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World War II and the Appeasement Theory

            This essay analyses the responsibility of Neville Chamberlain and his highly controversial Appeasement theory which hypothetically prevented the outbreak of the Second World War. The policy of Appeasement epitomised by the Munich agreement, is a pact signed in 1938 between Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy, which allowed Hitler to annex Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland (area along Czech borders) to prevent the onset of a major war. Appeasement has been drastically criticised since it ended in a "humiliating failure" when Germany attacked Poland in 1939 (McDonough, 2002). This essay also evaluates two significant appraisals of the Munich agreement, described in McDonough's (2002) exhaustive book: a first, which asserts that it was an utterly unwholesome policy of despicable capitulation and a second, instigated by the 'revisionist historians' - exemplified by Taylor's (1963) controversial book - which comprehends it as an elaborated policy enabling Chamberlain to prevent an imminent war while he was opportunely preparing for it (McDonough, 2002). This essay concurrently criticises and evaluates these assessments of Chamberlain's contentious acts, since each of them imply one consequent solution which could have impeded the suddenly onset of the war. Two core solutions are therefore criticised below: first that Chamberlain should have initially constrained Hitler's desire for Lebensraum - German desire to enlarge their living space - and second, that Chamberlain should have maintained his appeasement policy (McDonough, 2002). .
             Since Trevor-Roper (1961) and Bullock (1998) (both cited in McDonough, 2002) assert in their analytical and exhaustive books that confronting Hitler earlier could have avoided war, the appeasement theory looses its entire purpose ( 'Hitlocentric interpretation'). Although it is beyond the scope of this essay to provide a comprehensive list of factors which engendered the Second World War, an explanation of what the appeasement policy aspired to achieve is necessary.

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