumbled.

      • I agree that due to long history of economic reform in Britain the people were more adept to change while the French were rigid in their actions.

  11. The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world and each country responded in different ways with varying levels of success. Great Britain mainly focused on the economy with the National Government. It abandoned economic policies considered sacred for a century; the gold standard was left behind, taxes were raised, and insurance benefits were cut. France however reacted to the depression later and with more unifying intentions (Popular Front). The popular front focused on workers and the lower classes. France gave workers the right to collective bargain, have a 40 hour work week in the industry, have a 2 week vacation and minimum wage salaries.
    The National Government was more successful because it enacted crucial changes very soon. The government was also better in the way that it helped everyone, not a single group of people.


  12. In general English fashion their national government deal was strictly economic policy changes. The goal of the English government was to stimulate the economy with as little direct involvement with the workers and private companies as possible. The English simply helped to improve the market so that English companies would begin to flourish again. The French and their popular front deal focus more on social reform and workers rights then changing economic policy in the larger scope of the country. They made France a better place to work in but not necessarily a better place to start a business in so I feel that the English had the better system for quick and long-term repairs however both together would be necessary.

  13. The British national government differed from the French approach in that the brits focused more on the economy and getting things better on that front. Whereas the French believed in a more people based approach, meaning that they wanted their people to be unified in this approach.

  14. The British and French governments dealt with the economic depression in different ways because it impacted them at different times and different ways. The British National Government dealt with it better because they were more able to make necessary changes with proper support.

  15. The Great Depression was dealt in many different ways throughout Europe. Britain reacted by focusing more on the nation’s economy. They abandoned the gold standard as well as raised taxes. The French responded to the Great Depression focusing more on the people. The working and lower classes were greatly benefited.

    • I agree with you that Britain focused more on the nation where as France focused only on the already poor people and ignored the increasing rates of poverty.

  16. Britain’s National Government dealt with the depression by maintaining the pound on the gold standard, balancing the budget, and providing assistance and relief to tackle unemployment. The gold standard meant that British prices were higher than its competitors, so the all-important export industries did poorly. Frances Popular Front really didn’t do that much in the way of attempting to provide financial stability as the party was formed after the economic collapse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *