Mein Kampf. But he did his best to steer his country safely through the most unpromising situation it faced at any time in the 20th century. Taylor fails to acknowledge the essential reality behind appeasement, that of Britain’s poor military capability in defeating Hitler in 1938. This is precisely what Chamberlain had to face: risk war with Germany which Britain was clearly unprepared to do or find solutions to avoid war. , In 1952 Lewis Namier appointed Parker to a lectureship in history at Manchester University, a post he held until 1957. These ‘stiffer’ changes were merely a logical response to ease tensions; they lacked substance and solely represented a reactionary discontent with Hitler and a means to impress France and world opinion. Country was not united behind the idea of going to war over Czechoslovakia. In other words, the drafters of appeasement were “men confronted with real problems, doing their best in the circumstances of their time” (Taylor, 8). Although this policy seemed plausible at a critical moment when Britain is trying to forestall any future international conflicts, it unfortunately gave Germany a head-start in rearming, spending three times more than Britain’s defence budget during 1933–1938. Instead, he is remembered for being the one who tried to pacify Hitler, who underestimated Hitler’s ambitions. Enthusiastic Chamberlain returned to England with the belief that war had been avoided. This was obviously a factor that drastically played a role in going with appeasement and most of the leaders at the time embraced this idea. Although Chamberlain and his staff failed to assess Hitler’s true intentions, it is much easier to scrutinize the policy of appeasement anachronistically without historicizing Chamberlain’s genuine effort to promote peace and acknowledging the geopolitical and economic challenges that the Chamberlain administration inherited. Hence, the two primary goals of British foreign policy — the need to guarantee economic stability and maintain peace for Britain — remained the core reasons and the most viable options at the time. War kills not only men but also consciences” (32).
At the Munich conference in September 1938, Britain and France gave in to Hitler’s demands and handed him the Sudetenland without even consulting Benes, the Czech Prime Minister. Regarding Taylor’s argument on the rationality of appeasement, one can indeed argue that the choices that the politicians were facing at the time were not simple. Regarding Dutton’s argument, it seems evident that one needs to take a step back and look at Chamberlain as a man who fought for peace as much as he could and went to war because it was the last available option. Additionally, Britain had just renewed in 1932 the “10-year rule, under which it was assumed that Britain would not be involved in another war for the next decade” (Goodlad, 14-15).
Notably, the Cabinet had undergone a fundamental change in policy from mid-December 1938 to mid-April 1939 in reaction to Whitehall’s reception of twenty warnings via secret sources about Germany’s planned aggression in Western Europe including an air strike on London as well as an invasion on the Low Countries. The ten-year rule set the framework for British defence policy throughout the inter-war period.
Parker, R. (1995). LIFE, 16-16. While Hitler’s Luftwaffe was being double in size in the couple of years preceding the war, Britain’s air force waited until April 1938. In this case, however, CATO was partially right.
As World War One killed nearly 1 million British soldiers and civilians altogether (Horne, 2010, pg.
Thus, as a result of becoming Prime Minister in May 1937, Hoffman affirms that Chamberlain transformed an initially passive policy of appeasement into one that is active and resolute. Another example of a massive flaw in Britain’s intelligence was during the internal diplomatic talks with Konrad Henlein, the representative of the Sudeten Deutsche Partei (SDP), in an effort to encourage Czechoslovakia to consult with Germany over the Sudeten question rather than depend on Britain and France for military commitment. In a sense, there was no good or ideal solution in dealing with Hitler. Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain actively promulgated the policy as he believed that it could help to bring about order and lasting peace regarding international relations. Britain’s “10-year rule”, as mentioned above, specifically indicated that Britain was not going to face a war for the next decade. They had much more sympathetic criticism of Chamberlain and appeasement. In order to address whether the British government could have pursued an alternative method to prevent the war in diplomatic terms, I shall acknowledge that the mere nature of this paper falls under the historiographical scope that adheres to appeasement as the only viable option at the time. He portrays him as a complex character with a sharp mind, a man who was “inclined to accept advice or suggestions” before pursuing any foreign policy (Dilks, 399). However, this historiographical interpretation omits several fundamental considerations that tends be ignored in retrospect.
