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Appeasement

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Iain, Aug 20, 2003.

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  1. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Member

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    I would judge both men based on the results of their actions, not based on my country of origin.

    I would not concede that Truman's use of the A-Bomb can be reasonably compared with Chamberlain's lack of preparedness.

    The Atomic Bomb was used in lieu of a full scale invasion of the Japanese homeland. Any reasonable analysis of the loss of life to be experienced by both sides in those circumstances would show the A-Bomb killed fewer individuals. I read Hiroshima and was appauled by the suffering of those who were at or near ground zero. I also have had the privilige of having first hand discussions with vet's who served in the Pacific theater.

    I do not concede your point.

    The result of Chamberlain's policy was a Europe under Hitler's thumb for nearly 6 years.

    The result of Truman's decision was a swift end to the protracted conflict in the Pacific which in the end, saved more lives than it cost.

    I think that your posted draft suffers from relying too much on the opinions of others. A reasonable person can review the circumstances of the time, and judge based on merit whether the policies of Chamberlain were effective or not. Quoting the flawed conclusions of others does not a persuasive argument make when those conclusions do not pass the "common sense" test.

    The threat was Germany, the approach was appeasement, the result was tyranny in Europe and carnage in England from German bombs. The alternative was defiance, the result was liberation from tyranny, and freedom from the fear of the German bombs.

    Compare the alternatives and the results, and you have a solid argument. Continued attempts to provide excuses for incompetent preparedness and failed foreign policy does not change the outcome OR the appropriate conclusions to be drawn.

    Regards,

    CZ52'
     
  2. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Member

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    re: Writing proficiency

    The sections I've consumed are easy to follow and the perspective presented easy to identify. It certainly exceeds the "Reader's Digest 10th grade standard" but is not overly intellectual so that an individual with a reasonable degree of education (e.g. High School diploma) could not consume.

    It's your conclusions that are the problem :neener:

    CZ52'
     
  3. Iain

    Iain Member

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    Not overly intellectual or not overtly intellectual? ;)

    Appreciate your input.
     
  4. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Member

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    Intellectual...

    Well, there are no $50 or 50# words...no gratuitous use of Latin phrases...so I would say both apply.

    I think the reality is that if you are writing this for academic consumption that you will succeed in the initial endeavor by slanting your observations to the political bias of your professor. The question is, does that form of "appeasement" square with who you are as a person?

    In the end, you need to be true to YOUR evaluation of the circumstances of the time and YOU need to be able to articulate a position that can reasonably be defended. Set the bar high for yourself, because when you do, no teacher or forum poster can cause you to doubt the validity of your conclusions or the application of logic and values that were causal to your reaching those conclusions.

    The assignment will be over in a relatively brief period of time, the habits you make now and the standards YOU set for YOURSELF are foundational for how you live out the remainder of your days.

    Choose wisely...

    Good luck!

    CZ52'
     
  5. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    St Johns,

    we are flattered that you ask our opinion.

    In general, the style is clear and readable. You do need to be careful to use semicolons in the proper places, e.g.:

    Pacifists were not necessarily appeasers, rather than thae the craven..

    a semicolon after appeasers will be more clear. I'll try to make time to read thoroughly; I zipped through rapidly as I'm pressed for time.

    And an aside- I've always fantasized about quitting Medicine and going back to study history or English lit.
     
  6. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    ST jOHNS,

    have you read "Burying Ceasar" ? Nice study of the relations of Churchill and Chamberlain in the last years before the war.
     
  7. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    St. Johns,

    Czechoslovakia was indeed facing internal and external problems of grave difficulty. But examine their military and industrial strength. Their surrender before the Nazis was more due to lack of moral courage by their government rather than a lack of the means to fight. If Chamberlain had been willing to say that under no circumstances would he condone German annexation of Czechoslovakia...things could have been much different.

    I feel that Chamberlain was so fearful of another WWI that he actually was largely responsible for causing it to happen.

