Britain, France and the Policy of Appeasement
The AJP Taylor debate is explained here clearly, with discussion points attached and reference made to other historians who have contributed to the debate.
To investigate further this key question, students examine five central sources: Mein Kampf, The Four Year Plan, the Hossbach Memorandum, Code Green, and Goering's testimony at the Nuremberg War Trials.
Students watch an online video documentary and use it to make notes on a separate piece of paper listing of all of the ways in which appeasement was justified at the time: From these notes, they identify NINE key factors why Britain followed a policy of appeasement. Then, organise your ideas so that the most important are at the top, and the least important at the bottom, of a "Diamond 9" Diagram.
A 15-question factual test designed to be used after students have watched the documentary video.
Introduction to the debate: Was the policy of appeasement "Spineless", "Stupid", "Cunning" or "Honourable"?
Still working with the essential notes from the video documentary, students copy and paste each of the provided motivations for the policy of appeasement into what they consider to be the most appropriate column.
Silent Discussion: Was the policy of appeasement "Spineless", "Stupid", "Cunning" or "Honourable"? | Sources | Completed Teacher Version
The teacher now presents the class with a series of sources in the form of a "silent debate". For each one, decide which interpretation (honorable, cunning, stupid or cowardly) it substantiates, and then summarise its argument. Finally, take a vote on which interpretation is the most popular in the class.
1. Study Sources A and B. How far do these two sources agree? Explain your answer using the sources.
2. Study Sources B and C. How far does Source C make Chamberlain's attitude in Source B surprising?