Chamberlain had to deal with a nation who fought for disarmament and they were not only Clement Attlee or McDonald, but, as Churchill has argued in response to those who were asking an inquiry into who were to blame for the disaster, “There are too many in it” (cited in Gilbert, 240).
Dutton’s final words perhaps sum up Chamberlain’s choice of pursuing appeasement in the face of such calamity: “He had not been a great prime minister.
This was eventually published in 1975. A year later, Inskip admitted that rearmament would be economically and politically intolerable due to ‘the plain fact which cannot be obscured is that it is beyond the resources of this country to make proper provision in peace for defence of the British Empire against three major Powers in three different theatres of war’. The Germany that Chamberlain had to deal with was not the disarmed and democratic Germany of 1932. To Churchill (1948), “easily, the tragedy of the Second World War could have been prevented” (pg.
In confronted with the possibility of war at Munich, Chamberlain knew that the outcome of such war would be far more disastrous for the British Empire and Europe as a whole than just a mere territorial concession in the Sudetenland, to which Germany had some legitimate claim. As Sir Horace Wilson, British top government official who had a key role in the appeasement-oriented ministry of Chamberlain, puts it: “Our policy was never designed to postpone war, or enable us to enter war more unified. The people of Britain who wanted peace at any price, who started refuting the “virile” values traditionally attributed to the war. More specifically, the change in the meaning of the word “appeasement” started to emerge.
The Journal of Modern History, 716-718. This claim is half convincing.
For instance, historian R.A.C Parker argued that they were not fools or cowards but they misunderstood the nature of Nazi ambitions for expansion (Parker, 716-718). That what the leaders responsible for appeasement attempted was somehow logical and understandable.
One of them was to guarantee Polish security and freedom in March 1939. However, the primary reasons why historians are critical of appeasement was the fact that the British government finally made stiffer policy changes after the Munich crisis, which have argued to have been made at an earlier stage of Hitler’s territorial expansion.
CATO’s “angry” book Guilty Men differs sharply from Taylor’s revisionist The Origins of The Second World War in its overall evaluation of appeasement and Chamberlain.
Retrieved May 9, 2015. As Marshall Ferdinand Foch declared, “this (Treaty) is not peace.
Yet, Guilty Men forget that Chamberlain was doing more than just being a supporter of armament. Appeasement went from a very respectable term to something that should be avoided and Chamberlain’s name became a synonym for weakness. He added that Churchill's alternative strategy of an Anglo-French alliance was a realistic and more honourable course. Rather the causes were rooted in the way the problems of the First World War had been treated. Les Anciens Combattants et la Société Francaise.  In his last book, Churchill and Appeasement (2000), Parker noted what he considered to be Churchill's misjudgments over India and the Spanish Civil War but said Churchill was completely right on the threat from Nazi Germany.
Everything that Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf was coherently achieved by Nazi Germany, from creating a racially pure German empire – getting rid of the minorities such as the Jews, homosexuals and gypsies-, invading France, Poland and annexing Austria to completely repudiate point by point the entire Treaty of Versailles which Hitler described as “a scandal and a disgrace (…) an act of highway robbery against our people” (Hitler, 2).
But it is doubtful if anyone else would have done much better, Churchill included” (2009). To Britain’s disadvantage, the US’s isolationist legislation signified its reluctance to aid Britain militarily during any European conflict. What were two reasons this author used to explain why appeasement was the logical policy at that time? Despite the criticism that Taylor received, many of his claims are not dull. Hiden, J. Churchill: The Power of Words : His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches : 200 Readings. (1936).
The ‘grand alliance’ idea was not popular at all, since Czechoslovakia, as historian John Wheeler-Bennett argues, was one of the most protected countries at the time, given that it had signed a treaty of mutual assistance with France in December 1925, and also ratified a similar deal with the Soviet Union in May 1935. In essence, Taylor is right in considering that appeasement was not the cause of the Second World War.