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How far did British policies towards Germany changed between the years 1918-35?

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Introduction

How far did British policies towards Germany changed between the years 1918-35? Britain's position in world politics changed drastically between 1918-35. They started off as the world's policeman, adopting proactive policies, however, by the 1930s, it can be argued that Britain was no longer a dominating force and only seemed to react to other countries, mainly Germany. However, even though the attitude towards policies may have changed, aims of them may not. On one hand, one interpretation states that the policies stayed relatively the same, in terms of consistently avoiding commitment, supporting the empire and working hard to main peace. However, on the other hand, the policies can be seen as different, such as the change of attitudes to the Treaty of Versailles. This essay will be focusing on what extent the policies towards Germany, in particular, changed between 1918 and 1935. Throughout the entire period, Germany was treated as an outcast to the rest of Europe, mostly because of the Treaty of Versailles which in a way condoned such behaviour, placing all blame on Germany. Although Germany regained some of its power and dignity in the late 1920s, many of the policies Britain composed stayed similar throughout the period. For example, the Dawes and Locarno Pact all revised the Treaty of Versailles and upheld the treaty as they didn't reduce reparation payments; they just increased the time span in which they could be paid back. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, even though the Anglo-German Naval allowed Germany to expand their forces, it still limited it to 35% of Britain's forces. So even though in one way, it is a change in policy towards Germany, it is similar to others as it still limited the potential. However, although there are many policies that stayed similar between the years 1918 and 1935, many were different, mostly as a result of pressure from other countries or original pressure which caused Britain to retract previous actions. The main change in policy revolved around the treaty of Versailles. The harshness of the treaty only reflected the public aim of David Lloyd George, who was accepted the treaty in line with public opinion that mostly blamed Germany for the war and believed they should be punished. However, Lloyd George thought the terms of the treaty were too harsh and didn't want to heavily penalise them, as he wished to maintain their existing trade links. Therefore, one of the changes Britain contributed to was the consistent attempts during the 1920s to revise the treaty to make it more lenient on Germany. Furthermore, Britain changed the view that Germany was the outcast during the Locarno honeymoon. Britain tried to open up Germany to the west by peacefully revising the Treaty of Versailles through negotiation. As a result, it was thought Germany would be treated as an equal, something which had not occurred throughout the 1920s, as Germany was constantly being treated as the outcast of Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, the revision of Versailles to pacify France and German could achieve all of Britain's aims, as it would maintain trade links and the peace. Although the politics were similar, it seems that the environment in which it takes place in is different. Locarno aimed to maintain peace, mainly between France and Germany, but once again maintain peace by preventing invasion to give Britain time to install domestic policies. However, as stated before, the behaviour towards other policies changed and became more reactive, and although the original aims of Britain stayed similar, they instead had to respond to Germany instead of controlled the policies to suit their own selfish needs. Therefore, in conclusion, although many of the policies were similar in terms of their outcome and aim of the British, ultimately, they did change significantly. They had to, as a result of the growing threat of the German and growing threat of bigger domestic problems. Britain was no longer in control of Europe and was no longer the 'policeman' and instead retracted the just responded to German threats. Therefore, this essay concludes that policy changed, yet the aims stayed the same, as even though Germany was now getting more of the things it desired, Britain only agreed to policies that suited them, policies that maintained or improved trade links, helped to stabilise the economy and perpetuate the peace of Europe, to either reduce money spent on armaments and increase money available to spend on domestic problems or give Britain more time to rearm in the case of the 1930s. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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