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

Why did Britain pursue a policy of appeasement in the early 1930's?

Extracts from this document...


Z�e Terry 13 TFI Why did Britain pursue a policy of appeasement in the early 1930's? 1918 marked the end of WW1, 'the war to end all wars', which had had a profound effect on British society. Public opinion at the time was focused on providing 'home fit for heroes' and working at improving Britain's domestic policy as opposed to continuing on a destructive war cycle. From the 1920's through to the 1930's, Britain followed a policy of appeasement - which basically meant to give other countries what they wanted in a diplomatic attempt to avoid further war. The Treaty of Versailles focused on 6 main issues; Disarmament, Colonies, Reparations, War Guilt, Land in Europe and the League of Nations. Claus 231 of the Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany would have to take full responsibility for the war, and would suffer accordingly for what she had done. Germany was expected to pay reparations of �6,600 million in goods or gold to the allies for the damages and loss made during the war. ...read more.


Throughout the 1920's and 1930's Britain focused a lot of attention on its Empire in order to raise its reputation and status, even though the growing spread of nationalism throughout Europe meant that countries belonging to the empire were beginning to break away. There was great hostility in Britain around this time due to the growth of communism. Communism, which aimed to destroy capitalist businesses, was feared more than fascism in Britain's industrial network and hence public opinion supported the views of Hitler and Mussolini at the time as they posed a strong stand against the policy. However, Britain was reluctant to offer military support to European conflict. Britain was even reluctant to offer military support to her strongest war-time ally - France. Without the pledge of support from the British, France engaged on a strong policy of defence, and took matters into her own hands on several occasions, which didn't always leave Britain in the best position as she would have to step in, in order to avoid possible conflict. ...read more.


Appeasement was not the only policy that Britain could have followed. Appeasement grew due to domestic and economic difficulties faced by Britain at the time as well as the reluctance to face another devastating world war. The logic behind appeasement was quite simple. Britain could not afford to go to war; she were already in large amounts of debt, the military was not strong enough, domestic issues were rising at home and the Empire had been weakened and so to accommodate the Nazi's in Germany as opposed to risking a second world war seemed quite reasonable. Britain in the 1930's realised the strength of Germany and did have to consider then finally begin rearming but even so, Britain maintained a policy of appeasement in an attempt to solve German grievances concerning mainly the Treaty of Versailles by peaceful negotiation. Appeasement seemed the only logical and peaceful way of preventing what now appears to have been an inevitable war. Without Britain following a policy of appeasement I think it is fair enough to say that war would have surely broken out before 1939 and would have produced even further devastating effects on Europe. ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * In November 1958 he demanded that the three western powers should leave West Berlin. The West refused and called for talks on the reunification of East and West Germany (in fact at the Rome Olympics in 1960 there was a united German team, but nothing more).

  2. Why Did The League of Nations Fail To Keep Peace In The 1930s?

    In 1934 Italy decided to test the power of the League of Nations itself. It set its sights on Abyssinia a small un-developed country that was independent. It bordered Italy's colonies on two sides and Mussolini thought that it was "up for grabs".

  1. How Successful Was the League in The 1920's and 1930's? The League of ...

    If in the case of an outbreak of war, the League would need to take troops from the countries in the League. The country that was closest to the scene of the conflict would be sent in, and due to Britain's overwhelming Empire that spanned the entire globe; they were called upon the most to fight.

  2. Why did Britain and France pursue a policy of appeasement? Was it successful?

    This would be likely to succeed without British troops to stop them. Therefore the first priority of both Britain and France was to protect their empires. Originally the policy of appeasement seemed like the sensible thing to follow, as various events showed Britain and France that going to war would be completely irrational.

  1. Assess the view that Chamberlain's main aim in following a policy of appeasement in ...

    In 1928 all men and women in Britain over 21 had the right to vote this meant that for a political party to stay or gain power they would need to be acting in the public interest.

  2. Assess to what degree war was inevitable in France at the end of the ...

    of the 1930s a country with instability and difficulties; although the shortage of men after the massacres of the First World War 'La Grande Guerre' and the influenza epidemic of 1919 did enhance the harsh situation. Other factors contributing to the downfall was that France was still a largely agricultural


    SOURCE C From what I have seen of our Russian friends and allies during the war, I am sure that there is nothing they admire more than strength. They have no respect for countries, which show themselves to be weak.

  2. To what extent was appeasement the most appropriate policy for the 1930's?

    The Manchurian Crisis provided a test of worth for the League, but it proved weak and eventually died after Abyssinia in 1935. The break down of the League of Nations showed how difficult aggression was to control.

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