National Debt in Britain 1850-1930
Edited by Jeremy Wormell
Introduction by Jeremy Wormell
Routledge – 2000 – 2,924 pages
In the period from the Crimean War to the end of the First World War there was a massive increase in the size of British National Debt. These volumes chart the history of the debt during this period. They explore why the debt grew and how it was accommodated.
The set combines previously published materials with extremely rare archival texts, drawn from the Public Record Office, the Bank of England Archives and the John Pierpoint Morgan Archives, among others.
Particular attention is paid to the creation of the financial instruments necessary to sustain the debt. For the bulk of the period the pre-occupation was with repaying the debt, and the set discusses the measures considered for this purpose. However with the end of the set and Keynes' arrival in the treasury came the final acceptance that high levels of national indebtedness were going to be a permanent feature of national economies.
History and background
Changes in size and composition of the debt
Origins and characteristics of the securities
Origins of the war savings movement and the growth of the small saver
Arrangements for repayment from sinking funds
Methods of distribution and sale
Savings culture and the Capital Levy
Borrowing in New York in 1915 and 1916
Borrowing from the US Treasury and the funding of the debt after 1918