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

Was appeasement Justified? What was "appeasement"?

Extracts from this document...


Assignment 2 - Historical Interpretations WAS APPEASEMENT JUSTIFIED? What was "appeasement"? The definition of appeasement is a policy, which is made to keep peace. However, there are many different definitions. Before the Second World War appeasement was a term which meant 'a way of keeping peace by soothing, quieting and calming. Yet, postwar dictionaries added new meanings to the word. Appeasement came to mean 'gaining peace by buying off other countries' and 'the giving up of principles to avoid war'. This change in views resulted from Neville Chamberlain's act of appeasement and ultimately his failure to keep the peace. The policy of appeasement began when many Germans believed that Germany's position in the Treaty of Versailles was unfair. Adolph Hitler shared this view; he also believed that many other countries thought the Treaty was unfair on Germany. Hitler began to secretly rearm Germany in 1933 and by 1935 felt confident enough to announce that conscription (compulsory military service) was to be reintroduced. This obvious attack on the Treaty of Versailles left the leaders of Britain, France and Italy feeling suspicious of Germany. ...read more.


Therefore the historian's different views on appeasement can be categorized into four time periods. The first of these periods is during the policy of appeasement. Source F1 shows the first Lord of the Admiralty blaming the policy of appeasement for the start of the war. He mentions how Neville Chamberlain's views were never even mentioned in the meeting with Hitler. He says how Hitler did not seem to yield on any point that he put forward. Source H2 is Lord Halifax's view of appeasement. Unlike the Lord of the Admiralty, Halifax defends Neville Chamberlain and says that he done the best that he could and he believed that Chamberlain had done all he possibly could to spare Europe the ordeal of war. However, he still blames Chamberlain for raising the hopes of the public by using phrases such as 'peace for our time'. The second time period is the post war period; this is where Neville Chamberlain was directly blamed for the outbreak of the war. However, this theory assumes that Britain still had the power to take on Hitler. ...read more.


Source O5 tells us how the British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Neville Henderson, was so sympathetic to Hitler and that he was commonly known as 'our Nazi Ambassador on Berlin'. This view shows that during this period the historians had more hindsight and also acted more rationally, their view on appeasement therefore was more revised and not emotionally fuelled. More recent sources seem to hold Neville Chamberlain less responsible. Sources A6 and B7 both defend Chamberlain. Source A argues that Neville Chamberlain was not a pacifist; he argues that no one linked the rearmament of Germany with Hitler's ambitions. He also states that Chamberlain believed that the British rearmament would make a point to all dictators that the alternative to negotiation was unthinkable. Source B tells us how popular the Munich agreement was to the British public> 1 First Lord of Admiralty, diary entry (17th September 1938) 2 Lord Halifax, in his memoirs Fullness of days, (September 1938) 3 Winston Churchill, speech in the house of commons, (22nd February, 1938) 4 A.J.P. Taylor, Origins of the Second World War, (1961 5 W.R.Rock, British appeasement in the 1930's, (1977) 6 A.J.Beattie, An argument for Chamberlain not being a pacifist. 7 Advice for Conscientious Objectors: document found on the Internet. Richard Price 11B ...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 Germany 1918-1939 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 Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Was Appeasement A Mistake?

    that for the time being Britain should not do anything until she was ready for war.

  2. To What Extent was British Appeasement to Germany in the Interwar Period Justified?

    This particular topic has two opposing viewpoints. The pro-appeasement stance is reflected in Hitler, Appeasement and the Road to War by Graham Darby. Britain had been devastated by the Great War of 1914-18 in terms of loss of life and the economy. Over �7 billion in debt had accumulated; export markets were lost and traditional industries such as textiles declined.

  1. How did Appeasement lead to the outbreak of the Second World War ? The ...

    The last thing Britain would have wanted at that time especially after the "Great Depression" was a suppressing German victory. Chamberlain remarked "the war is a fearful thing, why should we be trying on gas masks for a war so far away" obviously Chamberlain thought that there was no need

  2. To what extent can it be argued that appeasement was the cause of the ...

    Francisco Franco assumed the leader of the revolt. Leon Blum was sympathetic towards the republican government, but was fearful of a right wing backlash. Blum therefore suggested a policy of non-intervention by all European powers be promoted. Consequently the British government were enthusiastic of this policy.

  1. Why did Britain and France pursue a policy of appeasement? Was it successful?

    It is clear that Chamberlain, as a former businessman and firm believer in peace, felt strongly that Hitler was a man with whom he could do business. His personal relationship with Hitler was largely one of trust. Until the remainder of Czechoslovakia was invaded in 1939 all Hitler had done seemed reasonable.

  2. Was appeasement a mistake?

    So seeing that he was a threat to Europe made him very happy and that he knew that he didn't care what he destroyed, as long as he destroyed it. The weaknesses were mostly about Hitler. He couldn't be trusted to keep his promises.

  1. British Policy of Appeasement May 1937 - March 1939.

    Such a step Graf Schlieffen desired, if possible, to avoid. He wished to leave sufficient time so that, in one way or another, the German statesmen would be able to evade the reproach of the violation of Belgian neutrality. 'Th at Liege would always be captured sufficiently soon after the

  2. what were the roots of the british policy of appeasement?

    This essay will look at the roots of the British policy of appeasement and also give a conclusion of whether or not appeasement was the right/realistic policy for Britain. There were many key events which took place in the build up to World War 2 and the policy of appeasement.

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