“Appeasement” is a diplomatic policy in which nations attempt to make peace by making concessions to an aggressive nation. Appeasement is often linked with the policies of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain during World War II.
The most famous case of appeasement is the Munich Pact, in which Britain and France, under the leadership of Chamberlain, conceded Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. The hope was that it would stop the aggression of Hitler and the Nazis, but it did not, and was largely seen as giving Germany a free pass.
Due to those failures, the policy today has a very negative connotation, along with a related concept “peace at any price.” Defense hawks regularly accuse opponents of appeasing the enemy.
Der Spiegel outlines how the strategy failed in the 1930s.
Use of “Appeasement” in a sentence
- The policy of appeasement towards the authoritarian regime was criticized for emboldening the dictator and compromising the democratic values of the international community.
- Many historians argue that the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s by European powers contributed to the emboldening of the Nazi regime, eventually leading to World War II.
- Some politicians caution against a strategy of appeasement in dealing with aggressive nations, advocating instead for a more assertive stance to protect national interests and uphold international law.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.