Appeasement, Britain, Germany and Italy: The Big Questions 2

Appeasement, Britain, Germany and Italy: The Big Questions 2

To understand why an appeasement policy was adopted, you will have to consider:

Stanley Baldwin - AS Level History* The extent to which public opinion was in favour of avoiding war, and also why there was opposition to war.

* The role played by economic problems in Britain in encouraging appeasement and slow rearmament.

* Groups that were sympathetic to the foreign policy objectives of Hitler.

* The role played by fear of communism in Britain’s reluctance to confront Italy and Germany.

* The Baldwin Government’s strategy for handling Hitler and Mussolini and its rationale for it, and Stanley Baldwin’s personal stance on military conflict.

With regards to specific international crises, you will need to think about:

* Britain’s role in the creation of the Non-Intervention Committee for the Spanish Civil War.

* Britain’s response to Hitler’s foreign policy up until 1938.

* The Anglo-German Naval Pact.

* The Stresa Front.

* The Hoare Laval Pact.

The Neville Chamberlain Years

The Neville Chamberlain years are a particularly important focus point when it comes to studying appeasement. Relating specifically to Chamberlain’s period as Prime Minister, you will need to understand:

Neville Chamberlain - AS Level History

* Neville Chamberlain’s anti-war convictions.

* Chamberlain’s response to Anschluss with Austria.

* The Munich Conference and the Sudetenland Crisis, including how these were regarded by the government as a triumph of appeasement.

* Public (and also press and royal) support for Chamberlain.

* The government’s subsequent response to the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, especially in light of the fact that it directly contradicted assurances given in Munich; the consequences of this for the credibility of appeasement.

* The arguments of the opponents of appeasement and the reasons why they were largely ignored.

* The government’s response to the invasion of Poland.

* Whether or not events after the Munich crisis would have happened had an appeasement policy not been followed.

* The Phoney War, the invasion of Norway, Chamberlain’s loss of support and final resignation.

Example Questions

To what extent was Britain’s initial response to Hitler a product of perceptions that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh on Germany?

Would Britain have taken a more aggressive stance to German and Italian foreign policy had it not been for the economic consequences of the Depression?

Explain why opponents to appeasement were in the minority until after 1939.

To what extent did appeasement reflect the will of the British public in the 1930s?

What level of support did the British government give to ensuring the Treaty of Versailles was enforced?

Why did Chamberlain resign in May 1940?

How far did Britain support moves towards collective security and disarmament in the 1920s and 1930s?