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Why did Chamberlain follow a policy of appeasement?

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´╗┐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.

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