The world was plunged into World War II for many reasons. Even if the 1920s started pretty well for the Americans, with new technologies, new development, the world will be plunged into war in 1939. There were reasons such as Japan that was invading other countries like Manchuria, Hitler who violated the Treaty of Versailles, and Mussolini who attacked Ethiopia. Everyone was afraid of their actions, Democratic countries or those who were supposed to keep peace among the world were not able to stop them. As a result, the British Prime Minister Chamberlain proposed the policy of appeasement, at the Munich Conference in 1938, which consisted in giving the aggressors what they wanted. Was that policy the best way to deal with the aggressors? Which one of those policies was the most effective answer to aggression? In the following line, I am going to develop my point of view about the appeasement and collective security.
Everything started with the three faces of totalitarianism who were Japan, Germany, and Italy. They were all using aggression to get what they wanted. In one hand, we have Japan and Italy who were invading Manchuria and Ethiopia. In the other hand, we have Hitler who wanted to take over Czechoslovakia, and also, he sent Germans troops into Rhineland, which was forbade by the Treaty of Versailles. When the Italian attacked Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia asked the League of Nations to help them. Unfortunately, they were not effective which basically means that they were not able to do anything against it. Hitler, in his side, chooses to tear up the Treaty of Versailles by sending his troops into the Rhineland. Hitler went further with his aggression by asking for the Sudetenland, a section of Czechoslovakia. One of the things that was worse about it is that “Nor was any existing coalition that could have opposed Hitler’s massive forces.” Because of fear, everybody instead of putting themselves together to defeat those three faces, they rather bow down to them and give them what they wanted which will literally bring us to the Munich Agreement. Eubank, Keith. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 9.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 18AD.
Selassie, Haile. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 2.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 18AD.
“New York Times .” New York Time.com.
On the day of September 30, 1938, a conference was held at Munich among the powers of Europe. The agreement that was signed among powers of Europe and Germany caused a lot of disagreement. That disagreement was a proof that appeasement was less effective than collective security was. Document 5 states why the British Prime Minister Chamberlain favored that policy. He said that he is “a man of peace”, and he feared war. He proposed that policy because he just wanted to secure the peace of the future European generation. In document 7, George F. Kennan offers a critical point of view of the Munich Agreement. He said that the agreement was a desperate act of appeasement at the cost of the Czechoslovak state. He also says “We know today that is was unnecessary… Because the Czech defenses were very strong . . . and because the German generals, conscious of Germany’s relative weakness at that moment, were actually prepared to attempt to remove Hitler . . . had he continued to move forward.” Doc.7. It is true that Europe was happy because they were able to avoid the war for a certain amount of time; However, the Czechs were unhappy about that decision. Also, with an appeasement, you are just giving the aggressors more power over you, and they will get more thirstier and ask for more. With those examples, we are able to say that appeasement was the less effective response to aggression. Kennan, George F. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 7.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 2018.
Chamberlain. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 5.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 2018.
Collective security in which nations act together to stop aggression, it was the most effective response to aggression. Parliament Winston Churchill, George F. Kennan were part of the people who disagree with Prime Minister Chamberlain’s policy. Document 6 give us the point of view of the English parliament Winston, he said that: “I have always held the view that keeping peace depends on holding back the aggressor.” He asked that Britain, together with France and other powers, guarantee the security of Czechoslovakia. George F. Kennan offers another critical view of the Munich Agreement in document 7. Kennan stands that:” the Munich Agreement was a… desperate act of appeasement”. He basically said that appeasement would barely satisfy Hitler’s stormy ambition, and it would not guarantee Europe for a peaceful future. Also, the British historian A.J.P. Taylor presents another point of view on appeasement in document 8. He is basically saying if instead of giving Hitler what he wanted, instead of giving him power they put themselves together; they could have not only overthrown Hitler, but they will also be able to secure the Czechs. Kennan, George F. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 7.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 2018.
Churchill, Winston. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 6.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 18AD.
Taylor, A.J.P. “DBQ 21: Causes of World War II/Document 8.” Canvas, 4 Jan. 18AD
In conclusion, the collective security was the best response to aggression because few countries agreed with the decision that was made at the Munich Conference. Prime minister Neville Chamberlain favored appeasement to avoid war and guarantee the peace of Europe. Many disagreed with him, they would have preferred that European power put themselves together to overthrow Hitler. Hitler, in his side, tried everything which was un his power to keep influencing people such as propaganda. He also hated the Jewish. The World was plunged into war because of Hitler and the Munich Agreement.