"Appeasement" or Consistent Conservatism? British foreign policy, party politics and the guarantees of 1867 and 1939

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This article argues for a reassessment of the long-term antecedence of ‘appeasement’, largely overlooked in the recent historiography. It suggests that the very term ‘appeasement’ is unhelpful, and that when it is applied to the nineteenth century it leads us to examine it from a twentieth-century perspective, blurring important distinctions between different governments' policies. Instead, this article argues that we ought to take greater account of party-political mentalités and suggests that we might better describe what we call ‘appeasement’ as a ‘Conservative’ approach to policy-making, utilizing two case studies of continental guarantees agreed by British governments in 1867 and 1939.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-534
Number of pages22
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number225
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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