Was Appeasement a ‘Mistake’? H/W 07.03.13 There are many arguments for and against appeasement before WW2. Appeasement was a policy between Britain, France and Germany. The policy meant that the allies would give Germany what they wanted as long as they didn’t start a war or cause trouble. The Dictionary definition of appeasement is: (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the policy of acceding to the demands of a potentially hostile nation in the hope of maintaining peace. Many people now oppose the policy but not many people did at the time apart from the MP Winston Churchill. An argument for appeasement is that Germany deserved to have a better deal as The Treaty of Versailles, many British people thought, was too harsh. If …show more content…
So each time he did an act of aggression and nobody did anything, he asked himself “Can I get away with even more?!” And of course he could. It is thought that Hitler was very nervous about taking soldiers into the Rhineland, but when nobody did anything he grew in confidence, and this encouraged him to make more demands for land. As well as this another reason against appeasement was that every time Germany took land, they got stronger, consequently becoming harder to defeat. So in some way Britain and France were helping (in the long term) Germany by giving things that helped them in the war. Many people think that the allies should have just have faced the music and fought the war there and then while Germany weren’t as strong as they were becoming. Moreover the appeasement scared the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia France and Britain did not do anything hence why the USSR reached an agreement with Germany called the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The pact meant that Germany and Russia would not go to war with each other and invade Poland together and spilt it between the two countries. Hitler would never of been able to invade Poland if it meant getting past the USSR. Also Hitler always had one aim: Conquer the East. The allies should of know what Hitler was going to do, as he made it very in his speeches and letters that nothing was going to stop
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England and France, fearing another war established a policy of appeasement to by time and rearm its forces. The European countries believed that Hitler would only retake the Sudetenland; this land was historically Germany's homeland(6). This was another mistake by France and England because with the Sudetenland he gained the famous Skoda armament factories and was ultimately a more dangerous military opponent(6). Until the remainder of Czechoslovakia was swallowed in 1939 all Hitler had done seemed reasonable(6). Until then he had only tried to obtain lands where ethnic Germans lived(6). The disregard of the Treaty of Versailles would be the main factor that allowed Germany to regain their power and ultimately bring the world into another war.
Britain’s policy of Appeasement (May/June 1937 – March 1939) was also a cause of World War Two. Neville Chamberlain became the British Prime Minister on May 28, 1937, and followed the policy of appeasing Germany, believing that all Hitler wanted to do was unite German-speaking people. In doing so, Hitler would break the Treaty of Versailles but Chamberlain did not believe Hitler would cause war. Churchill disagreed, citing Mein Kampf (1924) where Hitler has written that Germany must regain lands ‘in the East… by the power of the sword.’ Little did Chamberlain know that he had misinterpreted Hitler’s aims.
On February 3, 1933 during a meeting with German military leaders Hitler said his foreign policy was the conquest of Eastern Europe (Weinberg, 1970), also in 1933 Germany withdrew from the League of Nations, which should have been a warning sign that they were planning something big. This along with the increase of the Wehrmacht (German Army) to 600,000 should have thrown up some red flags to Britain and France that Hitler was up to no go. This was another of Hitler’s direct violations of the Versailles Treaty, yet no one stopped him, instead they let him continue untouched. Then in March of 1936
The policy of appeasement was widely pursued by Britain and France in the 1930s, when it referred to attempting to satisfy Germany's demands by negotiation and compromise, which would avoid war. However due to its failure the policy of appeasement, to a large extent was responsible for the outbreak of war in 1939. It is clear that if the Western Powers had retaliated against Hitler, war could have been avoided, it encouraged Hitler, Hitler could never be appeased, and that it prompted the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Despite large extent the policy of appeasement in the outbreak of war it is superseded by other factors such as the Treaty of Versailles.
