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Active Appeasement Notes

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Active Appeasement: 1938 Anglo-German Talks:
- In April 1937 Chamberlain sent Lord Halifax to visit Hitler and find out his aims.
- Halifax made it clear that Britain was prepared to accept some changes in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland provided they came about peacefully. Germany was also offered some colonies in Africa.
- Hitler showed little interest in colonies, but indicated that he still hoped to reach an agreement with Britain. He accused the British press of making such an agreement impossible.
- Despite the minimal progress, Chamberlain heralded the visit a success. Anglo-Italian Talks:
- Anglo-Italian relations had been good since 1914, while Mussolini had been cooperative in signing Locarno, enlisting at Stresa and supporting Austria.
- Chamberlain tried to improve relations with Italy, intent on a 'new impetus'. He sent a personal letter to Mussolini, with talks beginning in January 1938.
- The talks did not go well. Mussolini wanted Italian domination of the Mediterranean and North Africa.
- The 'Easter Agreement' was reached in April 1938, with Britain recognising Italy's position in Abyssinia in return for the removal of Italian troops from Spain and respect for the status-quo in the Mediterranean. Italy would also reduce troop levels in Libya, close to the Suez Canal, while curtailing antiBritish propaganda.

Anthony Eden resigned in February 1938 over the attempted agreements with Italy. He saw Mussolini as a 'complete gangster', favoured greater efforts to build relations with the USA and was tired of being undermined by Chamberlain's intervention in foreign affairs. Lord Halifax replaced Eden as foreign secretary, while the anti-German Sir Robert Vansittart was replaced by the more compliant Sir Alec Cadogan as under-Secretary of State.

The Anschluss:
- Since 1934 the Austrian government had struggled to control Austrian Nazis and keep German influence at bay. From 1936 it no longer had Italy's help.
- Throughout 1937 the Austrian Nazis increased their influence, buoyed by money and advice from Berlin.
- In 1938 Schuschnigg appealed to Hitler for help, but the Führer then demanded Nazis were included in the cabinet, paving the way for SeyssInquart, Austrian Nazi leader, to become Austrian Minister of the Interior.
- Schuschnigg resigned in 1938 after, in response to the call for a plebiscite, Hitler threatened war.

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