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Lecture 15

HIST113 Lecture 15: Lecture 15. Business and the State in the Postwar Period. Nov. 13.docx

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Catherine Briggs

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HIST 113
Lecture 15
November 13 2014
Business and the State in the Postwar Period
Themes and Questions
Examine the factors from 1900 to 1945 that lead to greater government
intervention in business and the economy after 1945.
Through what methods does government try to maintain economic growth and
What factors contribute to economic growth and opportunity for business growth
in the postwar years?
Business and the State
New challenges and opportunities in the post war period
Cold War
There isn’t a military conflict
Heightened military and political tension between the two new superpowers that
came out of WW2 (United states and Soviet union; Russia today)
Conflict between whos way of life and system was better
Became a very serious contest in terms of control of various parts of the world
and the worlds wealth
Created a situation in which increased military production, spending and research
will occur in the United states
oIn the position that it has to defend the free world
oMilitary stockpiling of weapons
oIn order to do this spending, the economic benefit will go towards
Canadian businesses
Military industrial context?: industry is very interconnected
Further solidifies the movement towards US becoming a major business partner
for trade with Canada
Desire for a better Life
As WW2 comes to an end, Canadians increasingly speak to a desire to have a
better life
The generation coming out of WW2 1945 had known 6 years of war and 10 years
of economic depression
They had a lot of instability
A better life meant financial security, stable jobs, and material goods
Consumerism is made possible because of the relative prosperity
The conditions of the working people improved dramatically
Creates enormous possibilities to beat this consumerism

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Support for Government Regulation
Heightened support
Over the years people have thought that the government should regulate the
Economic stability was attributed to the success of the government managing the
Managed to keep inflation under control
There was food available to people at a reasonable cost
WW2 was characterized by almost full employment because of the increased
A lot of these jobs saw wage increases
The government introduced collective bargaining
The experience of WW2 provided examples of how governments can control and
maintain a stable economy
Government Intervention in Economy
Increased government regulation after 1945
Wide public support or consensus that the government needs to take a more direct
role in stabilizing the economic conditions for individuals and businesses
Wide support from politicians in the business community
The Canadian government engaged in reconstruction planning
oPlanning for converting the country back from a military state to a peace
time state
oTalking about the need for the government to try to achieve two goals: full
employment and economic stability
oThe only way they can reach these goals is by the government increasing
of decreasing the money supply or availability of credit depending on
whether the economy is growing or receding
John Maner Keynes
oGovernment applied his ideas, but in a simplistic way
oImplement measures to increase or decrease the money supply to go along
with economic cycles
oTry and get more money into the economy
During times of economic downturn governments offer tax incentives (ex. tax
oExtend the tax breaks to businesses that were expanding or spending
excessive amount on capital
oPlan the development and improvement of infrastructure (ex. road
oTalking about ways to ensure consumer demand (by ensuring that all
Canadians have money to pay basic bills)
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