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British Policy of Appeasement: Great Britain and the Second World War

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Daniel V.
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  1. Introduction
  2. British Policy of Appeasement
  3. Great Britain and the Second World War
  4. Conclusion

The policy of appeasement pursued by Great Britain in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War Two is among the most controversial events studied by historians. Assessments of the policy of appeasement offered by historians include those who criticize the actions of the British state under the leadership of Neville Chamberlain for failing to prevent the spread of Nazism during the period before another world war became inevitable. In particular, this portrays him as a silly leader for preferring undertaking negotiations to confrontation (Baumann 2013, 1). The evidence revealing in the Chamberlain-era records demonstrate narrowed alternatives that invite a sympathetic appreciation of the actions of the prime minister. Initial examination of the British appeasement policy reveals commitment assumed by Chamberlain to utilize rationalism as a practical solution to foreign policy. The prime minister on belief of reports furnished by the military chiefs agreed that the country was insufficiently prepared to exert military action against the European dictators. For instance, he held that both Hitler and Mussolini equally demonstrated rational statesmanship and deserved similar treatment. For this reason, appeasing them through rational discussion would resolve their discontents and get the Europe continent resettled on a new peace platform (Clark 1954, 416). Unlike the call from members of the foreign office to hit Hitler on the head, Chamberlain discredited this policy through his asset of sharp rationalism. It yields a debate questioning his rational calculations by citing the character of Germany, which ceased democratic governance after Hitler became its chancellor in1933 (Clark 1954, 418).

[...] The destruction of the Great Britain position both at domestic and foreign levels were devastated greatly by multiple attacks during the First World War. In view of this, not a single sensible individual would want another in the apprehension of the Germany's military power and economic competitiveness. This influenced Chamberlain to believe that meeting Germany just grievances posed the most sensible alternative of taming her, certainly more sensible than initiating a great war. His appeasement policy in practice implied endorsing the claims placed by 4 the stronger and crafting them out as if they were just (Clark 1954, 408). [...]


[...] Politics and strategy in the Second World War: Germany, Great Britain, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States : papers presented under the auspices of the International Committee for the History of the Second World War, San Francisco, August Manhattan, Kan: Military affairs/Aerospace historian Publishers. Phillips, K. (1999). The cousins' wars: Religion, politics, and the triumph of Anglo-America. New York, N.Y: Basic Books. Churchill, W. (1959). Memoirs of the Second World War: An abridgement of the six volumes of the Second World War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Chadwick, O. (1986). [...]


[...] In view of this, embracing a peaceful strategy of avoiding sending the army into war found support from the society prior to accept the exercise as inevitable. Contrariwise, the delay of engaging military action by misjudging the society for support demonstrate the error of waiting too long even when Hitler's intentions were clear with the invasion of the Czechoslovakia (Baumann 2013, 12). Although negotiations stride along the perception of peace, Chamberlain neglected to heed the lesson during the stalled Munich conference in search of peace. [...]

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