• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17

To what extent is the oil crisis of 1973 a turning point in postwar economic development?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Chin Ying Lin Olivia (2) 6L 07/02/2010 To what extent can the oil crisis of 1973-4 be regarded as a turning point in the development of the international economy? The 1973 oil crisis was an event when the members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the Yom Kippur war and lasted until March 1974. In this essay, a "turning point" is defined to be a landmark- an event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend. While acknowledging that the oil crisis certainly had dramatic and lasting impact on the development of the international economy: in terms of signifying the start of a worldwide shift in power away from the U.S for the first time, bringing about catastrophic repercussions on the international economy and also leading to the formation of the G-7 ; to regard it as a " turning point" would be an overstatement, due to the temporary nature of the crisis, as well as preceding events such as the collapse of the Bretton Woods System, and the continuity of dominance of the US in the global economy, albeit with lesser power than before the oil crisis. ...read more.

Middle

The Bretton Woods system was established in 1944 aimed at containing the contradictions of the world economy and preventing the development of socialist revolution; and was ever since the central foundation of the post-war international financial system. However, with the decline of US hegemony and increasing dissatisfaction with the privileged role of the U.S. dollar as the international currency, along with the weakening state of the dollar, the system was becoming almost impossible to maintain. Throughout the 1950s the US was still able to sustain a balance of payments deficit to finance loans, aid, and troops for allied regimes. However, during the 1960s, the costs of doing so became less tolerable. By the 1970s, the U.S. alarmingly held under 16% of international reserves. Adjustment to these changed realities was impeded by the U.S. commitment to fixed exchange rates and by the U.S. obligation to convert dollars into gold on demand. With increasing tolls on the Bretton Woods system, it finally collapsed after a last-gasp devaluation of the dollar to $44/ounce, and reopened in March in a floating currency regime. Its demise was thus a major turning point, one much crucial and significant than the 1973 oil crisis in the global economic development; as it inaugurated a new stage characterized by the development of globalized production and the domination of an international financial market- a watershed from the previous system that was pegged to the gold standard, and US-dominated. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1974, just a year after the oil crisis, the US came up with the 1974 Trade Act, which states that the US can redress any violation of US trade agreements, and retaliate against any foreign activity that restrict US trades. In 1981, it even insisted that Japan must put VRAs on automobile exports, an outright example of protectionist measures for self-interest. -this went on for a long span of 13 years before Japan retaliated and bypassed the VRAs, Given the fact that it was just a year after the oil crisis, and yet the US could still have the power to make impactful decisions that affected the global economy (in this case Japan) in the long-term, it clearly illustrates that US leadership had not waned throughout the years, and that the dominance of the US still prevailed. Conclusive, in view of the above counter-arguments, it appears that the 1973 oil crisis was a turning point for the development of the global economy. Yet, upon closer examinations, the event was still not exactly a crucial period for the world, keeping in mind that there existed other more important events like the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, and that US dominance still remained, although weakening. Therefore, the oil crisis was a turning point for the development of the global economy only to a small extent. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is an extremely impressive response with excellent knowledge, detail and analysis. The author achieves good balance and reaches a conclusion but this could be more developed.

5 Stars

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 24/10/2014

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Mao Essay

    Chinese recorded history, more than thirty million people died throughout the duration of this famine.1314 This idea of Mao's while extremely unsuccessful, is a further demonstration of Mao using violence to elevate himself. The Cultural Revolution in China was Mao's way of regaining the power that he lost in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward.

  2. To what extent was Stalin to blame for the Berlin crisis 1948-9?

    The actions of Stalin and the "high stakes''11 Edwards suggests he played for had a significant impact in causing the Berlin crisis. Miscamble's argument focuses on the Soviet regime who also "vehemently opposed''10 the creation of a new state. Soviets aimed to block the initial step to introduce the Deutschmark,

  1. Creative Writing - War.

    My hands were not untied. The first few months in captivity I spent sobbing and shouting. I hurled myself against the door on occasions. Nobody came to shut me up, only to take me to the toilet. Then, left me in silence, alone; 'You bastard Nips, come and fight me.'

  2. How far was the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?

    The deployment of the B-29s established the US Strategic Air Command in the UK, and the arrival in Britain of "the atomic bombers" was widely publicized. The threat of nuclear retaliation was now made explicit, which not only raised the stakes but the long-term resentment too.

  1. The Korean War and Superpower relations

    If one country was to fall prey to communism, all countries will too be affected too. Hence the Korean War was significant in heightening US's concern in containment of Communism which was similar to the context of the Cold War, just that in this case US's concern was in the geographical area of Asia.

  2. How did the Vietnam War Have an Impact on Canada

    The government was reluctant to make this decision and in early 1969 Pierre Trudeau claimed: "Surely a person who deserts from the armed forces of the US is guilty of a criminal offence and accordingly would be inadmissible to Canada on that ground alone."8.

  1. Why did Mao Zedong introduce a second five year plan in 1958 and to ...

    group of local of local leaders was produced, who spearheaded future change. The reform was achieved with little bloodshed and on the whole benefited the poor. Basically the communist party offered fair taxes, fair distribution of wealth. Mao, in 1953, went on to devise the first five year plan with the help of Russian advisers.

  2. To what extent did the foreign intervention influence the outcome of the Spanish Civil ...

    Consequently, "Multinational corporations in the sterling dollar countries...helped to crush the Spanish Republicans' hopes". On the other hand, the Stalin provided the Republicans with over 1000 aircraft, 200 tanks, 1500 guns and 500 to 5,000 advisers who were ordered by Stalin to "keep out of artillery range".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work