    So many folk with vast experience and keen intelligence forget that it takes mutual goodwill to achieve peace but only unilateral aggression to achieve war. It boggles my mind that anyone could look at Nazi Germany and believe that peace was possible. But then look at all the folks in the US who believed the same thing. For that matter, look at the people who thought we could come to a meeting of the minds with the Soviets.
     
  8. Iain

    Iain Member

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    I don't disagree with a lot of that Byron. Chamberlain would have had a very difficult time selling the necessity of war to the British public in 1938, and the French may well not have supported the British at that point (although they didn't turn out to be of vast use when they did support us - did I say that out loud?)

    As for looking at Nazi Germany and believing peace was possible. It is very clear to us now, and some have appeared to history almost prophetic with their predictions about the Nazi's. Cynically I sometimes wonder if Churchill was playing a huge gamble - if there was a war then glory for him. If not then no big loss. In 1933 he made a speech to the Anti-Socialist League praising the 'clear eyed German youth ready to die for their fatherland'. Virulent anti-communism clouded many an eye at this point, some wished the Nazi's and the Soviets to go at each other and save the rest of us the hassle.

    Despite all that I have said, one cannot escape the feeling that the period 1933-9 builds inevitably to war. Although nothing is inevitable...
     
  9. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    What are you using for primary sources? What you list seem to be secondary sources only.
     
  10. Iain

    Iain Member

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    Funny thing is that I don't have to use primary sources, which is nice. However I am using one, the Uncovered Editions is a collection of papers from the archive of the Stationery Office in London. Mostly telegrams and speeches. About 300 pages of telegrams and speeches which is tough going.
     
  11. GinSlinger

    GinSlinger Member

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    I agree that more primary sources are needed. My last substantial history paper before my (nearly ended) four year hiatus was a statistical history of Comal county TX for the years 1840-1880. Diaries and meeting minutes helped explain why Comal (a German settlement) voted for seccession, and why the county did so well during the war (while other counties around them faultered) and during reconstruction. (While the traditional histories did not explain those things.)

    Anyway, not to hijack the thread with my work, but I find primary sources very useful espicially with the number of sources that are now "turning up". I would really like to see any transcripts from the face-to-face meetings of Chamberlain and Hitler. Or, failing that, to see the respective diary entries. Did Hitler's Anglophilic tendencies have anything to do with Chamberlain's responces to Hilter aggression? Hitler was well known as a persuasive speaker. Was the wool pulled of Chamberlain's eyes?

    I have some other questions, but as I am only an undergraduate, they are perphaps better addressed if I could read the entile text. Perhaps the file could be zipped and e-mailed to me? I have aided a friend in his thesis preperation, it is not easy, and defending it can seem like fending off hostiles. Best of luck to you.

    GinSlinger
     
  12. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Heck, I could've saved you a lot of research. Why? Aesthetics of the surrounding countryside and copious amounts of "river time."

    If they'da had Shiner Bock, there might not have even been a war.
     
  13. Iain

    Iain Member

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    I'm only an undergraduate too, part of the aim of the work that I am doing is a literature review, focussing on Gilbert and Gott's 'The Appeasers'.

    The book of primary sources I am using are sources from within the British government, telegrams and speeches. I am also using Mihail Sebastian's diary for some quotes demonstrating fears on the continent and hopes for an early peace because 'I think that Hitler pushed his blackmail to the limit and that, if Britain resists, he will back down a split second later.' (Sebastian)

    History is but one third of my degree and this is less than a 12th.
     
  14. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    Wow. I did my proseminar paper (~20 page research paper) in the Spring Quarter and we were required to use at least 5 primary sources plus a similar number of secondary sources and journal articles. Luckily, the Ottoman Turks/Nationalist Turks were pretty good about saving things. Sometimes hard to find it in English, though.
     
