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German Trade Trends on the Eve of World War I


One should not just say that an increase (or decrease) in trade between potential adversaries portends something.

from Edgar Crammond, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, July 1914, Vol. 1. 77, No. 8 (July 1914), pp. 777-824:

source: Cramond (1914)page 790.

In 1911, the proportion of German imports from the British Empire, Russia, France and Italy was 43.7%, compared with 42.1% in 1900.

source: Cramond (1914)page 790.

In 1911, the proportion of German exports to the British Empire, Russia, France and Italy was 38.0%, while in 1900 it was 48.1%. However, it flowed primarily not to allies (such as Austria-Hungary) but to the rest of the world.as Cramond (page 791-2) Note:

Germany had no overseas empire capable of substantial trade with its motherland, so it had to find markets around the world. Facts have proved that her efforts in this direction were completely successful. Germany's trade has been gradually extended throughout the world, and today she is much less dependent on any single market than in 1900.

Note that trade volumes were rising during this period and so were real exports to Britain and the British Empire.

source: Jack(2018).

For some recent work on trade and conflict, see Chen and Evers (2023).

And, as always, when thinking about trade and power, read Hirschman(1945).



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