Winston Churchill Essay, Research Paper
Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill were contemporaries of Hitler, and
each had his own opinion about appeasing him. They completely disagreed about what
should have been done.
In Neville Chamberlain?s speech In Defense Of Appeasement he supports
?peace? at all costs for Europe, regardless of any other factors. He believed that the
Czech Government should agree to give Germany the territory that it wanted, and in
time, the population concerned would be treated fairly under their rule. Chamberlain
said that no matter how much Britain wanted to help Czechoslavakia in their time of
need, they could not involve the entire British Empire in war because of one small
nation. He was ?a man of peace?(Perry 373) and did not think that Germany, or any
other nation was planning to dominate the world by force. If this was the case, it would
have to be very clear that the nation had ill intentions, and it was the great issues that
were at stake, only then would prompt action be taken, in war if necessary. Calmly
waiting to see what events occurred next was Chamberlain?s answer to the people?s
questions. He states: ?As long as war has not begun, there is always hope that it may be
prevented, and you know that I am going to work for peace to the very last moment
Chamberlain wanted the whole of Europe to remain safe and peaceful. If this
meant that Czechoslavakia must sacrifice its freedom and homeland, according to him, it
was worth it in order to maintain peace. He received letters from people saying that they
saw no reason to fight. ?That is my answer to those who say that we should have told
Germany weeks ago that, if her army crossed the border to Czechoslavakia, we should be
at war with her?(373). Because Britain had no legal obligations to Czechoslavakia, he
believed that the people of his nation would have given no support of the war. He was
thoroughly convinced that there was nothing that could keep the Sudetenland within the
Czechoslavakian State, and urged them to submit to German powers. The government
accepted the advice of the French and British Governments.
Chamberlain did not view this as betrayal, but rather, ?what we did was to save
her from annihilation and give her a chance of new life as a new state (373). This
involved the loss of territory and strength, but a chance at enjoying the benefits of a
national existence which was neutral and secure in his mind. Neville Chamberlain,
therefore thought that ?the government deserve the approval of this House (Britain?s
House of Commons) for their conduct of affairs in this recent crisis which has saved
Czechoslavakia from destruction and Europe from Armageddon?(373).
Obviously, Chamberlain believed that Czechoslavakia?s future under German rule
was bright, and would work out fine. By remaining passive he did not have to take any
risks. He believed that if Britain was to interfere with Czechoslavakia?s conflict it would
mean great insecurity and danger for all of Great Britain and Europe.
Winston Churchill?s speech, A Disaster Of The First Magnitude was a response
attacking the Munich agreement and British policy toward Germany. Churchill believed
Czechoslavakia would have been able to make better terms than they go without Western
Powers interfering. He states: ?I have always held the view that the maintenance of
peace depends upon the aggressor, coupled with a sincere effort to redress grievances
(374). This demonstrates how Churchill believed in taking action to resist dictatorship,
as Chamberlain was passive. France, Great Britain, and Russia, if they would have
worked together, could have influenced many of the smaller states of Europe, and
Poland. This could have given power and strength to the forces in Germany who had
influence in military and government affairs, and did not want to annex the Sudetenland.
Many Germans shared in an intense desire for peace. Britain should have declared
immediately that she, with others would join to defend Czechoslavakia against their
aggression, which the government refused to do. ?Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken,
Czechoslavakia recedes into the darkness(374). The nation suffered in every way
possible because of its affiliation with the Western democracies and the League of
Nations. Czechoslavakia was politically damaged, and was in total confusion
economically and financially. There was major movement of the population. Sudeten
miners had to flee from their homes in order to try and find work, which was scarce.
According to Churchill it would have been impossible for the Czechoslavakian
State to remain an independent system, and would eventually be absorbed into the Nazi
regime, joining out of either despair or revenge. Churchill believed that action should
have been taken for the previous five years. That unavailing good intention, very little
resistance to German power, and ineffective use of defenses all contributed to the final
result of Czechoslavakia being annexed. And in those five years Great Britain and
France had been reduced from a position of safety, security, and power to a frightened,
passive nation under the domination of Nazi Germany.
All of the opportunities that Europe had of seizing Nazi power were disregarded.
Alliances could have been formed, and resources used in order to suppress Germany.
?They neither prevented Germany from rearming, nor did they rearm ourselves in time?
(375). Because these issues were neglected, Europe was left ?without adequate national
defense or effective international security?(375) at a very crucial point in time. All of the
countries of Central and Eastern Europe would now just settle for the best terms possible
with the victorious Nazi power. Central Europe?s alliances fell apart, and there was
really no way of reconstitution because of Germany?s immense power. By allowing
Germany to annex Czechoslavakia, some people believed that they were only
surrendering the interests of that one small country. Churchill looked at the big picture
and saw the relationship between Czechoslavakia and all of Europe. He states: ?we have
deeply compromised, and perhaps fatally endangered the safety and even the
independence of Great Britain and France…(T)here can never be friendship between the
British democracy and the Nazi Power?(376). Churchill believed that people should
know the truth about the extreme neglect and shortage of defenses. That they have been
defeated without resistance or a war. The entire balance of Europe entered a state of
disorder. Churchill tells the people of his nation ?do not suppose that this is the end.
This is only the beginning of the reckoning…unless by a supreme recovery of moral
health and moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom
as in olden time (376). Churchill believed that the annexation of Czechoslavakia by
Germany was just the beginning of what was going to happen to the rest of Europe as a
Chamberlain and Churchill?s opinions conflicted greatly. Each had very
supportive reasons for their beliefs, and did what they felt necessary at this very
confusing and threatening point in time.