• 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)

    These rebellions were the main point of the crisis - indeed, they led to Somerset's removal from power. He had moved in too Protestant a direction for the Catholics, but on the other hand, not far enough for the radical reformers.

  2. Vietnam war

    Long-term impacts and consequences: Impact of war on Vietnam (as a result of US involvement): * The war created a massive refugee program as hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese fled from the advancing North in 1975. * Nearly 4 million Vietnamese killed or wounded.

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

    [was] remarkable"9, highlighting wage increases as priority. Housden assessed factors which ensured workers' compliance: "propaganda incentives, food ... and Gestapo surveillance"10. However, relatively little insight is provided without evaluating their relative importance which varied widely by time and location. He shows economic stability was not alone in attracting workers' support, but initially it was decisive.

  2. 'Despite revolutions and attempts to achieve reforms, autocratic rule was strengthened in both Russia ...

    Superficially these reforms did indeed seem to reduce the grip of the ruling establishments on social and political hegemony, but it is important to remember that they were instituted primarily in order to preserve that grip (the nobility feared serfs and serfdom as a "powder keg under Tsarism"), and largely

  1. "War became inevitable by 1939 and, when it came, it was a surprise to ...

    It is also the case that the German forces were not at this point nearly strong enough to adequately defend Germany from a military response by France and/or Britain. Had such a united response occurred it is conceivable that Germany would have remained weakened and deterred from acquiring or even asserting any more of its demands, particularly territorial ones.

  2. Apeasement Did the policy of appeasement go to any great lengths toward stopping the ...

    Especially the Liberal party of the time who were the most consistant critics of the policy. As it became evident that the policy of appeasement had failed in 1939 and that Britain would in fact go to war, the Liberal Leader Sir Archibald Sinclair expressed his feelings on the achievements

  1. Why did war break out in Europe 1939

    Hitler encouraged the Nazi's in Austria to make a riot and call for a union with Germany. Hitler told the Austrian chancellor Schuschnigg that only an Anschluss could sort these problems out. Britain and France refused to help and so Schuschnigg called for a plebiscite.

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

    But they were poorly trained and had a lack of high quality weapons. They also did not have clear tasks and were poorly led at first. However, the Soviets had reinforcements in the form of money, planning and leadership. Zhukov was introduced and put a million more men in the Battle of Kursk.

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