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Britain – Politics, 1918-45

4. Appeasement and British Politics

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about the interdependence of foreign and domestic policy in the interwar years, focusing in particular on: (i) the influence of the First World War and the League of Nations on the formulation of British foreign policy; (ii) the mismatch between the public support for a conciliatory foreign policy and the aggressive expansionism of countries such as Italy, Japan and (especially) Nazi Germany; (iii) the extent to which foreign policy was more about scoring political points than doing what was best for the country; and (iv) the extent to which the actions of Italy, Japan and Germany propelled Winston Churchill back into the political mainstream after more than a decade in the political wilderness.

Course

In this course, Dr Robert Crowcroft (University of Edinburgh) explores British politics between the years 1918-45. In the first module, we think about the reasons for the political domination of the Conservative Party in this period, focusing in particular on the leadership of Stanley Baldwin and policy-making of Neville Chamberlain. In the second module, we trace the rise of the Labour Party between 1918-31, before turning in the third module to the three major crises of the period – the 1926 General Strike, the 1931 financial crisis, and the 1936 Abdication Crisis. In the fourth module, we think about the interdependence of domestic and foreign policy I this period, particularly in relation to the issue of appeasement, before turning in the fifth module to think about Churchill's leadership of Britain in the Second World War. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the General Election of 1945 and why it was that the Conservative Party, led by the war hero Winston Churchill, were so comprehensively defeated by Clement Attlee's Labour Party.

Lecturer

Dr Robert Crowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on moments where political systems have been subjected to acute stresses such as war. His most recent book, The End is Nigh: British Politics, Power, and the Road to the Second World War (2019), focused on British politics in the years prior to the Second World War.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Crowcroft, R. (2021, March 04). Britain – Politics, 1918-45 - Appeasement and British Politics [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-politics-1918-45/appeasement-and-british-politics

MLA style

Crowcroft, Robert. "Britain – Politics, 1918-45 – Appeasement and British Politics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/britain-politics-1918-45/appeasement-and-british-politics