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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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Churchill and Appeasement

Churchill and Appeasement

Chapter:
(p.199) 12 Churchill and Appeasement
Source:
Churchill
Author(s):

Paul Addison

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.003.0013

What might loosely be called the Churchillian critique of appeasement involves a series of assumptions about patterns of behaviour in international crises to which appeal has frequently been made both in Britain and in the United States. What is characteristic of this critique is that while purporting to be an argument about political realism, it is in fact one which is about morality. The term ‘appeasement’ itself has lost its original meaning of the defusing of conflict and taken on the meaning of purchasing peace for one's own interests by sacrificing the interests of others. It is worth recalling that in the 1930s, Winston Churchill did not oppose the appeasement of either Italy or Japan. And that in so far as both Italy and Japan remained neutral in 1939, leaving Britain to face Germany led by Adolf Hitler as its only enemy in Europe instead of three worldwide, the appeasement of Italy and Japan did, for a time, pay handsome dividends.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, international crises, United States, Germany, Adolf Hitler, appeasement, Italy, Japan, Europe

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