Was the appeasement policy of the late 1930s justified? Explain your answer.
Germany’s aggressive behaviour had always been met with appeasement by Britain and France in the 1930s. Appeasement explains the reluctance of getting involved so that a war could be avoided. Britain and France appeased Germany due to several reasons. The reasons included the following: memories of World War I, problems faced by France and Britain’s attitude towards Hitler. This justifies the appeasement policy.
People who lived through the First World War were haunted by the sufferings and destruction caused by the war. Large numbers of soldiers were killed in the war. They wanted to avoid another war of such magnitude. The war cost about the lives of 8 million soldiers and the number of injured soldiers was estimated to be more than 20 million. Civilians also suffered as there were severe food shortages and a general loss of morale among them. The war also claimed many innocent civilian lives. The war, being a costly one, threw many countries into heavy debts. Britain faced huge debts which were used to finance the war. Britain borrowed large sums of money and had also raised the taxes. The policy of appeasement was to pacify Hitler; otherwise Hitler would have started another war. This explains why there was a need to appease the Germans.
Besides, both Britain and France wanted to rebuild its economy rather than get involved in another war. They had to rebuild their economy in the aftermath of the Great Depression. There was a pressing need to create jobs to reduce the problem of unemployment. Hence, the Allied powers were not willing to spend money on weapons and on expanding their military power. Besides, Britain’s large overseas possessions were also causing a lot of trouble. There was growing opposition in places like India and Palestine. Britain did not want to have problems in Europe as well. This also justifies the need to follow the policy of appeasement. They felt...