Appeasement by France and Britain

Why did Britain and France   adopt the appeasement policy betwen 1933 t0 1939?

To appease means to avoid displeasing or annoying some one by giving or doing what that person wants. It could be to give or to do what a given country wants in order to avoid war.

Between 1933 and 1938 Britain and France adopted a cautious policy towards Germany. They showed their reluctance to take decisive action to prevent or halt German aggressive and expansionist policies.

Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime minister, in the period 1937 – 1940 is the man most associated with this policy although it was followed by Britain almost from the time Hitler came to power in 1933. He believed that
the best way to deal with Hitler was by discussion and conceding to his demands, which are not too demanding. This became popularly known as the Appeasement Policy.

Reasons why Britain and France adopted the Policy of Appeasement:

• Public opinion in both countries was against war. Chamberlain himself and many other leading politicians in Britain shared this opinion. Memories of the First World War were still fresh in people’s minds. They could not contemplate another war happening at that time. They would try almost any thing to avoid war. In other words, avoid war at any cost.

• The Economic Depression of the early 1930s had devastated the economies of most countries of Europe. Britain and France were anxious to cut down government spending to protect their economies from collapsing. They did not want to increase on the military spending in preparation for war. Economic problems such as huge debts and mass unemployment were higher and immediate priorities.

• Like the most British politicians of the 1930s, Chamberlain had sympathies for Germany over the Treaty of Versailles. He believed that the treaty was unfair and Hitler was right in most of his aims such as rearming Germany and recovering some of the lost German territory. He also believed that after putting right...