There are many arguments for and against appeasement before WW2. Appeasement was a policy between Britain, France and Germany. The policy meant that the allies would give Germany what they wanted as long as they didn’t start a war or cause trouble. The Dictionary definition of appeasement is: (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the policy of acceding to the demands of a potentially hostile nation in the hope of maintaining peace. Many people now oppose the policy but not many people did at the time apart from the MP Winston Churchill.
An argument for appeasement is that Germany deserved to have a better deal as The Treaty of Versailles, many British people thought, was too harsh. If Germany would have some of the clauses of the treaty rescinded, then maybe they will be happy and not cause a war. Moreover Britain had lost and reduced a lot of its army during and after WW1. This meant that even though Chamberlain didn’t like to avoid war at any cost, he soon realized that Germany had been rearming its army for quite a while.
Consequently it would be ludicrous to go to war with such a small army, therefore in the mean time it was better to appease Hitler. Britain slowly started to rearm its army, each year investing more. Reasoning for this is that if you spend all your money too soon you may end up with outdated weapons, which are useless against a modern army. Also numerous people feared a second world war, as WW1 was very bad for the citizens on Great Britain, especially as it may be over a small country such as Czechoslovakia.
Many people would do anything to avoid a war as bad as WW1, this is why it was sensible to appease, as the public opinion was against war. Additionally many wealthy people, and ordinary people, would lose their land, property and their money if a communist government took over the country. The majority thought that communism was much worse than Hitler, as Adolf was seen as a strong leader and would not let communism spread to his territory. An argument against appeasement is that it is encourages Adolf Hitler to be aggressive as he kept getting away with more and more.
So each time he did an act of aggression and nobody did anything, he asked himself “Can I get away with even more?! ” And of course he could. It is thought that Hitler was very nervous about taking soldiers into the Rhineland, but when nobody did anything he grew in confidence, and this encouraged him to make more demands for land. As well as this another reason against appeasement was that every time Germany took land, they got stronger, consequently becoming harder to defeat.
So in some way Britain and France were helping (in the long term) Germany by giving things that helped them in the war. Many people think that the allies should have just have faced the music and fought the war there and then while Germany weren’t as strong as they were becoming. Moreover the appeasement scared the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia France and Britain did not do anything hence why the USSR reached an agreement with Germany called the Nazi-Soviet Pact.
The pact meant that Germany and Russia would not go to war with each other and invade Poland together and spilt it between the two countries. Hitler would never of been able to invade Poland if it meant getting past the USSR. Also Hitler always had one aim: Conquer the East. The allies should of know what Hitler was going to do, as he made it very in his speeches and letters that nothing was going to stop him reaching his goal. When Hitler invaded the Rhineland the allies should of realized what was going to happen and should have started getting ready for war instantly.
Appeasement was then an excuse not to go to war, when Hitler was tricking them into believing something else when really a World War was inevitable. Finally Winston Churchill also though that Chamberlain was being fooled by Hitler, and “The Munich Agreement was a disaster. ” Churchill said this because it meant sacrificing Czechoslovakia and Hitler broke the promise as well. Moreover the time from appeasement was not spent wisely as Britain was still not ready when the war started.
I don’t think that appeasement was the right think to do, because as you can see from above there are a lot more negatives than positives. But on the other hand I do agree with the buying time argument. They say “Slow and steady wins the race. ” And even though this is not directly appropriate, I do believe that this is why Britain won the war. Appeasement (even if it was the wrong way to do it) gained time for Britain to prepare so they could do the war properly. Without this time the preparation for the war would have been rushed and the outcome would have been, I think, drastically different.