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Overview of Appeasement and Hitler's Foreign Policy (Causes of World War II)

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Overview of Appeasement and Hitler's Foreign Policy (Causes of World War II) On the whole, Hitler's aggressive foreign policy coupled with Britain and France's appeasement tactics resulted in the Second World War. However, it should be noted that Britain and France cannot be blamed for truly causing the war, both powers just did not stop the true cause for war - Hitler. Hitler's ambitions were always to dominate the globe, and he was always preparing Germany for war, whenever that would be. Hitler was successful in inciting war, through aggressive foreign policy that also exploited Britain and France's appeasement. Britain and France can be blamed in part for causing the war, since they caused Hitler to gain much needed confidence time and time again, but the direct cause would be Hitler's actions. Historian P. M. H. Bell defends such an argument, claiming that World War II was "Hitler's War," yet the causation of the war can still be attributed (to an extent) to appeasement. Orthodox views, such as Bell's, are also held by Keegan, Gilbert, and Wint/Calvoressi. ...read more.


Hitler's aim in passing the agreement was for a broader agreement with Britain. It boggles the mind that Britain should allow Germany to break both the Stresa Front and alter the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, such appeasement did not work. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement is a clear example of Britain's unreliability and selfish theory of "splendid isolationism." Following the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was another one of Hitler's many famous exploits - the Remilitarization of the Rhineland. The demilitarized Rhineland belonged to Germany, but the Treaty of Versailles did not allow Germany to occupy the area with any military units, for France's security's sake. In face of terms, Hitler nonetheless marched 20,000 German troops into the area, or according to the British, merely walked into it's own back-garden - another example of "splendid isolationism." France did not intervene since it was already in as much trouble as it could possibly handle already, due to losses from the First World War. For Hitler, the remilitarization gave him much confidence, which proved vital in pursuing later actions. ...read more.


But after obtaining the Sudetenland, Hitler was left disappointed since he did not annex all of Czechoslovakia. And so, Hitler began to systematically annex piece by piece, Czechoslovakia. After witnessing this, however, Britain decided to defend Poland when it was to be annexed. Unfortunately, foreign intervention proved to be too little, too late, as the saying goes. It should also be noted that Hitler signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact, to avoid a two-front war, such as that in the First World War. This exhibits Hitler's flexibility in his foreign policy in attaining his goal. Obviously, the driving force behind the Second World War was Hitler, not Britain or France. Britain and France merely hung by the wayside, clinging to a policy of appeasement to avoid war. Unfortunately, for Jews particularly, Hitler's aggressive foreign policy took advantage of such inertness. At first unsure, but all the while determined, Hitler persevered and overcome his initial doubts, resulting in events such as the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, and the massive growth of the German military in the face of the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.

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