Why Chamberlain Appeased Hitler – 

      19 Essay Ideas



     Many Conservatives liked and supported Hitler’s strong, right-wing government.

Britain was weak

     Britain’s small army was too weak to go to war in 1938; needed time to re-arm.


     Many Britons saw Hitler as a defence against Russian Communism.


The critical factor?   Chamberlain was not a dictator with the right to start a war if he pleased.   He could not go to war without the support of the people – and until 1939 most people wanted peace, almost at any price.


     Britain could not defend her empire AND fight a war in Europe.


     Did not want war; and Britain could not fight Germany alone.

German propaganda

     claimed that Germans in the Sudetenland and Poland were being mistreated.


     The Labour Party wanted to spend on housing and social care, not re-armament.

Ist World War

     Chamberlain & many others remembered the slaughter of the First World War.


The Treaty of Versailles was unfair and Hitler’s Six Steps all seemed reasonable.   Other countries were conscripting to reduce unemployment.

Kost (= Cost)

     Rearmament meant high taxes, which made democratic leaders unpopular.

League of Nations

     Many people believed in the League, and that quarrels could be ended by negotiation.


It was RIGHT to try everything possible to keep peace: ‘War is a terrible thing, and we must make sure that it is the great issues that are involved’.

Neville Chamberlain

misjudged Hitler - he believed that Hitler ‘was a man who could be relied on’.   Recent research has suggested that, even after March 1939, Chamberlain remained substantially committed to appeasement.

Out of sight, out of mind

     Hitler rearmed/ persecuted the Jews etc, in secret.   Western countries didn’t know/ could not be sure.

Peace Movement

     Many people, especially young people, wanted peace.    


     Hitler promised in 1938 that Sudetenland was the ‘last claim I have to make’.


    Czechoslovakia was far away (none of our business?)/ Britain could not help.

Spanish Civil War

     Guernica showed what German bombers could do to Britain if there was a war.


Write an essay, ‘Why did Chamberlain appease Hitler’

1.   Chose the most powerful reasons from the list above – each idea will take a paragraph.  

2.   In each paragraph, put the Point you are making, find some Evidence to support it, then Explain how this persuaded Chamberlain he had to appease Hitler.   

3.   Finish with a summative paragraph which links all your ideas together and forms an overview/theory about why Chamberlain appeased Hitler.


Your first paragraph may start:

‘The first reason why Chamberlain followed a policy of appeasement was…’.