Agree Or Disagree: "The Western European And United States Policy Of Appeasement During The1930's Significantly Contributed To The Development Of World War Ii."

2264 words - 9 pages

The Western European and United States policy of appeasement did contribute significantly to the development of World War II. In all of the steps leading to World War II, appeasement was either used or played a major factor in allowing the aggressors in Europe to gain small but important victories. Slowly, step-by-step, these aggressors were able to gain enough power to begin World War II. During the 1930s, the United States became isolationist for several reasons. First was because of the Great Depression, which consumed most of FDR's effort, so he had no time for foreign affairs. The second reason was that after a Senate investigation of the events which caused American involvement in World War I, it was concluded that the U.S. fought in World War I because of economic entanglements. Therefore, in the 1930s, Americans wanted to sever all links with foreign countries to prevent themselves to be dragged into another war. The third reason was that as the likelihood of war in Europe increased, the United States favored isolationism more and more. This isolationism was reflected in FDR's policy's regarding foreign affairs. Because of the Great Depression, FDR had no time to worry about other countries and so the policy of appeasement, which was peace at any price, developed. It can be said that World War II began in 1931, with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. After the Japanese bombed their own railroad, they blamed it on the Chinese to justify the attack on Manchuria. This invasion violated every international treaty signed up to that time. The League of Nations, because it was weak, could do nothing but respond by sending in a team to investigate the crisis. The United States also didn't do much, because they just responded with the Stimson Doctrine, which asserted that the U.S. would not recognize any territorial acquisitions taken by force. This American policy did not do much, because it did not threaten the Japanese at all. At the same time, the League of Nations voted to condemn the Japanese, with the result that Japan walks out of the League of Nations. The significance of this event was that it destroyed the peace structure of the 1920s by showing that they were just paper treaties that could not be enforced at all. It also established a pattern for future world aggression, because it set a standard for countries being able to get away with attacking fellow countries and violating international law. The United States could have responded by imposing an economic boycott on Japan, but Hoover, fearing war, rejected that plan. Thus, the American policy of appeasement contributed to the first step of World War II. The second major step toward World War II was the rise of Hitler. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany through legal means, because his Nazi party was the most popular in Germany. Hitler's biggest appeal was that he promised to upturn the Treaty of Versailles and to return Germany to greatness. Not long...

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