IGCSE History
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Term 5
Exams and Revision

How successful was the League of Nations in the 1930s? - Abyssinia Role Play

The Guilty Men?
Prime Minister - Stanley Baldwin

Prime Minister 
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister - Briefing by Year 13 students

Andrew Boxer - Appeasement pp. 6-24

Biography - Stanley Baldwin

Baldwin was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge as most British Prime Ministers have done so, (either at Cambridge or Oxford). During the First World War he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Conservative leader Andrew Bonar law. In 1917 Baldwin was appointed junior ministerial post of Financial Secretary to the Treasury. During his time at this post he encouraged voluntary donations by the rich to pay off Britain's war dept. To his credit he donated one fifth of his own wealth. In 1922 after the Conservative Party leadership was forced to break its alliance with the liberal David Lloyd George due to the alliance's unpopularity, Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law was forced to have a cabinet reshuffle. He appointed Baldwin as Chancellor of the Exchequer. In May 1923 Bonar Law discovered that he was dying of cancer and retired immediately. Popular support for Baldwin led to his entrance as the Prime Minister. He sought to recruit the former Liberal Chancellor Reginald McKenna to join the government as Chancellor of the Exchequer, but when this failed he instead appointed Neville Chamberlain. Baldwin would resign in January 1924 after poor out come for the Conservative election in December 1923 and a failed vote of confidence in the parliament of January 1924. Baldwin would return as Prime Minister in 1935 after Labour PM Ramsay MacDonald's expulsion. Labour and the Conservative party had been a coalition government a since 1931. In October 1935 Mussolini invaded Abyssinia and PM Baldwin and his cabinet would choose not to engage in military action against Italy nor would it call in the League of Nations for any serious trade sanctions such as oil. Baldwin and his cabinet would later be labelled as those who appeased. "I wish Stanley Baldwin no ill," Churchill said when declining to send 80th birthday greetings to the retired prime minister in 1947, "but it would have been much better had he never lived".

Advice: During the 1920s and mid 1930's in the aftermath of the Great War pacifist appeasement was the dominant mainstream political view of the time in Britain, France and the United States. The British Government did not wish to make Mussolini an enemy as they wished to maintain the Stresa Front, (an agreement between France, Britain and Italy to combat Nazi aggression.) Britain was also facing the possibility of Japanese hostility in the Far East any military conflict elsewhere would reduce her ability to fight a Japanese invasion in the Far East regions of her empire. Italy occupied the important strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea a vital sea root for supplies to and from the British Empire. The British Nation is still conscious of the death and destruction of the Great War, a decision to go to war politically speaking could threaten the Prime Minister's position.

In playing the role it is very important to listen and note what your ministers tell you. You will need to sum up the opinion of the group at the end of the discussion. Avoid asking for advice which can be given as 'yes' or 'no'. You do not want anyone else to decide yes or no apart from you! 

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