Appeasement

appeasement of Hitlerappeaseappeasement policyappeaserappeasinganti-appeaserappeasement policiesappeasement politicsappeaserspolicy of appeasement
Appeasement in an international context is a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to an aggressive power in order to avoid conflict.wikipedia
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Neville Chamberlain

ChamberlainMr. ChamberlainNeville
The term is most often applied to the foreign policy of the British governments of Prime Ministers Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain towards Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy between 1935 and 1939.
Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany.

Treaty of Versailles

VersaillesVersailles Treaty1919
At the beginning of the 1930s, such concessions were widely seen as positive due to the trauma of World War I, second thoughts about the treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, and a perception that Fascism was a useful form of anti-communism.
The result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was a compromise that left no one content: Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, nor was it permanently weakened.

Munich Agreement

Munich CrisisMunichMunich Conference
However, by the time of the Munich Pact—concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy—the policy was opposed by most of the British left and Labour Party, by Conservative dissenters such as Winston Churchill and Duff Cooper, and even by Anthony Eden, a former proponent of appeasement.
Adolf Hitler announced it was his last territorial claim in Europe, and the choice seemed to be between war and appeasement.

Duff Cooper

Alfred Duff CooperDuff Cooper, 1st Viscount Norwich Duff Cooper, 1st Viscount Norwich
However, by the time of the Munich Pact—concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy—the policy was opposed by most of the British left and Labour Party, by Conservative dissenters such as Winston Churchill and Duff Cooper, and even by Anthony Eden, a former proponent of appeasement.
In the intense political debates of the late 1930s over appeasement, he first put his trust in the League of Nations, and realised that war with Germany was inevitable.

Anthony Eden

Sir Anthony EdenEdenAnthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon
However, by the time of the Munich Pact—concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy—the policy was opposed by most of the British left and Labour Party, by Conservative dissenters such as Winston Churchill and Duff Cooper, and even by Anthony Eden, a former proponent of appeasement.
Achieving rapid promotion as a young Member of Parliament, he became Foreign Secretary aged 38, before resigning in protest at Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy towards Mussolini's Italy.

Winston Churchill

ChurchillSir Winston ChurchillChurchill, Winston
However, by the time of the Munich Pact—concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy—the policy was opposed by most of the British left and Labour Party, by Conservative dissenters such as Winston Churchill and Duff Cooper, and even by Anthony Eden, a former proponent of appeasement.
Out of office during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat from Nazi Germany.

Labour Party (UK)

Labour PartyLabourBritish Labour Party
However, by the time of the Munich Pact—concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy—the policy was opposed by most of the British left and Labour Party, by Conservative dissenters such as Winston Churchill and Duff Cooper, and even by Anthony Eden, a former proponent of appeasement. Hugh Dalton, a Labour Party MP who usually advocated stiff resistance to Germany, said that neither the British people nor Labour would support military or economic sanctions.
As the threat from Nazi Germany increased, in the late 1930s the Labour Party gradually abandoned its pacifist stance and came to support re-armament, largely due to the efforts of Ernest Bevin and Hugh Dalton who by 1937 had also persuaded the party to oppose Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement.

Hugh Dalton

DaltonEdward Hugh John Neale DaltonHugh Dalton, who was to become
Hugh Dalton, a Labour Party MP who usually advocated stiff resistance to Germany, said that neither the British people nor Labour would support military or economic sanctions. However, with the rising threat from Nazi Germany, and the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations, this policy eventually lost credibility, and in 1937 Ernest Bevin and Hugh Dalton persuaded the party to support rearmament and oppose appeasement.
He shaped Labour Party foreign policy in the 1930s, opposing pacifism and promoting rearmament against the German threat, and strongly opposed the appeasement policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938.

Demilitarisation

demilitarizationdemilitarizeddemilitarising
Under the Versailles Settlement, the Rhineland was demilitarized.
The resulting position of British military weakness during the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany was among the causes that led to the policy of appeasement.

Stanley Baldwin

BaldwinStanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of BewdleyPrime Minister
The term is most often applied to the foreign policy of the British governments of Prime Ministers Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain towards Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy between 1935 and 1939.
After Chamberlain's death in 1940, Baldwin's perceived part in pre-war appeasement made him an unpopular figure during and after World War II.

Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax

Lord HalifaxLord IrwinThe Viscount Halifax
In August 1938, General Ludwig Beck relayed a message to Lord Halifax explaining that most of the German General Staff were preparing a coup against the Fuhrer, but would only attack with "proof that England will fight if Czechoslovakia is attacked."
He was one of the architects of the policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1936–38, working closely with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

History of Czechoslovakia

CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovak Czechoslovakia
Under the Versailles Settlement, Czechoslovakia was created with the territory of the Czech part more or less corresponding to the Czech Crown lands as they had existed within the Austria-Hungary and before.
Adolf Hitler's rise in Nazi Germany in 1933; the German annexation (Anschluss) of Austria in 1938; the resulting revival of revisionism in Hungary; the agitation for autonomy in Slovakia; and the appeasement policy of the Western powers of France and the United Kingdom left Czechoslovakia without effective allies.

Anti-communism

anti-communistanticommunistanti-communists
At the beginning of the 1930s, such concessions were widely seen as positive due to the trauma of World War I, second thoughts about the treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, and a perception that Fascism was a useful form of anti-communism.
In support of the Reagan Doctrine and other anti-communist foreign and defense policies, prominent United States and Western anti-communists warned that the United States needed to avoid repeating the West's perceived mistakes of appeasement of Nazi Germany.

League of Nations

Leaguethe League of NationsCouncil of the League of Nations
Chamberlain's policy of appeasement emerged from the failure of the League of Nations and the failure of collective security.
Ultimately, Britain and France both abandoned the concept of collective security in favour of appeasement in the face of growing German militarism under Hitler.

Sudetendeutsches Freikorps

Sudeten German uprising 1938covert warFreikorps Sudetenland
Hitler increased his aggression against Czechoslovakia and ordered the establishment of a Sudeten German paramilitary organization, which proceeded to carry out terrorist attacks on Czech targets.

Kurt Schuschnigg

SchuschniggChancellor SchuschniggSchuschnigg government
The Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg wished to pursue ties with Italy, but turned to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania (the Little Entente).
Schuschnigg adopted a policy of appeasement towards Hitler and called Austria the "better German state", but struggled to keep Austria independent.

Guilty Men

Although she argued against the policy of "peace at almost any price" she did not take the personal tone that Guilty Men was to take two years later. Three British journalists, Michael Foot, Frank Owen and Peter Howard, writing under the name of "Cato" in their book Guilty Men, called for the removal from office of 15 public figures they held accountable, including Chamberlain and Baldwin.
Guilty Men is a short book published in Great Britain in July 1940 that attacked British public figures for their failure to re-arm and their appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Peace for our time

peace in our timeI have in my hand a piece of paper...in our time
Nonetheless, Chamberlain confidently announced after Munich that he had secured "peace for our time".
Appeasement

Shiela Grant Duff

Grant Duff, Shiela
The journalist Shiela Grant Duff's Penguin Special, Europe and the Czechs was published and distributed to every MP on the day that Chamberlain returned from Munich.
She was notable for her opposition to appeasement before the Second World War.

Michael Foot

Foot, Michael The Right Honourable '''Michael FootMichael
Three British journalists, Michael Foot, Frank Owen and Peter Howard, writing under the name of "Cato" in their book Guilty Men, called for the removal from office of 15 public figures they held accountable, including Chamberlain and Baldwin.
He co-wrote the classic polemic against appeasement of Adolf Hitler, Guilty Men, under a pseudonym.

The Times

TimesTimes Newspapers LtdTimes Online
The German correspondent for the Times of London, Norman Ebbutt, charged that his persistent reports about Nazi militarism were suppressed by his editor Geoffrey Dawson.
The paper gained a measure of notoriety in the 1930s with its advocacy of German appeasement; editor Geoffrey Dawson was closely allied with those in the government who practised appeasement, most notably Neville Chamberlain.

Norman Ebbutt

The German correspondent for the Times of London, Norman Ebbutt, charged that his persistent reports about Nazi militarism were suppressed by his editor Geoffrey Dawson.
He warned of Nazi warmongering but The Times censored his reports to promote appeasement.

Ernest Bevin

Bevin[Ernest] BevinBevin Avenue
However, with the rising threat from Nazi Germany, and the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations, this policy eventually lost credibility, and in 1937 Ernest Bevin and Hugh Dalton persuaded the party to support rearmament and oppose appeasement.
He was a firm opponent of fascism and of British appeasement of the fascist powers.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
Once Germany invaded Poland, igniting World War II, consensus was that appeasement was responsible.
Hitler defied the Versailles and Locarno treaties by remilitarising the Rhineland in March 1936, encountering little opposition due to appeasement.

Edward VIII

Prince of WalesKing Edward VIIIEdward, Prince of Wales
Appeasement was accepted by most of those responsible for British foreign policy in the 1930s, by leading journalists and academics and by members of the royal family, such as Edward VIII and his successor, George VI.
According to the Duke of Windsor, the experience of "the unending scenes of horror" during the First World War led him to support appeasement.