Presentation on theme: "POLICY OF APPEASEMENT The term appeasement refers to the practice of giving into the demands of someone in order to make them happy. This was the policy."— Presentation transcript:
POLICY OF APPEASEMENT The term appeasement refers to the practice of giving into the demands of someone in order to make them happy. This was the policy that was adopted by Neville Chamberlain the then Prime Minister of Britain in the 1930s. His policy demonstrated a sense of remorse that the British and other Europeans felt about the harsh treatment that had been given to Germany by the Versailles Peace Treaty. In this way Germany was allowed to reverse some of the terms of Versailles such as conscription and building up its navy and air force.
Reasons for the use of the Appeasement Policy Both the public and politicians in Britain and France feared the horror of war. Not only did they have vivid memories of the trench warfare of but the destruction of Guernica in 1937 by German planes in the Spanish Civil War highlighted people’s fear of aerial bombing. The British government had estimated that there might be over a million casualties from bombing raids in any future war. In Britain the Treaty of Versailles was regarded as harsh and unjust. There was sympathy for the view that Germany should regain some lost land and should not be left defence-less as its neighbors had failed to disarm. If as Neville Chamberlain thought Hitler was a reasonable man, then if Germany demands could be satisfied, war would be avoided and peace secured.
British and French armed forces were unprepared for a major war. Appeasement would at least allow them some breathing space so that military preparations could be done. Some politicians thought that Hitler was not the real enemy. They believed that the greater threat came from Stalin, the leader of the then Communist Soviet Union. They actually thought that Germany would be useful as a barrier against the spread of communism from the East.