Why Did Winston Churchill Oppose The Munich Agreement

Churchill used this speech to discover Hitler`s expansionist tendencies immediately after Germany`s annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland. He strongly criticized Neville Chamberlain and his government for approving Hitler`s annexation of the Sudetenland and said, “Instead of taking his victuals off the table, [Hitler] merely served them.” Churchill saw the Munich agreement as a show of weakness that disrupted the balance of continental power, and argued that the agreement would not prevent the outbreak of war or guarantee that Hitler would change his behaviour. He called the Munich Pact a “total and total defeat.” He opposed the policy of appeasement and was very skeptical of Hitler`s promises and spoke in the House of Commons in a scathing speech. Churchill then sent directly to the American people and begged for their help and support. They could no longer ignore what was happening in Europe, and Churchill made it clear that he felt he could oppose dictatorship together. Churchill`s great disagreements with John Simon and Chamberlain necessitated war with Germany to defend Czechoslovakia. Churchill felt that Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed to maintain peace with Germany, and that they had “abandoned to themselves and said that they were not receiving help from the Western powers, [the Czechs] were able to make better terms than they would have obtained.” Churchill also used his speech to highlight the hypocrisy of forcing Czechoslovakia to abandon part of its sovereign territory without a referendum. He said, “No matter how you say it, this particular block of land, this mass of people who must be handed over, has never expressed a desire to enter Nazi rule.” This violated the principle of self-determination, which stipulated that “liberal and democratic” nations should be protected from being adopted by totalitarian governments, an idea that Churchill strongly supported. In a debate in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, then a member of Epping, contradicted the request of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir John Simon, to “reaffirm the policy of Her Majesty`s government which avoided war in the recent crisis.” For the Members of Parliament at the time, a vote in favour of John Simon`s motion would indicate the approval of the signing, on 30 September 1938, of the Munich Agreement by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, which the Sudetenland ceded from Czechoslovakia to Germany, and more broadly the approval of Chamberlain`s appeasement strategy vis-à-vis Hitler.

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