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

Examine the main factors which led British Governments to follow a policy of 'appeasement' in the period 1931-38

Extracts from this document...


Examine the main factors which led British Governments to follow a policy of 'appeasement' in the period 1931-38 Appeasement was the foreign policy of Britain adopted during the 1930s. It was the policy of Britain to negotiate with the dictators, and grant concessions in order to avoid war. Appeasement was followed by successive governments from Baldwin and Macdonald to Chamberlain. Appeasement prevailed in the period 1931-39 as the foreign policy of Britain because it had so few critics and aroused public support. The horrors of the First World War were still a bitter personal memory for many and British citizens feared the threat of bombing, which became even stronger from 1936 onwards, following the German bombing of the defenceless population of the Spanish town of Guernica, during the Spanish Civil War. This attack had left 1,600 men, women and children dead and sent shock waves around the world. In 1933 at the Oxford Union Debate it was declared that it would not fight for King and Country if called upon. Again, in the Peace Pledge Union Ballot in 1935, 92.35% of those who voted favoured universal disarmament by international decision. Many also believed that Germany had been harshly treated at Versailles. ...read more.


This was a real problem when the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931. The depression in 1930 led to instability in the world's markets. Trade collapsed as countries put up trade barriers. Countries turned to a more nationalist approach, in particular Japan, Italy and Germany. They looked towards other counties to get their resources, both Italy and Germany needed oil, and Japan needed many raw materials. Because Japan needed these raw materials, and trade between them and America was banned, the Japanese Army-based dictatorship looked towards Manchuria for these resources and the Chinese were too weak to resist the following attack. Japan annexed Manchuria, and when China protested to the League of Nations, a commission was sent to find out what was going on there. However, because the commission had to travel by boat, it took almost a year for them to return their report. Japan simply left the League, and in 1937, they invaded the rest of China. The attack by Japan proved to the rest of the world, particularly Hitler and Mussolini that the League was not powerful enough to deal with major countries. The dictators saw that the League preferred to follow a policy of appeasement, rather than using force to apply sanctions. ...read more.


It permitted Hitler to rearm from 1933, re-militarise the Rhineland in 1936 and achieve the Anschluss in 1938. Britain considered these acts justifiable. Faced with Hitler's demands, that Germany should acquire the outer border of Czechoslovakia in which 3,500,000 of the inhabitants spoke German, Chamberlain went several times to meet Hitler, the last on September 30, 1938, when he and the French prime minister flew to Munich. From there Chamberlain returned waving his notorious piece of paper, declaring that he had secured "peace in our time". This treaty is known as the Munich Pact. It secured the acceptance by Great Britain and France of the demand by Hitler that the Sudetenland, was to be given to Germany, which it bordered. However within six months of the signing the Munich Pact, the German army was in Prague and Czechoslovakia had ceased to exist as German troops marched into claim Czechoslovakia and subsequently made most of the country a German city state, therefore reversing the Munich Pact and arousing British suspicions of Hitler's dishonesty. For many Western nations the Munich Pact became the symbol of appeasement. In many ways Chamberlain was the most honourable of the appeasers, naive but not lacking courage. His views would not have prevailed if they had not had the support of the vast majority of the politically powerful and had not caught the public mood. Ramesh Kanesan - UVC ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    They considered the Treaty to be much too harsh and unfair and they did not even believe that they should have lost in the first place. Germany, however, was not greatly angered with having to sign the Treaty of Versailles because they had expected it to be based on Woodrow Wilson´┐Żs fourteen-point plan.

  2. To what extent was appeasement the correct policy during the 1930s?

    An example of Germany's expansion in the 1930s was the Anschluss with Austria in March 1938. Although the Treaty of Versailles had expressly forbidden the reunion of Austria with Germany, Hitler was appeased when Germany, once again, allied with Austria.

  1. Was the Policy of Appeasement correct?

    and give him the confidence that he could violate the Treaty of Versailles as much as he wanted. The rearmament of Deutschland was one of Hitler's tests. He wanted to see what the British would do; he wanted to see whether he could get away with breaking the treaty.

  2. German Foreign Policy - To what extent was the German Foreign Policy responsible ...

    For example the West Africa Act, 1885 was signed to divide up Africa into separate spheres of influence amongst European nations. The main reasons at that time why Britain wanted to maintain the splendid isolation policy was because Britain's main interests in the world were outside Europe and its major European interest was maintaining the 'balance of power'.


    with the decree...he is to lose his civic rights, and his property is to be confiscated and a tenth given to [Athene]'. Although this change of currency made trade easier, it is symbolic of the allies continuing loss of freedom.

  2. War led to totalitarianism, and totalitarianism in turn led to war. Comment on the ...

    The most serious problem next to the nationalist discontent in Germany was de facto economic. The economic chaos was primarily resulted from the Treaty of Versailles. The transfer to France of Alsace-Lorraine, the temporary loss of the highly industrialized Saar district and the ceding to Poland of Upper Silesia with its coal mines, dealt a severe blow to German economy.

  1. The Congress of Vienna

    - They were encouraged by the success of French Revolution and Russia (but Russia didn't take any military actions). - Finally they decided to fight against Turkey. - In 1821, they started a revolution in Moldavia. - However, Russia and other countries (Austria and Prussia)

  2. In what ways and with what success did successive British Governments seek to promote ...

    Another aim of the negotiations was to try and establish harmony throughout Europe. Lloyd George feared that if Russia was treated as an outcast she might ally with Germany. Such an alliance might well threaten Europe's peace and stability. In March 1921 the Anglo-Soviet trade agreement was signed under which both sides agreed to refrain form hostile propaganda.

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