How fair is Louise Shaw's Interpretation on Chamberlain? The interpretation revolves around the idea that a pact between Britain and the Soviet Union could have been a turning point in stopping or discouraging Hitler

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Many different interpretations were given throughout modern history on Chaimberlain’s policy of appeasement between 1937 - 1938 where Nazi Germany’s expansionist ideologies were allowed. Interpretation A expresses an Academic counter-revisionist view point. As the policy of appeasement failed to prevent war, those who advocated it were quickly criticised. The public opinion was strongly opposed to war, anything was to be done so that the outcome and losses suffered in World War One were not reproduced. This piece of writing will attempt to determine how fair Interpretation A is on former prime minister Neville Chamberlain.

Interpretation A is a an extract from the writing of British historian Louise Shaw written in 1987. The interpretation revolves around the idea that a pact between Britain and the Soviet Union could have been a turning point in stopping or ‘discouraging’ Hitler’s expansionist ideologies, however, Chaimberlain’s fear of communism (‘anti-Bolshevik prejudice’) made sure that such an alliance was not formed. To a certain extent this source is correct. It indicates that if Hitler had faced a more aggressive and coordinated response at the time of appeasement, he would not have gained territory or resources. This seems to be corroborated by the failed attempt by Hitler to invade Austria in 1934; Mussolini, in line with an agreement signed with Austria simply put troops on Austrian border and deterred Germany’s forces. This goes to show that Hitler did not force through his expansionist agenda if he was met with adequate military response. If the Soviet and British military had combined to fight German forces, it can be argued that Hitler would have acquired less resources that made the war so devastating on such a large scale. It is also fair to state that Chaimberlain’s anti-bolshevik ideologies misguided him in his actions during the 1930s. Often it is described that appeasement was justified in Chaimberlain’s eyes, because he wanted German military to flourish; so as to keep the threat of the communist East away from mainland Europe: though Stalin spoke of prosperous negotiation against Fascist dictators, Chamberlain feared world revolution by Comintern greatly. Since Hitler’s beliefs included this same fear of communism, Chaimberlain saw an opportunity to use Germany as a buffer to communism without having to use British resource. At the time Chaimberlain must have thought he was choosing between the less of two evils, however, of course this was a crucial mistake.
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At the time this interpretation was written, conventional views on society and history were still being heavily questioned and criticised. The revisionist movement, was prominent between the 1960s-90s. Interpretations formed within this period were less harsh on Neville Chamberlain;. Many studies published share the opinion that indicates how Chamberlain did the best he could under impossibly difficult circumstances. Alternatively, some sources still held the view that Chaimberlain was too confident in his policy, he failed to realise the weight these concessions would bring if war was to break out. Interpretation A was written towards the end of the ...

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