Steps on the road of appeasement : British foreign policy-making 1931-1939
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This thesis studies the step-by-step process of foreign policy making within the British Government from 1931 to 1939. It aims to pin-point the origin, evolution and nature of appeasement, the principal policy-makers' viewpoints and activities in policy formulating and their responsibility for encouraging the aggressive powers. In the Introduction, the subjective and objective roots of appeasement are explored, and the Author examines the reasons why it was pursued for nine years without change. Highlighting the shortcomings in the past and current research on the subject, a summary of the approaches used in the thesis is given. The First Chapter surveys policy-making during the Manchurian crisis of 1931, not only a starting point for appeasement, but also to a large extent the main reason for the European appeasement. The Second Chapter shows how the British Government appeased Mussolini in the Italo-Abyssinian conflict of 1935-36, and how appeasement in the Far East started to cause appeasement in Europe. Chapters Three, Four and Five indicate the development of appeasement policy towards Germany during 1936 - 1939, namely, how it was hatched during the Rhineland crisis of 1936, and how it was, through the Anschluss, brought to a climax at Munich in 1938. Chapter Six analyses the policy of the guarantee to Poland and of the Three Power conversations in 1939 with the observation that these represented the Chamberlain Government's efforts to change their policy within the scope of appeasement, but that appeasement led to their failure. In the Conclusion, the various arguments in favour of appeasement are criticised and lessons drawn from that disastrous age.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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