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History GCSE Sources Coursework – The Munich Agreement

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Introduction

History GCSE Sources Coursework - The Munich Agreement By R.E. Warden 1) What can you learn from source A about Chamberlain's policy towards Germany? (4) Source A tells me that Chamberlain did not want to go to war with Germany because he thought Germany was a power to be reckoned with, especially since she had Italy's support. He feared that if it came to war Italy could take advantage of its position in the Mediterranean to attack British territory there (such as Gibraltar) and more importantly stop British shipping to and from her empire, which was very important to Britain. It also shows that Chamberlain thought that if it came to war, Hitler could hurt France where she was weakest. Because the source is an unofficial, private document it can accurately show us Chamberlain's opinion, and though it gives us a good idea of his intent, it does not properly show us his official policy. The source shows that Chamberlain did not think Britain's armaments were strong enough to stand against Germany's, and that therefore they must buy time to build up arms, just in case. It also tells me that Chamberlain felt that the dictators could still be reasoned with and were not devoid of any honour or reasonableness, and that he still held some hope of coming to an agreement to suit everybody. He thought that if he appeased Hitler and Mussolini by helping to fix their grievances, they would be happy and the peace of Europe would be assured. 2) Study A and B. In what ways does source B add to your understanding of Chamberlain's foreign policy? ...read more.

Middle

However, source G shows us that Hitler was not to be trusted and as soon as Chamberlain had got Czechoslovakia and France to agree, he changed his demands to more unreasonable ones, which Hitler hoped would ultimately insure the disintegration of Czechoslovakia, by taking large amounts of land from her. These demands were completely unreasonable, even for the peacemaker Chamberlain, and only when Britain and France threatened to go to war did Hitler reduce his demands a little, although his demands mentioned in source G are so unreasonable it could almost be said he was deliberately aiming high so when he was forced to compromise he would get the better deal. Source H shows that Hitler could feel confident about making these demands as Chamberlain was still set upon peace despite all he had seen Hitler capable of. Chamberlain makes clear in this speech that he thinks all Hitler is after is Czechoslovakia and that Britain will not go to war just to protect one small country. ii) Relations between Britain and Czechoslovakia in September 1938? (6) When Hitler made his first demands of Chamberlain, Chamberlain agreed and then informed Czechoslovakia (source E), even though it would severely weaken Czechoslovakia (a state that Britain had helped to set up). Britain and France practically forced her to agree to Hitler's demands, going so far as to refuse to support her if she did not. The Czechoslovak government was not even consulted in the future of its own country, which as source F shows was hurtful to the Czechs. ...read more.

Conclusion

As source B shows, Chamberlain was not willing to take the risk of going to war in 1938 just to protect one small country. Source A shows us that as early as January 1938 Chamberlain was thinking about building up British armaments. I think that the lack of war in1938 was due to Chamberlain although I would not call it courage. He made the agreement because he was convinced that the British public wanted peace more than anything (source J shows that at least some of them did). He was afraid of what another war would do to Britain if she were not ready, especially since the Spanish civil war in which the German Condor Legion decimated the Basque town of Guernica. Chamberlain was excessively afraid of German air strength as he was unfamiliar with the effects of bombing and feared that London could become another Guernica, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. It was thought that the entire German Luftwaffe would head for Britain as soon as war broke out and people greatly overestimated its size and strength. However optimistic Chamberlain chose to be, he must have known that if Britain continued to get involved in Europe's affairs then sooner or later she would have to fight Germany. Although war was avoided in 1938 it was not avoided altogether and if anything it convinced Hitler that Britain was soft and irresolute and would do nothing by force to stop his further conquest of Europe. This meant that he persevered in his plans to expand Germany without worrying about Britain. Total number of words: 2696 Rachel E. Warden History Coursework: Munich ...read more.

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