British Appeasement in WWII
In the 1930s, the extreme right-wing governments in Japan, Germany, and Italy began to aggressively expand, starting with Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Britain attempted weak sanctions against Japan, but these proved ineffective. Further acts of aggression were met with no action by Britain, motivated by that country’s war weariness and economic devastation following World War I, as well as the fact that the British government viewed Communism, not Fascism, as its greatest threat. On the 30th of September, 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain took appeasement to its greatest extent by agreeing to let Hitler take over the Sudetenland. Less than a year later, Germany violated the terms of that agreement and Britain mobilized for war. Appeasement had failed, and it had allowed the Axis powers to seize dangerously large amounts of territory unopposed.