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Choose What You Believe To Be The Three (3) Most Convincing Reasons Why Appeasement Was The Diplomatic Option Of Choice In 1938.

1219 words - 5 pages

Appeasement is a strategy that involves giving in to an opponent in hope that war will be averted. The prime example is Britain's policy toward Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Neville Chamberlain sought to accommodate Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and took no action when Germany absorbed Austria in 1938. When Adolf Hitler prepared to annex ethnically German portions of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain negotiated the notorious Munich Agreement. Part of the process of appeasement before World War II, the agreement allowed Germany to violate restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, prompting international criticism and driving a wedge between the French and the British. Some people believe that appeasement caused the war, by encouraging Hitler to think he could do anything, while other people believe that appeasement gave Britain time to re-arm and that appeasement was the diplomatic option of choice in 1938. I believe that appeasement was the diplomatic option of choice in 1938. Firstly, memories of the First World War contributed to the use of appeasement, many countries were still sufferring economically and socially from the war and did not want another war to begin anytime soon. Secondly, there was a Communist threat that had arised and many conservative politicians viewed Stalin as the greater of the two totalitarian evils as the Holocaust had not yet occurred. Lastly, The Treaty of Versailles imposed many restrictions on Germany's internal affairs, which were widely viewed by the Allied nations as being unfair to Germany. In this essay, the following three reasons as to why appeasement was the diplomatic option of choice in 1938 will be examined and explained in depth for a better understanding as to why appeasement was the diplomatic option of choice in 1938. Firstly, memories of the First World War contributed to the use of appeasement, many countries were still sufferring economically and socially from the war and did not want another war to begin anytime soon. The United Kingdom and especially France were extremely reluctant to fight due to the psychological trauma resulting from having witnessed the mass deaths of vast numbers of young people. For example, many British urban centres lost up to 40% of all young men; many families lost all their sons and most young male relatives. King George V famously said that he would rather abdicate and stand in Trafalgar Square in central London, singing 'The Red Flag' (the socialist and communist anthem) than allow his country go through another war like 1914 -1918. Chamberlain believed that Germany had been badly treated by the Allies after it was defeated in the First World War. He therefore thought that the German government had genuine grievances and that these needed to be addressed. He also thought that by agreeing to some of the demands being made by Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy, he could avoid a European war. Secondly, there was...

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