In the 1930s, European governments found it necessary to appease Hitler and Mussolini. Appeasement is the word that clearly sums up the policies and actions that were taken by the European governments. There were a few reasons that these concessions were offered by European countries: none of the countries wanted another World War, the devastating effects
Document 2 indirectly supports the idea that pro-appeasement ideologies towards German military expansion were also causes that led to World War II by explaining how the League of Nations believed that through appeasement treatment Germany will eventually be satisfied and seize to conquer other lands yet they were wrong therefore once Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party had conquered lands all the way to Poland the allied powers, Great Britain, France, United States, and Russia, declare war on Germany with the hope of stalling Nazi expansion and eluding the possibility to falling into his power. Document 5 is a speech by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain which explains how appeasement was the only way to maintain peace in Europe after World War I and how Britain would only become involved in major conflicts not an invasion of a state. Document 5 is biased since it was written by a prime minister’s point of view that is pro-appeasement and supports the idea that such is the only way that Germany can be stopped without the need of war. Document 5 supports the idea that pro-appeasement ideologies towards German military expansion were also causes that led to World War II by listing textual evidence on how leaders such as Neville Chamberlain allowed Adolf Hitler to spread his Nazi regime through the use pro-appeasement ideals however such
Appeasement was a less effective response to aggression because fewer countries agreed with the Munich Agreement. Some of Adolf Hitler’s ideas were stated in Document 1 such as needing colonies in order to enter colonial politics and that oppressed territories were not demoted to nothing by protests but by countries with stronger military forces. Haile Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia, asked the League of Nations fro help in stopping the invasion after Italy attacked Ethiopia. When the League of Nations’ response was ineffective, Selassie stated “God and history will remember your judgment. It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.” (Doc.2). This statement is like karma; because the League of Nations didn’t help Ethiopia, it would be attacked and get no help. This statement is in the point of view of Ethiopian people, but also for other European countries because when countries are without help, the country it asks will later be without help also. They will be in the same situation as the country asking for its help; “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.” Document 5 is in the point of view of the British. Document 5
Britain and France were convinced to end their policy of appeasement when Hitler broke his promises from the Munich Conference and took over the rest of Czechoslovakia.They knew Hitler had to be stopped and declared war on Germany when Hitler invaded
There is no excuse for the horrible things Nazi Germany did during World War II. However, we get a better idea as to how that war started by learning about how World War I ended. The Versailles Treaty was created by the winners of World War I, like France, Great Britain, and the United States to make peace. How did it help contribute to an even worse war less than twenty years later. The Treaty Of Versailles helped cause World War II by treating Germany harshly. This harsh treatment can be seen in three areas: territorial losses, economic losses and ¨ war guilt.¨
Britain, France and Italy believed that Hitler would keep his word after this appeasement and wouldn’t try to take over any other land. Their continuous appeasement did not solve anything, and Hitler’s Nazi Party kept accumulating more and more lands, creating more problems. William Shirer stated, “His waiting ten short days has saved Europe from a world war,” (Doc. 4), but this is not true, since this appeasement only postponed the war, and let the Nazi Party gain more power. This is a simple example of how appeasement was not
Appeasement was arguably the only realistic option for British policy towards Germany between 1936 and 1938 when considering the fact that appeasement permitted Britain to rearm, thus preparing her more effectively for war, whilst also giving her the moral high ground. Nevertheless, for some “appeasement has become a dirty word, synonymous with weakness and defeatism in the face of naked aggression” since Britain’s policy of appeasement succumbed to Nazi aggression and failed to actually prevent war. Subsequently many historians argue that alternatives including a ‘Grand Alliance’ and military intervention in the Rhineland (1936) and Czechoslovakia (1938) would have been better options. However, when considering the several hindrances to these alternatives including political and public stance, financial difficulties and the depth of pacifist objection, it appears that appeasement was the only realistic option.
Moreover, while Jews in Germany were being tormented and war was approaching, Great Britain did not want to take part. Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of the British from 1937-1940, decided to sign an appeasement “a peace treaty” with Hitler stating that the British only wanted peace (Neufeldt, 109). However, Hitler already had his plans, and the
Living space then, was a necessary objective in Hitler 's eyes, but in order to achieve this space he needed to develop Germany 's army first. So he did. Between 1933 and 1939 the Treaty of Versailles was secretly avoided to massively increase the size of the German army, from 100,000 to 300,00017. The Luftwaffe, German air force, also rapidly increased and by 1940 it was the strongest among all the European powers. The German war machine was impressive, in just six years it went from being the weakest army to one of the strongest18. However, this created a vicious circle in terms of foreign policy for Germany: Hitler wanted living space, so he built up the army. However, in order to pay for this rapid rearmament, he had to conquer territories. Thus, Hitler made war profitable and a key part of the foreign policy of Germany19.
Rearmament was a popular move in Germany. It boosted Nazi support. Hitler also knew that Britain had some sympathy for Germany on this issue, as Britain believed that the limits put on Germany’s armed forces by the Treaty of Versailles were too strict. It was clear that the permitted forces were not enough to defend Germany from attack. Also, Britain thought that Germany would be a good buffer against Communism.