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Easter Holiday History Assignment – The Appeasement Policy

Appeasement policy was a foreign policy that was adapted by

Britain and France in the 1930s toward Germany. The reason Britain

and France adapted this policy was because they were hit badly and

weakened seriously by the First World War, and later on the situation

that they faced was deteriorated even more, due the Great

Depression. As these two countries had their own problems, though

the aggression of Germany was very obvious, they merely wanted to

focus on domestic issues, such as economy and unemployment,

instead of diplomatic affairs. Nevertheless, they appeased Germany

in order to maintain a good relationship between them, was because

they wanted to use Germany as a bulwark against the spread of

communism. The Soviet Union under communists’ rule was great

threat to Britain and France.

The policy started when Britain signed a naval agreement with

Hitler in 1935, which allowed Germany to expand its navy up to

thirty-five percent of the number of Britain navy. Thereafter, in 1936,

when Hitler sent troops to the demilitarized zone – Rhineland, which

intentionally violated the Treaty of Versailles, France didn’t interfere

and took no action to Germany’s violation.

In 1938, Germany achieved success in annexing Austria and

northwest Czechoslovakia. In fact, Hitler’s success in united Austria

was partly due to the British appeasement policy that Chamberlain,

the British Prime Minister adapted. Chamberlain thought that

Austrians and Germans had the right to unit together, since they

were the same type of people, and Britain didn’t withstand the

union between Austria and Germany, yet it allowed Germany’s

power to grow stronger.

Afterward, just after the union with Austria, Hitler demanded

that Czechoslovakia should return Sudetenland. Hitler also

threatened that if his demands were not satisfied, he would declared

war. Again, due to the appeasement policy, Chamberlain signed the

Munich Agreement to return Sudetenland to Germany.

At that time, Hitler’s demand was unreasonable, yet due to the

policy of appeasement, Hitler’s demand was satisfied. The

appeasement encouraged Germany to be aggressive and expanded

the appetite of Germany. The more others gave him, the bigger risk

she dared to take. This allowed Germany to grow stronger and

stronger, and inevitably, the war would break out.

After signing the Munich Agreement, Germany occupied

Sudetenland. Thereafter, Hitler sent troops to annex the rest of

Czechoslovakia. At that time, Britain and France realized the

aggression of Germany was unlimited, and decided to end

appeasement and promise military aid to Poland in case of German

invasion. As expected, Hitler focused on Poland and demanded

Poland to return land that Germany lost after the First World War.

However, Hitler worried that Soviet Union would declare war on

Germany, if Germany invades Poland, because Poland was located

near the Soviet Union. Due to above reasons, Germany signed the

Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact with Soviet Union in 1939. Later

then, Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France felt threatened

and demanded Germany to withdraw, yet Germany didn’t reply. As a

result, they declared war on Germany. As shown, the signing of Nazi-

Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was one important cause of the Second

World War.

The appeasement policy which was adapted by Britain and

France encouraged the aggression of Germany. And as mentioned,

due to the policy of appeasement, lots of invasion or possibilities

that would enhance the power of Germany were not resisted or

interfered by Britain and France. As a conclusion, the appeasement

policy was an important cause of the Second World War.