Appeasement and Germany’s Last Bid for Colonies by Andrew J. Crozier (auth.)

By Andrew J. Crozier (auth.)

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S In spite of his pessimism6 the Prime Minister went to Geneva personally to present the British plan to the disarmament conference. 7 First reactions to it were encouraging and Ramsay MacDonald reported to his Cabinet colleagues that he thought the outlook was now not so bleak. He had been uneasy after it had been decided 'to launch the draft 46 Appeasement and Germany's Bid for Colonies Convention, but he was now well satisfied'. 8 Yet within two months the disarmament conference was again in trouble.

That the world could be peacefully opened up to' , and perhaps 'conquered for, the German people' by economic means. It was also 'a classic sign of the loss of real state-farming and state-preserving virtues and of all the insight, will power, and active determination which follow from them'. 78 The consequence of this 'lunacy' was 'industrialisation as boundless as it was harmful'. It led inexorably to the 'weakening of the peasant class' and a corresponding increase in the size of the urban proletariat until 'the balance was British and German Attitudes in 1933 37 completely upset'.

12 Brailsford gave vent to his gloomy prognostications at greater length in his After the Peace, published in 1920. 13 Following the conclusion of peace with Germany, a reaction set in in Britain in academic and journalistic circles that began to doubt atrocity stories, the theory of German war guilt and to question the whole climate of anti-Germanism. A good example of this process is the historian W. H. Dawson, not least because he was the foremost British advocate of the return of Germany to colonial activity.

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