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Chamberlain's Policy Toward Germany Essays

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Chamberlain's Policy Toward Germany

Appeasement is the term used to describe the foreign policies of the British Conservative governments of Baldwin (1935-37) and Chamberlain (1937-40) and also those of France and America to a lesser extent. Appeasement involved making concessions to the two main dictators of Europe; Hitler and Mussolini.

Hitler broke many of the stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles, yet nothing active was done, there was only spoken denunciation of his actions. Hitler stopped paying reparations in 1933. Hitler began to openly rearm in 1935. Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland on 7 March 1936. He united with Austria in 1938 and in the same year, he took over the
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Aerial bombardment was also a real threat as had been demonstrated by the Luftwafe in Guernica where the whole town had been destroyed. The worry was that this could happen to London, meaning many civilian casualties on the home front - it would be total war. Furthermore, Britain was more worried about defending its empire and had been concerned about the threat from Japan in the Far East. It could not deal with aggression from both Germany and Japan. In economic terms, Britain was still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression and Chamberlain was reluctant to spend vast sums of money on improving the country's armed forces. Weak defences, he believed, would not matter if Britain avoided war. Public opinion also supported appeasement and there was a mood of pacifism. Chamberlain, as an elected representative, was doing his job by representing the views of his people when considering foreign affairs.

Secondly, Chamberlain held a good view of Hitler and Germany. Chamberlain felt that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh and took a favourable view of Hitler's complaints about how unfair the treaty had been to Germany. He believed that if Germany's complaints were dealt with fairly then Europe could look forward to a long period of peace. Chamberlain also thought that Hitler was a reasonable man and admired him for his economic successes and achievement of
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