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After 1970


  • Begun in the 1960s, the new international division of labour, which translated into the departure of industrial companies from the Western World to poor countries, shifts into high gear after 1970.
  • A shock wave occurs in 1973 with the first oil crisis. The good years are over when the average cost of a barrel of oil was under $2. Henceforth, the large oil producers united under the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) want to draw real advantages from the sale of black gold.
  • The elections of Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain in 1979 and Ronald Reagan in the United States in 1980 mark a progressive return to economic laisser-faire and market primacy. These two politicians share the intimate conviction that state intervention is wrong and free enterprise is, on the contrary, beneficial.
  • The Western World is shaken by an economic crisis at the onset of the 1980s, the most important since the crisis of 1929. Others will follow in its wake.

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