• 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)

    The religious changes in the period 1530-1559 were so rapid with the different rulers and Henry can be held partly responsible for this as he had his son, Edward, brought up as a Protestant, whereas his daughter Mary was a devout Catholic.

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

    of GNP" and "it was only from the year 1936 "military investment alone... exceeded civilian investment"12. While Klein made the observation that in 1935 the Group I (Armament Factories and Military Facilities) investment by the Nazi government was 7%, which, when compared to 50% of Group III investment (Civilian and Government non-war), was very trivial13.

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

    Historians J. Arch Getty and Lynne Vola are insistent that the social upheavals were not simply imposed from above, but that Stalin's plans found clear resonance 'below', in the party and in Society. 13. Tractors, kerosene, salt, matches and soap were all promised to the peasants if they joined the Kolkhoz.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    German historians were accused of whitewashing history and promoting an ominous political agenda aimed at political unification and teaching Germans to get off their knees and learn to walk tall again. Can Germans walk tall again, or is the burden of Nazi Germany so great that they will always be held under its weight?

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

    However, a temporary fulfillment of key economic promises increased working class support and ensured "enormous personal gains... mainly perhaps among workers"4 for Hitler in the early years where security was established. This recognition reveals that the early years enhanced the Fuhrer's aura as a 'man of action' in whom workers could trust.

  2. Vietnam war

    * By January 1961, the number of advisors had grown to 685. They trained the ARVN in the use of conventional weapons. Partnership 1961-1963: * 1961- JFK sought "limited partnership" with Diem, flexible response, counterinsurgency, nation-building, reform without revolution * 1962- MAAG (Truman's Military Advisory and Assistance Group)

  1. Was appeasement the only option open to Britain in 1938-1939?

    Essentially it was this central belief which shaped the policy of appeasement, preventing British politicians from seeing when the policy was failing in its key objective; the avoidance of war. In its essential make up, appeasement was however a viable option for continuing the peace in Europe but without the

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

    He was also very good in planning offensives, such as Operation Uranus. There was also Molotov; who was the foreign minister from 1941 and the leader of the GKO, so a key member. Molotov rose to the occasion as he took control during Stalin?s breakdown and he also made the first radio speech.

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