Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The French economist Jean Fourastié called them ‘les trente glorieuses’. The Germans and the Italians coined the words Wirtschaft swunder and miracolo economico, respectively. No matter how the thirty-odd years after the end of World War II were characterised by Europe's various cultures, they stand out as the period of the fastest economic growth in the continent's history. In retrospect, the years between the late 1940s and the early 1970s have been seen as a Golden Age, when the foundations of future prosperity were established on firm ground. This article analyses the most relevant features of Europe's extraordinary growth during the ‘glorious thirty’, and tries to explain why, after all, there was nothing ‘miraculous’ about them. In doing so, it takes a broad perspective of Europe as a single region within the world economy, although divided into two areas by an ‘Iron Curtain’. The article also looks at postwar reconstruction, trade and the process of European integration, the international monetary system in Western Europe, and the end and the long-term impact of the Golden Age.

Keywords: Europe, economic growth, glorious thirty, Iron Curtain, Golden Age, international monetary system, World War II, postwar reconstruction, trade, European integration

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.