• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Britain's appeasement policies in the years 1933 to 1939 were well-intentioned, but totally ineffective in preventing war." Assess the validity of this judgement.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Britain's appeasement policies in the years 1933 to 1939 were well-intentioned, but totally ineffective in preventing war." Assess the validity of this judgement. Whether Britain's appeasement policies were effective in preventing war depends on how far one expected them to prevent war - on how temporary the policy was meant to be, and whether Britain saw appeasement as a real solution to the problems facing Europe during the 1930s. Early examples of "appeasement" were quite effective at preventing war, simply in that "appeasement" meant a lack of military action on some issue or other (for example, on Abyssinia or remilitarisation of the Rhineland), which, if it had happened, could have resulted in war; and when war did eventually happen its timing was largely because there was a limit to the extent to which Britain -would- appease Hitler, and to the extent to which Britain saw that appeasement was an appropriate policy for preserving European security. Appeasement, then, was effective at preventing war for as long as the British (and French) ...read more.

Middle

to some German act of aggression or other but it did appease their demand for the lifting of restrictions on armaments and the destruction of the Versailles Treaty), and not merely a failure to act on Britain's part. Secondly, it does not acknowledge that the likelihood of war actually occurring if France or Britain had employed force or the threat of it on various occasions before 1939 (e.g. during the remilitarisation of the Rhineland, or the Anschluss) was actually quite low. Had they done so it is likely Hitler would have backed down and war been avoided without concession. In this case, then, appeasement was not only ineffective but actually made war more likely, as it encouraged Hitler and Mussolini to take bigger risks which were a greater threat to the European security system and the position of the Great Powers. Although one could also suggest that appeasement continued for as long as it was necessary in order for Britain to rearm to a point where she -could- fight a war against Germany, and thus was as effective as it was meant to be, this also falls to ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, that appeasement was ineffective in preventing war is true, because cumulatively it increased its likelihood. While it is possible to posit that appeasement was an effective policy insofar as it prevented war -up to- 1939, such an argument does not stand when one considers whether war was altogether very likely before 1939: neither Britain nor France (nor Germany) had rearmed satisfactorily before then, and none of the instances or developments of appeasement presented themselves as occasions to go to war over before possibly the Sudeten crisis (particularly not to a Europe anxious to avoid that very eventuality.). The point that the instigation of war by the British and French was the result of a -lack- of acquiescence to German aggression and the decision -not- to appease (implying that appeasement -was-, in its way, effective) is valid, but it is open to question as to how politically (Britain had guaranteed Poland), economically (Britain had been warned that sustaining armaments for much longer than 1939 was economically dangerous) -possible- it was to -not- declare war at that point. (One may also say that an invasion, even if endorsed by the agreement of some outside parties, is still an invasion.) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was it the policies pursued by Henry VIII that caused "the mid-Tudor crisis"?

    4 star(s)

    His changes to the Church, which had resulted, not in Protestantism, but in Henrician Catholicism (or 'Catholicism without the Pope'), had done much to confuse the nation. He had initially moved in a Protestant direction with the Act of Ten Articles in 1536, and in 1538, the insistence that all

  2. Vietnam war

    River transport could also be used alternatively. International support from China (equipment and repair crews) and Soviet Union (MIG fighters, anti- aircraft guns and surface- to- air missiles) countered US efforts. North Vietnamese fought back with surface- to- air missiles and anti- aircraft artillery provided by China and Soviet Union,

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    The new industries could also require some technology from abroad and the Soviet Union would therefore need a source of foreign exchange to pay for this, thus the government needed food surpluses to export in order to get foreign exchange.

  2. To what extent did Hitlers Policies attract working class support between 1933 and 1939?

    Any possibility of cohesive working class resistance effectively ended with the 1934 abolition of trade unions and centralization of power through the DAF. This policy revealed urgency of decisively minimizing worker's resistance. Having promised to, "build up...worker's rights"11 this removal of political expression was not immediately contradictory given propaganda which aligned it with Volksgemeinschaft.

  1. The Battle of Britain

    They had little more than 800 of them. They embodied that spirit of individual enthusiasm that had seen Britons, first as pirates, then as merchants finally as soldiers bring many foreign lands under the aegis of the British Empire. Now it was up to the pilots of the RAF to save their homeland from destruction and in this

  2. Why was the league so ineffective in dealing with the Abyssinian Crisis?

    The question that the league had to take was what to do with Italy if they took this action. The problem that the league had was that the action they took depended on the actions of the French and the British who were the two great powers in the league

  1. Evaluate the Nazis economic policies from 1933 - 1939. To what extent were the ...

    in the summer of 1933. Under this policy, every agricultural sector was reorganized in this Estate, "which is a self-administrative statutory corporation comprising all individuals and organization concerned in the distribution as well as the production of agricultural commodities"6. In other words, this was served to stabilize food prices and control the amount of production.

  2. 'Stalin's leadership was the most significant reason for Soviet victory over Germany in the ...

    In 1941, Germany was able to capture two fifths of the Soviet?s grain production facilities and a third of its labour force. Also during the war, production was relatively low for things such as coal, steel and oil, as many places and facilities were captured.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work