Churchill's view of events 1929-40

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  • Churchill's view of events 1929-40
    • Why was Churchill out of office 1929-39?
      • In conflict with the bulk of his own party. Took up unpopular cases and spoke about them in a reckless way. Became isolated.
        • By the mid 30's he was in his 60's, many thought he was long-gone.
        • His style of speaking came to seem old-fashioned and out of touch.
    • India:'the jewel in the crown' of the Empire. Bitterly opposed to its independence
      • Churchill saw it as his duty to launch a personal crusade to defend Britain's interests as he saw them.
        • Found himself allied with the most reactionary elements in Britain.
    • Abdication crisis,1936. Churchill made a speech in favour of the King at the HoC. Seemed rooted in the past.
    • Churchill's views on rearmament and appeasement
      • Churchill's views on rearmament
        • Concerned about British power and influence
          • Didn't object to the concept of a nationalist dictatorship.
        • When German rearmament started, Churchill became alarmed & objected.
          • Saw the new regime in Germany as brutal. Disliked its racism and violence.
          • Especially worried about air power and Hitler building a new German air force.
            • Understood the dangers of air warfare, feared that Britain would be defenseless.
        • Used his position as a backbench MP to utter warnings about the need to rearm.
      • Appeasement => the effort of Britain's NG to maintain peace in the 30's.
        • Fear of the effects of aerial bombing strengthened public support for appeasement.
          • Appeasement - based on the mistaken assumption that the Nazi regime was divided between moderated and extremists.
            • U.S. had a policy of isolation, Britain couldn't connect. U.S. financially stable unlike GB/
        • Lack of resources limited Britain's capacity to defend itself against more than one hostile power.
          • Stalin and the USSR not trustworthy ally, Stalin's purges made them unreliable. France also politically divided.
            • Dominions => Britain to support states like Canada. Appeasement wasn't just Hitler and Europe, included the far east, Italy and Africa.
              • Physically and geographically appeasement wasn't realistic.
                • Arguably, Britain's policy of appeasement was for Britain to delay time to prepare for war.
        • Chamberlain didn't approve of appeasement either. Saw it as dangerous and thought that foreign policy was drifting.
          • His solution: come to a negotiated agreement with Germany
            • Wanted to reduce the danger of Britain being dragged into war. Allowed time to build up defenses and recover economically.
    • German expansion
      • Churchill's priority was the defense against German threat.
        • Abdication crisis proved a distraction in 36'
        • Churchill didn't want to stay out of European affairs.
          • Thought that there should've been a forceful response which opposed Germany.

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