Britain at war
In the present century, nations have mobilised en masse to wage total war. It is tempting to think that disruption on this scale should have had lasting effects on economic and social life. Historians and social scientists have developed ambitious theories in which war is the critical force in long-run economic social change, but these views are highly controversial. To measure the effects of war we must estimate how economy and society would have evolved in its absence and measure this counter-factual development path against what actually happened. This is a very demanding test which ambitious theories have not always passed (Milward 1970).