  15. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Depends. Say you want peace, love, goodwill towards all, and the examination of life which makes life worth living. Say I live down the street and want nothing better in life than to beat your brains out with a club.

    We will inevitably have conflict unless you stay in your home until I find a different cause in life or you move. Of course, a bus or some such could run me over. But your earnest desire for peace will have absolutely no bearing on the outcome unless that desire is so great that you run away and stay away...and I can't find you.
     
  16. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Member

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    with due respect to the moderator...

    Within your hypothetical, you fail to acknowledge the possibility that the pacifist will achieve a sense of pragmatism and that the primal instinct of self-preservation will kick in. It could be, that the pacifist ends up confronting the aggressor and defeating him...

    The certainty of an invevitable outcome is never completely certain. It is fair to play the percentages, and to provide after-incident scoring based on the actual results...in this case Chamberlain's foreign policy.

    As we look at Chamberlain, I think St John correctly points out that he was not a "fundamentalist appeaser", just a very committed one. He eventually pursued a military response approach, albeit an ineffective one, largely based on a lack of preparation to effectively put forward and execute.

    Best wishes,

    CZ52'
     
  17. Iain

    Iain Member

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    Yes, I certainly would not agree that Chamberlain was a ''fundamentalist appeaser'' (nice btw - may have to throw that in with your permission) he was the man who declared war in the end.
     
  18. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Member

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    I consider imitation...

    ...the most sincere form of flattery :D

    By all means.

    Best wishes,

    CZ52'
     
  19. grampster
    • Contributing Member

    grampster Member

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    Thumper: Some of my favorite time after reading the intelectual maunderings of our fine bretheren on THR is doing what you said, Michigan style, on a pontoon on the lake with a cooler of Labatts. Headin' there now.

    To my THR Bretheren: I really love reading and digesting information put forward as it is on this thread. Thank you for the brain food.

    :D
     
  20. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    I failed to acknowledge that for a very good reason. The pacifist's goals are peace and the avoidance of conflict. If he confronts his aggressor and defeats him...he doesn't achieve his goals. However, the reason for that example was not to illustrate the full range of options available...it was to illustrate the inevitability of conflict if you have only one agent desiring conflict versus peace requiring at least two agents acting in concert.

    Oh,yeah, the moderator thingy. Doesn't matter as long as we're all civil.

    We can wax eloguently about how stupid and inane each others' ideas and statements are. We just can't say the same about each other:D
     
  21. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "Just a quick vaguely related question - is my writing ok? Does it have a bit of style or is it like reading a pizza menu? Sentences makes sense and train of thought apparent?"

    As a person who makes his living as a writer/editor, and also as someone who has more than just a little history under my belt (BA, work towards my Masters), I'd say your presentation has the dry analytical style beloved of academic historians the world over.

    What are you currently working towards?
     
  22. Iain

    Iain Member

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    BA Mike. It is not my general tone, reading Jenkins and Parker (especially Parker) has the unfortunate effect of rubbing of on my writing style temporarily. Actually when my degree ranges across anthropology, history and sociology the ability to adapt and change tone very quickly is quite useful.

    So to all - apologies if the tone of all my posts are drier than the Atacama at the moment, it is temporary.
     
  23. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "drier than the Atacama at the moment.."

    Don't make me go Anasazi on your butt...

    Congratulations, you're pursuing virtually the same track that I pursued.
     
  24. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, St. John....

    "Actually when my degree ranges across anthropology, history and sociology the ability to adapt and change tone very quickly is quite useful."
    ************************************************************

    It does indeed! And you have commendable skill at managing the change.

    For what it's worth, I'd like to recant my misdirected usage of
    "post modern" in the 'Enola Gay' thread.

    That's a formidable & volatile academic challenge you've taken on:D

    "dry analytical style" will get you through with most academic historians, as Mike says.

    But it's your work....fire it up and leave yourself recognisable within it.;)
     
  25. HBK

    HBK member

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    I think your writing style is exteremely solid.
     
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