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Diehard Conservatives and the Appeasement of Nazi Germany, 1935–1940

Fleming, Neil (2015) Diehard Conservatives and the Appeasement of Nazi Germany, 1935–1940. History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 100 (341). pp. 412-435. ISSN Online: 1468-229X

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Abstract Historians have tended to examine right-wing British responses to Adolf Hitler on the basis of a supposed admiration or political affinity for Nazism. This article argues that the dilemma which actually split diehard Conservatives was between challenging Germany before it was too late, and a conviction that Britain lacked the means to do so. Both positions were predicated on a belief that Britain needed to accelerate rearmament, and that Nazi Germany posed a direct threat to British power. Ideology is not irrelevant, but the public statements and actions of diehard MPs reveal that their primary motivation was to resist internal and external threats to Britain's position as a world power. This resulted in an unprecedented division in diehard ranks over Neville Chamberlain's foreign policy, though diehard unity on colonial appeasement recalled an older tradition of working together in defence of the empire.

Item Type: Article
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© 2015 The Author. History published by The Historical Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Nazism, Nazi Germany, Conservatives, British Foreign Policy, appeasement
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Copyright Info: Open access article
Depositing User: Neil Fleming
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2019 06:51
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:30

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