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

Was it the British governments' policy of appeasement which led to war breaking out between Britain and Germany in September 1939?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was it the British governments' policy of appeasement which led to war breaking out between Britain and Germany in September 1939? There were many factors that led to the outbreak of war in 1939. There were long-term factors, such as the Treaty of Versailles as well as trigger factors such as the Nazi-Soviet pact. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was signed by sixty countries but the most important and influential countries at the agreement were France, Britain and America. The aim of the treaty was to work out what to do to punish Germany, the losers of the war. The treaty of Versailles imposed many harsh consequences on Germany. It made Germany accept the war guilt clause. This meant Germany had to accept blame for the war, which meant they had to be punished. Germany lost a lot of land, was never allowed to re-unite with Austria, and was made to pay very, very heavy fines. Obviously Germany resented this, as the war was not their fault at all.1 This created friction between Germany and Britain and France. The Treaty of Versailles has been called the "Seed bed for World War Two". Unfortunately due to Britain and France's own problems they never really truly enforced the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.

Middle

He was testing the Allies by seeing what they would do as now he was breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaty.7 This only proved to Hitler that neither Britain nor France were willing to defend the Treaty of Versailles. This view was backed up two years later when Germany re-united with Austria. The biggest weakness, as Hitler saw it, was in the Sudeten Crisis in 1938. The Sudetenland contained a population where over 50% of the people were German. After Anschluss8, Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland were the obvious choices for Hitler and his plan to revise the Treaty of Versailles and achieve "Lebensraum"9. While stirring up the Sudeten's with a speech at Nuremberg, September 1938 he said "the German's in Czech are neither defenseless, nor are they deserted" Britain and France were desperate for a peaceful solution. Chamberlain said, "How horrible, fantastic, incredible that we should be digging trenches because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing" In desperation he flew to meet Hitler on 15th September. He thought that although he was an aggressive dictator he would be a realistic and reasonable man. He agreed to give Hitler the areas where over 50% were German. ...read more.

Conclusion

The expenditure dropped from �692 million in 1919-20 to �115 million in 1921-22. Conscription was abolished in 1920. 6 Anglo-German Naval agreement, June 1935 - Allowed Germany to have a navy 35% of the British Navy. Britain signed it in a bid to keep Hitler happy but also to ensure that he wouldn't get to powerful in comparison to Britain. 7 The Locarno Treaty of 1925 guaranteed the western frontiers of Europe 8 Anschluss was when Germany and Austria became re-united. 9 Lebensraum was the drive to acquire adequate living space for all the Aryan (Blonde haired, blue eyed, German "master race") without being polluted by the "untermenschen" (the subhuman race) e.g. Jews. 10 "When the next crisis came, Hitler was even more confident that he knew his adversaries: "our enemies are small worms" he would tell his generals in August 1939. "I saw them in Munich".... The Manchester Guardian shrewdly noted, "Hitler will be able to advance again, when he chooses, with greatly increased power. - Taken from "Hitler: Nemesis" By Ian Kershaw. 11 The Molotov - Ribbentrop pact compromised of a ten year non aggression pact, promise of economic co-operation and a secret protocol for the division of Poland and Eastern Europe into two spheres of influence - Lithuania and Vilna to be German, Estonia and Latvia to be Russian. ...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?"

    Germany did try and pay reparations when she could do so. She did not refuse to pay in 1922. She simply could not produce what was needed that year and this lead to the French invasion of the Ruhr.

  2. Why did war break out in Europe in 1939

    with Stalin called The Non-Aggression Pact despite them being natural enemies with Hitler being extreme right wing and Stalin extreme left wing. The agreement stated that Germany would not attack Russia and Russia would not attack Germany. It also said that once Hitler had taken over Poland and Eastern Europe he would divide this with the USSR.

  1. World War 1 - Breaking of the Stalemate

    The first tank was used by the British in the Battle of the Somme. It was nicknamed 'Little Willie'; it could carry 3 men in cramped conditions, and travel at 2 mph on the rough terrain of the battlefield.

  2. How significant was the Night of the Long Knives in enabling Hitler to consolidate ...

    Although Hitler initially decided to pardon Roehm because of his past services to the Party, after pressure from Goering and Himmler (who wanted to get rid of a rival for power)

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

    Early in May 1921, the Reparations Commission announced that the total indemnity at 6,600 million pounds. In 1923, when Germany defaulted on her reparations payment and asked for a moratorium, France dispatched a force to occupy the Ruhr, which contained 80-90% of Germany's coal, iron, and steel industries.

  2. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    the view that it's an "accident" was too fatalistic. Instead, - lack of statesmanship should be stressed. - the background factors were certainly important behind the diplomatic and military calculation. N.B. The decisions made were seldom accidental, but conditioned by specific historical environment.

  1. Was the Policy of Appeasement correct?

    Germany would become communist and slowly communism is spreading westwards. Moreover, an alliance system would have been vaguely formed with democracy (UK and France) against communism (Germany and Russia). This is would increase the tension between the countries and as this was a major factor of WWI, the British were clearly trying to avoid this.

  2. Describe The Nazi-Soviet pact. Explain why relations between Britain and Germany changed in ...

    The Pact meant that not only had Germany broken yet another term of the treaty, but Britain could no longer rely on the USSR for military support in the war. Thus the Pact caused a breakdown in relations between Britain and Germany in 1939.

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