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How accurate is it to state that the policy of ‘Appeasement’ caused the collapse of International order in 1939?

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Introduction

How Accurate is it to State that the Policy of 'Appeasement' Caused the Collapse of International Order in 1939? Appeasement was a policy adopted by Britain and France in the 1930s to try and satisfy Hitler's demands. One could argue that appeasement could not have caused World War II because the Treaty of Versailles signed in 1919 was a contribution among other things. It contained article 231,the War Guilt Clause, which made Germany accept responsibility for World War I. Germans felt extremely angry and resentful about this, and wanted revenge. It effectively isolated Germany from the rest of the world as they wanted nothing to do with Germany. The treaty meant that Germany found it hard to build up its economy again as a result of colonies and land taken away, reparations of �6.6 billion and severe military reductions. ...read more.

Middle

Germany was already struggling out of hyperinflation as a result of the invasion of the Ruhr in 1923, and it was now in even deeper trouble. The Dawes Plan of 1924 meant that if America fell into financial difficulty, it would have to call back its loans from Germany. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929 every country started to use protectionism to protect their own economy. This meant less co-operation between countries. Depression also caused Hitler to come to power. Fascism, a policy of dictatorship used by Mussolini, encouraged Hitler to carry out his plans for more "Lebensraum", as he was closely watching as Italy invaded Abyssinia and ignored the supposedly powerful League. Soon, the aggressors became close allies who sympathised with each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

Appeasement enabled Germany and Russia to build up relations; they signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Russia had previously offered a pact with Britain and France. Britain and France also lost two of their allies (Romania and Yugoslavia) to appeasement. When Hitler took the Sudetenland it led him to think that Britain and France wouldn't act to protect other countries. Hitler said: "I've seen the British at Munich- they are little worms." Daladier, the new French Prime Minister, was not keen on keeping the promise made in the Locarno Pact of protecting Poland and Czechoslovakia if they were attacked. I think that Appeasement was not solely to blame for the collapse of international order. The depression, failure of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles were major contributers to the collapse. But I also think that if Hitler was stopped when he invaded the Rhineland he would have been much more cautious about going any further with invasions. ...read more.

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