American Appeasement and British Policy

  • C. A. MacDonald
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


By the beginning of 1937 Roosevelt had defined the ‘conditions precedent’ for an American initiative in European affairs. In the course of the spring and summer, however, it proved difficult to fulfil these conditions. Britain was the main obstacle to American plans. It was one thing for the State Department to assume that Britain and the United States, as ‘satisfied’ powers with a vested interest in world stability, had an equal interest in appeasing Germany. It proved quite another matter, however, for the two countries to agree on a mutually acceptable method of solving the German problem. Britain neither rejected appeasement nor wished to exclude the United States from any part in a European settlement. Chamberlain, like Roosevelt, was anxious to cultivate Schacht and the ‘moderates’. It was recognised in London, as in Washington, that domestic recovery could not take place without the revival of trade and that the revival of trade in turn depended upon the reintegration of Germany into the world economy. The government had recognised the importance of Germany to British and imperial prosperity as early as 1933, when a bilateral Anglo-German payments agreement was concluded committing Germany to use a proportion of the sterling earned by its exports to the United Kingdom to purchase British and colonial goods.1


Prime Minister European Settlement American Policy Trade Treaty British Policy 
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Copyright information

© C. A. Macdonald 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint School of Comparative American StudiesUniversity of WarwickUK

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