The western countries followed the policy of appeasement to satisfy the aggressive powers. Appeasement meant a policy of conciliation of an aggressive power at the expense of some other country. It was based on the fear of spread of communism. The policy supported aggressive demands of Fascist countries.
Policy of Appeasement lead to the Second World War because of the following reasons :
- Japanese conquest of Manchuria. In 1931, Japan attacked China and occupied Manchuria.
- Italian Invasion of Ethiopia. In 1933, Italy launched invasion of Ethiopia. On the appeal of Ethiopia, League of Nations passed a resolution considering Italy as an aggressor. But no action was taken against Italy. By 1936 Italy had occupied Ethiopia.
- The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In 1936, General Franco raised a standard revolt against Communist government. Fascist Powers supported him. In 1936, he succeeded in destroying the Spanish Republic and became the dictator of Spain.
- Munich Pact. In 1938, the Prime Ministers of France and Britain met Hitler and Mussolini in Munich in Germany and agreed to Hitler’s terms without consulting Czechoslovakia. But after a few months, the whole Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany.
- Militarization of Germany. By the Treaty of Versailles, compulsory disarmament had been imposed upon Germany. But Hitler did not pay any attention towards the Treaty terms and he built a strong army.