TITLE: Why did the British government follow a policy of appeasement in the 1930s? .
After World War I Germany limped back, licking its wounds that the Treaty of Versailles had so mercilessly rubbed in salt. As one looks back on the events leading up to World War II it has to be asked whether France and England helped to start World War II by their actions at Versailles. It seems that the revenge that the Allies took at the Treaty came back to haunt them with the aggression of Hitler in 1936. However, we can not blame Neville Chamberlain for something with which he had no part. Chamberlain's actions in the years 1936 to 1939 are enough to help one appreciate the dilemma he found himself in. Chamberlain did not, in the beginning, realise exactly what Hitler was after. Hitler was after vengeance for Germany because of the Treaty of Versailles, but Chamberlain did not realise that Hitler was after domination of Europe. When confronted about Germany's plan to attack Czechoslovakia Chamberlain responded, "I think it would be wrong to assume that the German government has any intention of doing such." The eyes of the world were on Chamberlain's every move, criticising, praising, and waiting. With the pressure of the world on his shoulders Chamberlain proceeded cautiously not wanting the tensions to explode. Historically, Britain had followed a foreign policy of appeasement and not getting involved with the rest of Europe. Thus in the 1920s, Britain appeased Weimar Germany with the aim of achieving justice, and paid the price of reducing reparations and treating Germany as an equal. In the 1930s Britain appeased Hitler's Germany with the aim of security and paying the price of turning a blind eye to Germany's ambitions. This essay shall offer analysis on Chamberlain's personal reasons to follow appeasement, the reasons on behalf of Britain and the reasons due to the views of the British public.