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

Examine the main factors, which led British governments to follow a policy of 'appeasement' in the period 1931-38

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

BRITISH APPEASEMENT 1931-39 ASSIGNMENT 1: OBJECTIVE 1 Examine the main factors, which led British governments to follow a policy of 'appeasement' in the period 1931-38 In the period 1931-38, there were several reasons that the policy of 'appeasement' was taken up by the British government. There were both long and short-term reasons that contributed. The most important, I believe was Britain's belief in Pacifism. The public could not support the war in terms of soldiers, and the government could not support a war financially. So it was in Britain's self interest to appease Hitler. Many of the British politicians feared another World War. Due to conscription, the majority of people had lost relatives to the war. World War 1 was a war of attrition and many had lost fathers, husbands, sons, or brothers. Surveys showed that 60% of the British men would not volunteer in the event of a war. Many believed that war was in direct disagreement with what the bible sad. The population of Britain did not support another war which would lead to another catastrophic loss of life. Because of the increased fear of war, the British put blind faith in the strength and power of the League of Nations. ...read more.

Middle

Another problem that they faced was that their once-modern air force had been made redundant as technology had advanced. Chamberlain's Royal Air Force Commander needed another 12 months to finish updating the air force. Chamberlain was playing for time. In September 1938, Britain had only 6 Hurricane Squadrons. Their air power lay in outdated biplanes. Hurricanes were rolling of production queues as they spoke, but were no where near defensive strength. By September 1939, as the RAF Commander predicted, Britain had 36 Hurricane squadrons. Another key problem was their financial status. Germany had come out of the Great Depression rapidly, unlike Britain who had struggled. Britain was not in a strong position, and could not support a war. By appeasing Hitler, they maintained trade with a strong country, boosting their economy. Chamberlain, leading a democratic state, had to do what was in the interest of the people and due to the lack of public support for another war; Chamberlain was forced to appease Hitler. Surveys had shown that 60% of the country's men would not enlist themselves into the army voluntarily. The citizens of London were afraid of the German Luftwaffe. The theory that the 'bomber would always get through' scared the population to the extent that the Londoners believed that they would be killed in a raid against them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The declaration of war had startled him, as he had presumed that England was bluffing. Strategists had predicted that Hitler's current rate of takeover in Europe, it would eventually lead to the invasion of Britain. Chamberlain had promised Hitler the Sudetenland, and even though he had taken the entire country, Britain did nothing. But they had realised that Britain was ultimately on Hitler's 'hit-list'. Therefore Chamberlain wanted to keep the war on the European mainland. So he made the declaration that if Hitler invaded Poland, he would have no choice but to go to war. By September 1939, Britain's air-defences had been enhanced, and they were ready to defend themselves. The RADAR, fighter squadrons, air raid facilities, and the BEF (British Expedionary Force) were now all ready, and limited conscription had been introduced, through the recommendation of the Committee of Imperial Defence. But it was not as if the British people had suddenly realised that the bombing would be lessened, but it the casualties and loss of homes were now more acceptable. Chamberlain knew that eventually Hitler would strike the British Isles, and he preferred to keep on the mainland of Europe. When Poland was finally invaded by the Germans, he decided that this was the best possible time to declare war. Word Count: 450 Total Word Count: 1529 ?? ?? ?? ?? DIVESH PARMAR U5S ...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. Hitlers Germany

    preceded us - decisions, of course, that can and sometimes must be reversed if they are demonstrably unworkable or harmful. Most decent Germans today have seen the need of accepting a corporate responsibility for what was done in the name of Germany by the Nazis, which does not involve collective

  2. Within the context of the period 1869-1914, to what extent was the British take-over ...

    The area had been gained, but with no cost to the taxpayer. However, this was only a very small part of African imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century, so how typical is this one example? The role of Cecil John Rhodes in the takeover can certainly not

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

    The responsibility of the League was to act as an arbitrator in disputes between nations and to provide effective collective security against any form of military aggression. There were mixed opinions towards the League. Alan Sharp had referred to the League of Nations as a "compromise agreement, which pleased none of the parties involved."

  2. To what extent did British public opinion deter British Governments from standing up to ...

    Also in march 1938 the union with Austria (Anchluss) it was fair that they should unite as Austrians wanted to be part of Germany and under national self determination this surely should be allowed. It was only in March 1939 when Germany went into Czechoslovakia without permission that Britain gave Germany an ultimatum.

  1. Did the policy of appeasement go to any great lengths toward stopping the outbreak ...

    The system of collective security, which was in part demanded by the British Public, came in the form of The League Of Nations. This was to be a system in which international disputes between nations would be settled by negotiation.

  2. "An Honourable Policy Pursued by Honourable Men"-Is This a Fair Assessment of the Policy ...

    When Chamberlain returned from Germany after his third visit, he returned with a signed agreement saying that Germany and Britain did not want to go to war with one another again. At the time, Chamberlain was seen as a hero, and in the short term, he was, as he had managed to prevent war from breaking out again.

  1. 'At Munich Hitler gained what he wanted and achieved conquest without firing a shot' ...

    Taylor illustrates reasons that suggest why Hitler was not planning for war and on several occasions uses methods to avoid conflict. 4 'If Hitler wanted war, he must give the signal himself. A surprising result followed. The dreaded day of the 12th September arrived.

  2. Explain the role of Czechoslovakia in the appeasement story.

    The key reason for this was the Wall Street Crash had created mass unemployment across the world. In Czechoslovakia this unemployment was more pronounced in the German areas. Thus the resurfacing of German nationalism began especially when the newspapers began to report about Germany's improved employment figures.

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