Britain And Appeasement - AS History

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History Revision
Aug 1914 ­ Nov 1918 The cost of WW1 to Britain - $35,334,012,000 (highest of all the allied powers)
and 994,138 British people died.
April 1919 Treaty of Versailles ­ Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war (Clause 231)
and pay £6,600 million in reparations. She was forbidden to have submarines or an air force and could
only have a navy of six battleships and an Army of just 100,000 men. She also lost territory to Britain and
The League of Nations ­ an international organisation designed to preserve the peace and solve
international disputes by arbitration; based on a system of collective security (article 10). 42 countries
joined at the start and by the 1930s this became 60. The covenant of the League of Nations was agreed
as part of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 held at Versailles ­ it aimed to stop war, improve people's
lives and jobs, disarm and enforce the Treaty of Versailles). In May 1920, the US Senate voted against
Versailles (due to isolationism) and did not join.
Summer 1919 John Maynard Keynes published `The Economic Consequences of the Peace' ­ said
that the Treaty of Versailles was `economic insanity' and an example of a `Carthaginian Peace'. It sold
60,000 copies in the first 2 months, 100,000 copies in the first 6 months and was translated into 14
Aug 1919 ­ 1934 `Ten Year Rule' ­ British spending was only £102 million on defence in 1932,
compared to £760 million in 1919 ­ 1920.
March 1921 Anglo-Soviet trade agreement ­ stopped the blockade of Soviet Russia to resume trade
with its people.
In the 1920s Germany had 50% greater population than France and 4 times France's heavy industry
Between 1920 and 1922 there were no fewer 23 summit conferences held to discuss the reparations
March 1921 ­ 1922 Washington Disarmament Conference ­ set Capital ships to the ratio: USA 5;
Britain 5; Japan 3; Italy 1.75; France 1.75.
Oct 1922 ­ May 1923 Andrew Bonar Law becomes prime minister
Jan 1923 French occupation of the Ruhr ­ the Germans adopted a policy of passive resistance in
response, which led to Hyper-inflation. In 1923 an egg cost hundreds of millions of marks.
May 1923 ­ Jan 1924 Stanley Baldwin becomes prime minister
Aug 1923 Stresemann appointed German Chancellor and Foreign Minister
Jan 1924 ­ Nov 1924 Ramsay MacDonald becomes prime minister
March 1924 Zinoviev Letter ­ appeared at first to confirm fears about Communism. It purported to be
an instruction from the Comintern to the CPGB, instructing it to foment revolution in the UK. The letter
caused considerable furore, as it was published only a few days before the 1924 General Election.
1924 General Election ­ Conservatives won 412 seats and Labour won 151
April ­ Aug 1924 Dawes Plan ­ meant that there would be a two-year freeze on the payment of
reparations, the level of German payments was to be scaled down, the USA offered huge loans to
Germany and the French agreed to take their troops out of the Ruhr. During the next 5 years the
Germans paid a reparation bill of about $1 billion and received US loans of about $2 billion.
April 1924 Geneva Protocol suggested ­ any state refusing to submit a dispute to arbitration or
rejecting the decision of an arbitrator would be regarded as an aggressor and liable to be subjected to
economic sanctions or even military force.
July ­ Aug 1924 London Reparation Conference ­ Allowed for the adoption of the Dawes Plan.
Nov 1924 ­ June 1929 Stanley Baldwin becomes prime minister

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Geneva Protocol rejected
Sep 1925 Locarno Pact ­ secured Germany's western borders but not its eastern borders. Stresemann
did state that these should not be altered by force (he wouldn't put his signature to this though).
1926 Germany joined League of Nations
27th Aug 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact ­ condemned the `...recourse to war for the solution of international
controversies.' It was drawn up by Aristide Briand (foreign minister of France) and Frank B. Kellogg (US
Secretary of State).…read more

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The British army numbered 400,000 but 75% of these troops were deployed to protect the
1933 Defence Requirements Committee established to advise on strategy and rearmament (see
first report ­ Feb 1934)
Oct 1933 East-Fulham by-election ­ a Labour candidate, running on a policy of disarmament and
support for collective security, won by nearly 5000 votes, overturning a previous Conservative majority
of 14,000 in the 1931 election.…read more

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Britain had no intention of risking war with Germany and France's weak
caretaker government was in no position to do so either.
1936 Five Year Plan announced for rearmament by Chamberlain ­ at a cost finally estimated at £400
million over five years but the actual additional money spent on rearmament above the level of 1935 ­
36 was £50 million for 1936 ­ 37.…read more

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June ­ Sep 1938 The unsuccessful Runcimann mission ­ Lord Runcimann (a veteran Liberal politician
with little diplomatic experience and a clear bias in favour of the Germans) travelled to Czechoslovakia.
The official expectation was for Runcimann to apply pressure on the Benes government to agree to
concessions. However, neither the Sudeten Germans nor the Czechs were willing to compromise and the
mission achieved little.…read more

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Nov 1938 `Crystal Night'/Kristallnacht ­ a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and
Austria - Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men (a quarter of all Jewish men in Germany)
were taken to concentration camps, where they were tortured for months, with over 2,000 of them
dying.…read more

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Sep 1939 Britain finally delivered an ultimatum to Germany at 9am. Germany made no reply and
at 11am Britain declared war. France followed at 5pm.
Sep 1939 A Gallup Poll asked Britons whether they were in favour of fighting until Hitlerism was done
away with and 89% said yes.
1939 Spending on rearmament amounted to 21.4% of gross national product, compared to 8.1% in
1938. By 1940, Britain was spending 51.7% on armaments, compared with the 38% of Nazi Germany.…read more


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