Appeasement and how did Britain and France ‘appease’ Hitler in 1933–1938

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  • Created by: Lollipop
  • Created on: 30-05-12 17:23

Appeasement is ‘giving a bully what he wants’.

 Hitler built up his army.   After 1936, he reintroduced conscription, and war-tested his armed forces in the Spanish Civil War.   Britain and France turned a blind eye to these breaches of the Treaty of Versailles.   This looked like appeasement.   In 1936, Hitler moved his troops into the Rhineland.   The appeasement here, again, was that France did nothing to stop this breach of the Versailles Treaty.

 In 1938 Hitler went further.   He invaded Austria and declared Anschluss.   This, too broke the Treaty of Versailles.   Again, France and Britain did nothing.   Also in 1938, Hitler got the Sudeten Nazis to cause trouble, then he demanded union.   At Munich (29 September), Britain and France gave the Sudetenland to Germany.   They gave the bully what he wanted.   This was appeasement at its worst.

These actions of Britain are called appeasement, but other factors were important – some people agreed with the Germans, some felt it wasn't Britain’s business, and it gave Britain time to prepare for war.  


Appeasement can be defined as ‘giving a bully what he wants’.   It describes animal behaviour, where a weaker animal adopts a submissive posture towards a more powerful animal.   It is claimed that this is what Britain and France did with Hitler


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