Reasons for Appeasement
- Public opinion was pacifist - partly because of the effects of the First World War and partly because of the horrors of the Spanish Civil war when people saw the destruction caused by bombs dropped on civilians from planes. In 1933 the Oxford University students voted that they would not fight for King and Country.
- Britain could not rely on her Empire to support her in a war as they had done in 1914.
- Some felt that Germany had genuine grievances - Versailles was too harsh and Britain could contain their aggression by removing the most hated clauses.
- As the League of Nations was so weak, Chamberlain felt that the only way to settle the disputes was by personal negotiations between leaders.
- Economic co-operation between Germany and Britain would help both economies to recover.
- Britain feared communist Russia - the Left was seen as a greater threat than the Right.
- Briatin was totally unprepared for war - the USA was following isolationist policies and France was weak. Money had been spent on social policies to help with the Depression, not arms. More time was needed to rearm.
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Examples of Appeasement
- No action taken over German rearmament - helped by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement.
- No real action taken when Mussolini invaded Abyssinia.
- No action taken when German soldiers went into the Rhineland.
- No action taken over Anschluss
- The Munich Agreement - Appeasement in action!
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