What Is Appeasement in World History?

Appeasement is a term that has found its way into world history. It is a diplomatic strategy that was used by certain countries during the 20th century.

It can be defined as a policy of making concessions to an aggressor in order to avoid conflict. This policy was adopted by some European powers in the years leading up to World War II, and it has been widely criticized ever since.

Origins of Appeasement

The origins of appeasement can be traced back to the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. This treaty imposed heavy reparations on Germany, who were seen as the aggressors in the war. The German economy suffered greatly as a result of these reparations, and their government was weakened.

In the 1930s, Germany began to rise again under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s regime began to re-arm Germany and expand its territory through military conquest. Many European powers were alarmed by these actions and feared another war.

The Policy of Appeasement

In response to Hitler’s actions, some European powers adopted a policy of appeasement. They believed that if they made concessions to Hitler, he would be satisfied and war could be avoided.

The most notable example of appeasement was the Munich Agreement in 1938. In this agreement, Britain and France agreed to allow Germany to annex part of Czechoslovakia in exchange for Hitler’s promise not to make any further territorial claims.

The Criticism of Appeasement

Appeasement has been widely criticized for its failure to prevent World War II. Critics argue that appeasing an aggressor only emboldens them and encourages further aggression.

Furthermore, many believe that appeasement allowed Germany to become too powerful and that it ultimately led to the outbreak of war.


In conclusion, appeasement was a diplomatic strategy used by some European powers in the years leading up to World War II. It was an attempt to avoid conflict by making concessions to an aggressor.

However, appeasement has been widely criticized for its failure to prevent war and for allowing Germany to become too powerful. It is a lesson that has been learned by many countries since then, that giving in to aggression only leads to further aggression and ultimately, conflict.