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Was the policy of appeasement the most important reason for the outbreak of the Second World War? Explain your answer.

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Introduction

Page 71 Question 2(d) Was the policy of appeasement the most important reason for the outbreak of the Second World War? Explain your answer. (10 marks) The outbreak of the Second World War had many causes, one of which was the policy of appeasement which was one of the most important causes. The policy of appeasement, between 1936 - 1939 was the policy of giving in to Hitler's demands to prevent another conflict. This was a one of the major causes of the Second World War as Britain and France could have stopped Hitler much earlier on, for example the invasion of the Sudetenland, but instead they allowed Hitler to take what he wanted in 1938 when the Sudetenland was handed to him. This policy of giving in to Hitler's demands to avoid another conflict allowed Hitler to keep demanding for more land to expand the German empire. He gained much for Germany, an example of his never ending demands was the invasion of the whole of Czechoslovakia, in March 1939, after he had been appeased and had been given the Sudetenland. ...read more.

Middle

They believed that they were not the only country who started the war yet Britain and France had imposed Article 231, the war guilt clause, upon them. This war guilt clause in the Treaty of Versailles meant that Britain and France could demand war reparations from Germany and these were very high (�6600 million) and future generations would still have to pay and suffer for a war they had never witnessed. Some Germans did not even believe that they had lost the war, expecting peace negotiations instead of the imposed "diktat". So many Germans grew to resent the Treaty of Versailles and were seeking revenge in another war, this is why many Germans supported Hitler as he promised to abolish the hated treaty. Ofcourse, if Hitler had not come to power in 1933 there would not have been a war as there would not have been an expansion of the German empire and so nothing would have triggered Britain and France declaring war on Germany. Hitler also came to power as Germany was suffering heavily from the Great Depression. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in May 1936 the League lost its reputation and role as a peace keeping body. However, the main cause of the Second World War was not the policy of appeasement but the German nationalist resentment towards the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was seen to be very harsh to most Germans and some desired revenge. Hitler promised to abolish this harsh "diktat" and so most Germans gave their support to him in 1933 and when he came to power he expanded the German empire too far which provoked Britain and France declaring war on Germany. If the Treaty of Versailles was less harsh then the Germans may not have sort revenge or if the treaty was even more harsh (which Clemenceau had wanted) then the Germans would not have the military power and resources to fight back. However, the compromise that satisfied no one meant that the German people were angered yet they had the resources to start another conflict which was to be the Second World War. 27/2/04 History Homework Ian Tam 4PL ...read more.

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