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Chamberlain's policy towards Germany was the best that Britain could do in the circumstances.

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Introduction

Chamberlain's policy towards Germany was the best that Britain could do in the circumstances Appeasement is the term used to describe the foreign policies of the British Conservative governments of Baldwin (1935-37) and Chamberlain (1937-40) and also those of France and America to a lesser extent. Appeasement involved making concessions to the two main dictators of Europe; Hitler and Mussolini. Hitler broke many of the stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles, yet nothing active was done, there was only spoken denunciation of his actions. Hitler stopped paying reparations in 1933. Hitler began to openly rearm in 1935. Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland on 7 March 1936. He united with Austria in 1938 and in the same year, he took over the Sudetenland, part of Czechoslovakia. This was justified in that 3.25 million Germans lived there and at the Paris Peace Conference, there had been a principle of national self-determination, but it had not been applied to Germans. Furthermore, Britain had been led to believe (through Nazi propaganda) ...read more.

Middle

Weak defences, he believed, would not matter if Britain avoided war. Public opinion also supported appeasement and there was a mood of pacifism. Chamberlain, as an elected representative, was doing his job by representing the views of his people when considering foreign affairs. Secondly, Chamberlain held a good view of Hitler and Germany. Chamberlain felt that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh and took a favourable view of Hitler's complaints about how unfair the treaty had been to Germany. He believed that if Germany's complaints were dealt with fairly then Europe could look forward to a long period of peace. Chamberlain also thought that Hitler was a reasonable man and admired him for his economic successes and achievement of stability - Hitler had managed to solve Germany's unemployment problem, which Britain could not do. Chamberlain thought that Hitler would be satisfied once he got his position back in Europe and Hitler's fascism was seen as preferable to Stalin's communism. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hitler obviously didn't take the agreement seriously, as he commented to one of his generals afterwards, but managed to convince Chamberlain that he did. Even if appeasement was justifiable up to the point where Hitler took Czechoslovakia, it was definitely not justifiable and aggressive when Hitler took the rest of Western Czechoslovakia. Sure enough, Britain and France officially ended the policy of appeasement in March 1939. They did not, however, step in to help Czechoslovakia when she was threatened, although they had signed an agreement with her. They only began rapid rearmament and gave a guarantee to Poland. Even after this period of appeasement ended, Britain's policy was still lacking. Their guarantee to Poland was worthless unless they were allied with Stalin who could give them access. For this reason, they should have spent the summer of 1939 making a pact with him. As they distrusted him so much, an agreement was not found and instead, Hitler gained Russian as an ally. ...read more.

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