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Title: Cometh the hour, cometh the nation : local-Level opinion and defence preparations prior to the Second World War, November 1937 – September 1939
Author: Horsler, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 4685
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents a three-area local case study of expressions of public opinion and the ‘public mood’ regarding British policy towards Germany and defence preparations. The period covered is November 1937 to September 1939. By using local case studies, which existing scholarship has largely ignored, the thesis adds to the national synthesis of events during this period, thereby allowing a more complete history to emerge. The inclusion of local case studies confirms much of the existing narrative but challenges some of the traditional assumptions on issues such as the level of opposition to appeasement and the changes that had already taken place prior to March 1939, when elite opinion shifted. That shift therefore marked the culmination of a process that had begun over a year earlier. This process had been the result of a series of international crises, which provided the psychological changes required in the mind of the British public to enable the nation to prepare for war, despite the continuing desire to avoid a conflict. By combining an analysis of expressions of opinion towards foreign policy with actions taken as part of defence preparations, the thesis identifies the Munich crisis as the major turning point, but it would require a further crisis before the change could be incorporated into mainstream opinion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: DA Great Britain