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The Failure of Appeasement

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

Abstract

The Americans, like the British, at first believed that Munich might provide the basis for a world settlement. The suspicion that Hitler’s aims were unlimited vanished briefly. The administration, however, soon concluded that Munich had been merely a truce and by November Roosevelt was admitting to shame at his association with that settlement. American disillusion was based upon developments in German foreign and domestic policy. Hitler’s Saarbrücken speech and the Kristallnacht pogrom convinced Roosevelt that no permanent settlement was possible while the Nazis remained in power. Ribbentrop’s attempts to strengthen the Anti-Gomintern Pact confirmed fears of an axis conspiracy aimed at world domination. In November 1938 Britain was faced by a similar impasse in relations with Germany. A measure of Anglo-American cooperation followed which had been absent in the period before Munich. Hitler’s intransigence forced both powers to replace appeasement with a show of force designed to deter further German expansion.

Keywords

Prime Minister German Export Western Power American Trade Colonial Good 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    St Quentin to Bonnet, 1 October 1938, DDF, 2nd series, vol. 11, pp. 753–4; New York Times, 4 October 1938.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Richard J. Whalen, The Founding Father, (New York, 1968) p. 248.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Mark S. Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, (Washington, 1960) p. 132.Google Scholar
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    Dirksen to Ribbentrop, 19 October 1938, DGFP, series D, vol. 4, pp. 314–17.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    Berndt Jürgen-Wendt, Economic Appeasement. Handel und Finanz in der Britischen Deutschland Politik, (Düsseldorf, 1971) p. 256.Google Scholar
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    Dirksen’s political report, 3 January 1939, DGFP, series D, vol. 4, pp. 357–64.Google Scholar
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    Kennedy to Hull, 12 October 1938, FRUS, 1938, vol. 1, pp. 85–6; minute by Cadogan, 14 October 1938, C14447/42/18, FO371/21659.Google Scholar
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  11. 42.
    Dirksen to Ribbentrop, 3 January 1939, DGFP, series D, vol. 4, pp. 357–64.Google Scholar
  12. 50.
    Samuel I. Rosenman, Working With Roosevelt, (New York, 1952) p. 182.Google Scholar
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    State Department memorandum, 5 December 1938, FRUS, 1938, vol. 3, pp. 406–9.Google Scholar
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    Blum, From the Morgenthau Diaries, vol. 2, p. 61; Cabinet meeting, 18 January 1939, CAB23/97/1(39).Google Scholar
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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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