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Arguments For and Against Appeasment

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Introduction

´╗┐Appeasement can be described as giving a bully what he wants. During the 1930's Britain and France let Hitler have whatever they considered necessary to preserve peace in Europe. They believed that Hitler had certain aims and that once he had achieved these he would be satisfied. So they allowed him to re-arm, invade the Rhineland (1936), complete the Anschluss of Austria (1938) followed by the Sudetenland. Appeasement assumed Hitler would keep his side of the bargain. During the 1930's there were a number of arguments justifying appeasement. Many people sympathised with Hitler's claims and accepted that the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh and that Germany should have been treated more fairly. So they did not object too much when Hitler built up his armed forces, increased his navy and moved his troops into the Rhineland. ...read more.

Middle

They could not decide whether Soviet Communism or Germany was the greater threat. Another justification for appeasement was that realistically, neither France or Britain could protect Czechoslovakia and Poland from attack as they were too far away and they also felt that perhaps it was not altogether their business to interfere. Perhaps the strongest argument to justify the policy of appeasement is that Britain was not in a position to fight. At the time of the Munich Agreement, they were not ready for war. By giving into Hitler's demands, the war was postponed by a year and when war was finally declared, Britain had made just enough preparations to survive. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of strong arguments against appeasement. ...read more.

Conclusion

By following the policy of appeasement, both Britain and France missed a number of opportunities to resist Hitler and stand up to him. In 1936, Hitler admitted that he would have withdrawn from the Rhineland immediately had any resistance been shown. If France had responded to the re-armament then Hitler would have retreated and been made to look weak and perhaps destabilise his position in Germany. At Munich, Czechoslovakia, a country which could have put up a significant resistance to a German invasion, was abandoned by France and Britain. There are a number of strong arguments justifying appeasement and I appreciate why the politicians of the time pursued this policy. However, the policy failed and Hitler used this time to strengthen his forces, expand his boundaries and when war was finally declared Germany was in a stronger position than either Britain or France. ...read more.

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