Appeasement Essay

Appeasement Essay

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Appeasement



The task of explaining why appeasement, has been continuously addressed by historians over the years. To date, there is still no single cause identified. Nonetheless there is however a general consensus amongst historians that the frightful events of world war one, distilled a sense of fear and regret amongst British society, and consequently Britain strived to prevent any future war, through whatever means necessary. In the aftermath of World War 1, lay a mutual understanding between the British government and society that never again should a catastrophe such as World War 1 occur, it was described as the "war to end all wars" reinforcing the view that it was a cataclysmic event which should never be re-enacted upon society. British public became disillusioned with the use of force in international relations and as a result sought an approach consisting of an effective system of collective security. In post war society anti-war books, films and poems all became increasingly well liked and several pacifist pressure groups were formed with the sole aim of achieving peaceful solutions to international problems. These groups were known as The Peace Pledge Union, The Peace Society and the No More War Movement. World War 1 essentially left Britain in a state of mourning, and accordingly thousands of war monuments were erected, and an annual day of mourning and remembrance was established, known as Remembrance Sunday. This was an attempt to pay tribute to those heroes lost in the war and to act as a subtle reminder of the devastation caused by the war in a bid to prevent any future conflict. As a result of the desolation a common consensus was becoming apparent amid the general public, which was that, there were no clear societal gains from the war and the obvious economic, and political decline of the country showed no gains in that sector either. Hence the reduction of arms and peace became vote winners in elections. Appeasement can be defined as " a disposition to avoid conflict by judicious concession and negotiation". Neville Chamberlain noted that the British public would not wish nor accept another war.

Therefore the British government sought to follow a policy of appeasement. However, everyone did not share the acceptance of the policy of appeasement. Looking on with hindsight many historians have condemned the actions of Chamberlai...


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...nland. There are mixed opinions towards this policy, and the question why historians have debated appeasement continuously over the passing decades. Many believe that Chamberlains policy of appeasement was fuled by a desire to do everything in his power possible to avoid war, and his belief that all European powers shared the dame feeling. The catastrophic events of World War one set in a deep fear and hatred of war among many. It is also felt that Chamberlain followed the policy of appeasement as a means to buy some time as he realised that British defences were hopelessly inadequate, as British military strength had been greatly reduced due to the commitment of disarmament. Even at the time of the Anschluss Britain was declared unprepared for war. Therefore to conclude, whatever the reasons for the continual policy of appeasement, it can be said that appeasement with the sole aim of preventing war did not succeed, however what it was seen to do was prolong the inevitable. Many strongly feel that the continual demands of Hitler were flared by the lack of opposition, and his continual greed for expansion, his demands were rarely attacked, simply given into with little hesitancy.

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