Factors that Motivated Britain and France to Adopt a Policy of Appeasement during the 1930s This paper will take a critical look into what the policy of appeasement was about, the factors that led Britain and France to adopt it, its advantages, disadvantages, and the impact it had on the World War 2. The policy of appeasement is a diplomatic policy that allowed enemies to find a common ground with one another to avoid war. The term was very common after the World War I because no country wanted to be involved in another war. The consequences of the First World War threw Europe into economic, political and social instability. Britain and France were not prepared for another war as their economies were in bad shape following the great depression on Wall Street crash. The First World War had left various undesirable impacts in the world. Moreover, amongst a genuine desire for peace, there was always the old British desire that no single party should rule Europe. The policy of appeasement
There were a few important historical events that happened before the policy was realized. The first historical event was the discussion between Chamberlain and Hitler over Czechoslovakia. The Treaty of Versailles restricted Germany and Austria to form any kind of political union after the World War I. However, Hitler had his own plans. He wanted to reunite Austria and Germany when he came into power, thereby disregarding the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler demanded Austria to include Nazi’s Austrians into government to ensure that they were treated well. There was chaos in Austria after a while. Hitler requested the then leader to step down or face forceful invasion by Germany. Britain was not pleased by this move. Although the people of Austria were pleased by the invasion of the German troops into Austria as a way of controlling the country, Germany had breached the Treaty of Versailles. This period is normally referred to as the Anschluss. The Munich period was famous because it was the time when the Munich Agreement was made. It started with talks between the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and German’s President Hitler in September of 1938. The agreement allowed Germany to own part of Czechoslovak border. This went against the Treaty of Versailles as Hitler had already planned attacks on Czechoslovakia. Britain only got involved to reduce the chances of war. Hitler was adamant and made it clear to Britain that Czechoslovakia would have to give up all the lands that had German citizens as the majority group to avoid war. Many leaders had now feared that Germany would cause a war, thus they requested Czechoslovakia to bend to Hitler’s rules. Four world leaders, Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, and Édouard Daladier, met at the end of September of 1938 in Munich and agreed that Germany would not cause any form of war. The discussion presented above shows the process in which the policy of appeasement was established. Although, many of the countries that were involved were fearful of another war, moreover, every country was involved for its own reasons and motives. Factors that led Britain and France to adopt the policy of appeasement After the World War I, there was a unanimous agreement that a treaty that would help prevent another war should be created. This was when the Treaty of Versailles was made. However, when Chamberlain became the Prime Minister of Britain, he was of the view that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany. Germany had been warned against creating any form of armoury. Some of its colonies had also been taken after the war. It appeared that the treaty was punishing Germany for losing the war1. Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier were of the view that the treaty had been biased towards the winners of the First World War. Therefore, Britain and France supported Germany when it went against the treaty and started re-arming in the early 1930’s. According to Waters2, what motivated the Germans to go...
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