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

Why did Chamberlain follow a policy of appeasement?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Why did Chamberlain follow a policy of appeasement? There are many reasons why Chamberlain decided to follow a policy of appeasement; personal reasons, reasons on behalf of the British public and reasons due to the views of the British public. In the 1930s most people were on Chamberlain?s side, favouring appeasement, however there were a few like Winston Churchill who judged Hitler accurately and so opposed appeasement. Since 1945 historians have been split, deciding if appeasement was cowardly and stupid because it encouraged Hitler to do more and more or if it is just easy to look back in hind-sight and criticise him when Chamberlains decisions made a lot of sense at the time. Chamberlain became prime minister in 1937 so he remembered the tragedy of World War 1. This contributed greatly to his personality and his opinions, he hated wars and was horrified at the idea of another one, Chamberlain believed passionately in the importance of peace ?War wins nothing, cures nothing, ends nothing?. Your personality determines how you react to different circumstances, Chamberlain was an honest man and assumed other leaders would also be honest to him if they respected him. ...read more.


Seeing his military leaders so scared at the thought of war convinced Chamberlain that if he did go to war there was a good chance he may not win. Next is the Sleeping Superpowers, Britain could not fight Germany alone. In the First World War Britain fought Germany with France and allies in Russia, Italy and Japan and even then could only defeat Germany when the USA entered the war. If Britain had been given effective support it could have been harsher toward Germany. However the USA had an isolationist policy, it was the ?sleeping giant?, the British leaders didn?t trust the USSR communists especially after Stalin?s purges they were considered unreliable and of little use and the French did not want war either. In the late 1930s Britain and France had no powerful allies and so if it did eventually come to war they could not be sure of winning. As Britain is a democracy it meant that Chamberlain didn?t have the right to start a war as he pleased, he could not go to war without the support of his people and until 1939 most of his people wanted peace at almost any price. ...read more.


Even though Chamberlain wanted, (and even said) he believed Hitler, Chamberlain must surely have doubted that Hitler would honour his word. I do not believe Chamberlain could be so naïve as to think Hitler didn’t have an ulterior motive at their meetings. Appeasement was the smartest thing to do as it bought time, Chamberlain sacrificed his reputation to do what he believed was best for his country. He bought Britain the time she needed to rearm knowing that when war came people may think he was foolish and mean for letting Hitler take over the Sudetenland when he suspected there would be a war anyway. So Chamberlain put on an act, he said he believed Hitler as; he wanted to believe Hitler, it helped get the public on his side for when there was a war as they know Britain had done everything possible to stop it and it bought him the time Britain needed to rearm to the point where she could win the war. (I don’t know if all the British public actually did think Chamberlain was foolish etc. but my great grandparents told me that’s what they thought at the time so I wanted to add it in) ...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 Britain 1905-1951 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 Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. To what extent was appeasement justified?

    This obviously benefitted Germany and aided the preparation for war that Hitler had notably been preparing for from the start. In a nut shell it meant that Appeasement took place on a much larger scale than it would have had if something had been done sooner.

  2. To what extent was Chamberlain's acceptance of the Munich Agreement a consequence of his ...

    war at this time when Europe had nothing to do with them. Chamberlain would face a complete lack of foreign support if he were to go into a war at this time over Czechoslovakia so he accepted the Munich Agreement as he know he would have no military support from

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