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After the Great War, Germany and a couple other nations were significantly punished, needing to pay reparations and territorial losses. Hitler, quickly to be a dictator, wished to change that. He thought that Germany had actually been punished too seriously and desired revenge; due to the fact that he had such a strong government and military, there were numerous ways of tackling stopping him. Throughout the 1930’s, the policy of appeasement was the most reliable action to Hitler’s hostility because of lots of factor however primarily that it keep peace and didn’t start war, the individuals did not support the war, and since the British needed more time to get ready for war.
To start with, one reason appeasement was the most reliable reaction due to the fact that for the time being, it kept peace throughout Europe, and after only 20 years of peace from the Great War, individuals didn’t want another. While Chamberlain was secretly attempting to get more time he claims that he is simply trying to keep peace but if required, he will do something about it, “I will not give up the hope of a peaceful option … yet if it made certain that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by its fear of force, I should feel that it must be resisted … but war is a fearful thing” (File 7).
This quote represents that although Chamberlain stated he was a guy of peace that if he believed it was required he would begin a war.
One issue with appeasement is that some individuals think that war could have been absolutely prevented if Hitler had been stood up, “because the Czech defenses were very strong … and since the German generals, conscious of Germany’s relative weakness at that minute, were in fact prepared to attempt to get rid of Hitler” (Document 9). So if the British had actually withstood Hitler and beat him, the war would have been over and Hitler suppressed.
Furthermore, appeasement was a good policy because even if Chamberlain had wanted war, the Congress didn’t and after just coming out of a pointless war that killed many lives, nobody was willing to do another. British historian Keith Eubank states: “Neither the people nor the government of (Britain and France) were conditioned to idea of war…Hitler had done nothing that any major power considered dangerous enough to warrant a major European war” (Document 10). Another problem with appeasement is that if you are going to have a trust between people over a controversial topic, you can’t do it with a man like Hitler who is known for backstabbing and disloyalty. Trusting Hitler was a risky thing for Chamberlain because while they are resting in peace, Hitler could sneak attack and take an advantage on a very important war.
Lastly and most importantly, Chamberlain made the most effective response of Hitler’s aggression because at that time, the British needed more time to update their weapons and prepare for war. They were not at all ready and Germany was acting very aggressive lately so Chamberlain made the right choice of buying the British time so they could win the war. A British foreign secretary describes his meeting with other governments, “public opinion was strongly opposed to any action against the Germans…most people were saying openly that they did not see why the Germans should not occupy the Rhineland…taking almost any risk in order to avoid the situation” (Document 12). It was also believed that if Britain had more time, they would win the war, “time is in our favor…it would be better to fight her in say 6 – 12 months’ time, than to accept the present challenge” (Document 13).
The most important reason as to why appeasement was a bad thing is because it gave Hitler more land and freedom. When Hitler received Sudeten territory without having to lift a finger causes him to believe Britain and France don’t want to fight a war (which they didn’t) and makes him think he can get away with more things. Hitler sees their peacefulness and takes his aggression into action, “Germany toady cast off the last shackles fastened upon her by the Treaty of Versailles when Adolf Hitler, as commander-in-chief of the Reich defense forces, sent his new battalions into the Rhineland’s demilitarized zone” (Document 4). Britain used appeasement to buy precious time to prepare and Hitler thought of this as them backing down and took force, which almost won him the war.
The whole idea of appeasement was a controversial topic between politicians. It was a good idea because it kept peace throughout Europe, people wouldn’t have agreed to the war aspect anyways, and that it bought British the time they needed to recover for another war. It was a bad policy because it gave Hitler confidence, Hitler may have been overthrown if a little opposition was expressed, and that Hitler couldn’t be trusted. In conclusion, the policy of appeasement was the most effective way to stop Hitler’s aggression.
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