Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

While it is now clear that appeasement of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler did not prevent another war, there is a historical debate on whether British appeasement policies were shameful, a set of well-intentioned blunders, an attempt at keeping peace internationally, or a strategy to keep domestic resources focused on Britain. Within the debate between historians, lies a debate between the British public and Parliament, and even within Parliament itself. An important factor in the British decision to implement appeasement policy in the 1930s often underemphasized in the literature is the governmental prioritizing of domestic issues and national security over collective security. This is most prevalent in 1936-1939 and is accompanied by the divergence and convergence of public and parliamentary opinion. Analyzing this allows for a better understanding of the period and the relationship between people and their government, especially in times of crisis. To aid in the understanding of the struggles that Britain faced in this time, this research utilizes a collection of secondary sources from historians of appeasement, and primary sources such as articles from the London Times, the Chamberlain and Churchill papers, the HANSARD database of United Kingdom Parliamentary documents, and the UK Parliamentary papers. The Times articles represent the voice of the public, as these article best illustrate the wide range and changing opinions of the average British citizen. The HANSARD documents, as well as speeches and articles by members of Parliament, best represent the opinions and feelings of the varying members of British leadership.

Keywords

Appeasement; Great Britain; Parliament; Public; British; World War II; London Times; Parliamentary Papers; Domestic concerns; Nationalism; World War II (1939-1945); World Politics

Disciplines

Diplomatic History | European History | Military History | Political History | Public History

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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