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10 assumptions behind the British policy of Appeasement Based on Ronald Camerons Appeasement and the Road to War.

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Presentation on theme: "10 assumptions behind the British policy of Appeasement Based on Ronald Camerons Appeasement and the Road to War."— Presentation transcript:

1 10 assumptions behind the British policy of Appeasement Based on Ronald Camerons Appeasement and the Road to War

2 The reasonable nature of Germanys demands 1.The Hall of Mirrors at the signing of the Peace Terms, Versailles, France. June 1919, U.S. National Archives 2.The Big Four, Literary Digest, 7 th May 1919 Germany had a limited number of reasonable demands. These demands arose from the Treaty of Versailles.

3 Hitler could be trusted to keep his word Hitler and Chamberlain during the Sudeten crisis, September Initially Hitler was seen as a reasonable man who could be trusted to keep his word. This view was reinforced by the impressions of leading politicians who visited Germany in the 1930s.

4 The Empire was not ready to fight The majority of Prime Ministers from the Dominions were unwilling to give a firm commitment to resist Hitler. Germany should not be needlessly provoked and that everything should be done to rectify existing grievances.

5 Britain had no reliable allies outwith the League President Franklin D. Roosevelt, USA Britain had no alternative but to appease because she was so isolated. France was so politically divided that she could never be reliable. America had retreated into isolation. Russia had become Communist. Italy and Japan had fascist governments.

6 The League did not offer a solution 1.Cartoon, 1933, shows a Japanese soldier trampling all over the League, whilst League officials bow down before him. 2.Haile Selassie addressed the League of Nations to take action against Italy, 1935 Prime Minister Chamberlain had little faith in the League of Nations as a body for resolving disputes.

7 The Economy was too weak for war Jarrow Crusade, October 1936 The Great Depression had created so much damage to the British economy that it could not sustain war against the European dictators.

8 The Armed Forces were unprepared It was hoped that appeasement might help to buy time for rearmament. Spitfire

9 The British people were unwilling to fight 5000 people crowded at Heston airport to greet Chamberlain on his return from Munich, 1939 The Fulham East by-election in 1933 saw the return of a pacifist Labour MP as opposed to a rearmament Conservative MP. Oxford Union debate carried the motion that This House would not fight for King and Country. But it has been argued that the government controlled public opinion more than public opinion controlled the government.

10 Communism was the main threat British statesmen showed that they saw Communist Russia as a bigger threat to European peace than Germany. Stalin, leader of Communist Russia.

11 British fear of war / belief in diplomacy Children were given special lessons on wearing their gas masks properly Chamberlains personal position can be summed up as follows: We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a programme would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators. Neville Chamberlain (1869–1940), Speech, October 6, 1938, to the House of Commons.


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