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

Was Chamberlain's policy of appeasement the best policy to deal with Hitler in 1938?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was Chamberlain's policy of appeasement the best policy to deal with Hitler in 1938? By Richard Ward wattsvilleblues@hotmail.com International concern for sustained peace grew proportionally to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. After being elected Chancellor in 1933 and declaring himself F�hrer in 1934, Hitler continued to rebuild Germany by rearming in 1935 and retaking the Rhineland in 1936. It was clear to most that he was a man with ambitions for both himself and for Germany, but it was not clear exactly what he wanted. He had written his aims down eight years previous to his election, but his comments in 'Mein Kampf' ('My Struggle') were either not taken at face value or ignored. After retaking the Rhineland in 1936 and uniting Germany with Austria to form Gro�deutschland in the Anschluss of 1938, Hitler began to make demands that were not so anticipated. He demanded that the mountainous Sudetenland be made part of Germany, on the grounds that the population was predominantly German. To most (Czechs excluded), this was seen as entirely reasonable and was granted at the Munich Conference of September 1938. The conditions set were that Hitler would not invade Czechoslovakia and instead work with Chamberlain's Britain and Daladier's France towards international peace. ...read more.

Middle

In the Pacific, Japan poised dangerously near to Australia and New Zealand. Withdrawing military support from these areas would almost certainly prove disastrous. Fifthly, it wasn't clear until Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 quite what Hitler's aims were. He appeared as two; one Hitler discussing fishing amiably with Chamberlain trying earnestly to restore Germany to its pre-1914 status, and a second Hitler declaring the Slavic nations as an oxygen-wasting rabble. Sixthly, any alliance with Stalin in Russia was unlikely due to Chamberlain's intense dislike of Communism. Stalin was more murderous than Hitler, a fact overlooked by the British public favouring perversely the greater of two evils. Added to all this, there naturally was little alternative presented by Chamberlain's National Government to appeasement. In hindsight, though, an alternative was presented by R.A.C. Parker, Oxbridge historian. He suggests that Chamberlain could have offered France an alliance, supported by a B.E.F. presence on the border. In return for this, France would change their military stance from defensive to offensive. France had had cause to enter the Rhineland since 1936, when it was remilitarized. They did not cross the Rhine for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was the overwhelming French desire to not repeat the events of 1914-18. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would have surely been disastrous for Britain to have entered into a conflict for which it was not prepared. The population was also not going to volunteer itself either for the effects of inflation or the burden of increased taxes. Singularly, Chamberlain can be defended on the grounds that his hesitation and half-measures actually saved Britain from a war it would never have won if started in March 1939. From the 1960s, the informed judgement of Chamberlain has been more appreciative of the constraints under which he was operating. The country remembered just how much they lauded Chamberlain and his meaningless (although they were not to know this at the time) little piece of paper. If Chamberlain had entered into war at the first sign of German aggression, he would have been cast in the same light as Winston Churchill, then a warmongering political renegade. Chamberlain was also bound by the inability to mount an effective B.E.F. representation on the continent. Britain had disarmed post-1918 (made popular by public opinion and the League of Nations) and had a small army backed up by a strong, yet overstretched navy. The Royal Navy was responsible for the defence of the British Empire, and so was represented in part over most of the world. The policy of appeasement, as applied by Neville Chamberlain was the best policy to deal with the politically ambiguous Hitler in 1938. ...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. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    Stalin's party structure was also described as "feudal anarchy," but his anarchy appeared deliberate. He intentionally wanted to destabilise the state structure in order to secure his power. Stalin wanted to eliminate all elements of party-state dualism.17It is known that he was a paranoid person who was constantly conscience of the possibility of those below him challenging his power.

  2. How far were the policies of Chamberlain in facing the challenges from Nazi Germany ...

    It is clear from this that Chamberlain did not believe that war with Germany over Czechoslovakia would be justified. He did not like the Czechs. Indeed, Henderson wrote from Berlin that 'the Czechs are a pig-headed race and Ben�s not the least pig-headed among them'.

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

    into the collectivisation of farming The link with industry Industrial development would be possible only if it was supported by an increase in agricultural productivity. Industrialisation would lead to an increase in population of towns and cities, a population that would need to be fed by an increase in food supply.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    Almost 1 00 men were killed and over a thousand wounded in one month's battles in Prussia alone. The Nazis again stressed the inability of the government to maintain law and order. On July 31, 1932, the Nazis won their most impressive victory to date.

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

    Concluding that the policy was pointless as it only prolonged the inevitable. In order to make an informed conclusion to whether or not appeasement was the correct policy to pursue, it is essential to look at the events and debates leading up to the out-break of world war 2.

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

    Concluding that the policy was pointless as it only prolonged the inevitable. In order to make an informed conclusion to whether or not appeasement was the correct policy to pursue, it is essential to look at the events and debates leading up to the out-break of world war 2.

  1. Why Did the British Mass Media support the appeasement of Hitler in the years ...

    Many felt that Britain was simply not ready for another war, economically she was struggling through depression in the early 1930s and at that stage simply could not afford to rearm. It was also during this period that the Empire was at its most troublesome with uprisings occurring in the

  2. Even after the German occupation of Prague in March 1939, Neville Chamberlain was reluctant ...

    Chamberlain had significant cause to hold this view; as a result of the fact that at the Nuremburg Rally in September 1938, Hitler himself had demanded self-determination of Germans living within the Sudetenland, which was a factor that had driven much of the 1919 peace settlements.

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