Although many people warned of the threat of Nazi Germany, Chamberlain elected ministers who approved it and wanted to avoid another war. Chamberlain, like many others of the same age, was very concerned about the war. They believed that people like Adolf Hitler were in power because their people thought their situation was unfair. The German people considered the Treaty of Versailler, an agreement to end the First World War, to be unfair. When Nazi Germany invaded Austria and the Sudetenland (part Czechoslovak), Chamberlain tried to keep the peace. Czechoslovakia was an independent country in 1938. It was founded in 1918 after the First World War with an international agreement. Hitler wanted a habitat (this means “habitat”). He wanted all Germans in Czechoslovakia to be united with Germany. As most of the German-speaking populations of Czechoslovakia remained in the Sudetenland, Hitler first set his goals there. He knew that most of Czechoslovakia`s industrial strength would be lost if the Sudetenland left Czechoslovakia.
Britain, France and the USSR had all agreed to support Czechoslovakia in the event of war. The Munich Agreement was an agreement between France, Italy, Nazi Germany and Britain. After Germany invaded the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, the British and French prime ministers tried to get Hitler to agree to stop deploying their soldiers in the future in exchange for the country he had seized. Hitler agreed. At first, people thought the agreement was a success, but Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia in 1939, which led to the beginning of World War II. Chamberlain was trained in Birmingham. After a successful career in economics, he was appointed Lord Mayor of Birmingham in 1915. In 1916, Lloyd George appointed him director general of the Department of Public Services, but disagreements between them led Chamberlain to resign. In 1918 Chamberlain was elected to the Conservative parliament for Ladywood in Birmingham. He was both Chancellor of the Exchequer (1923-1924) and Minister of Health (1923, 1924-1929, 1931).
In 1937, he succeeded Stanley Baldwin as Prime Minister. In the 1930s, the Irish Taoiseach (much like a Prime Minister) was the Irish Prime Minister. Valera worked on the creation of a new constitution (laws) for Ireland. He wanted to make Ireland independent of Britain. Ireland had its own government, but Britain still controlled Northern Ireland and had naval ports (called convention ports) in Ireland. Valera wanted this control to stop. Chamberlain wanted Ireland to support Britain in the event of war, because he knew that without Ireland`s help, it would be difficult to defend the Atlantic Ocean. Chamberlain and his foreign minister, Malcolm MacDonald, agreed to return the contract ports to Ireland, but hoped that British warships could use them during the war. In March 1939, the German army moved in to control the rest of Czechoslovakia. It was against the Munich agreement.
Chamberlain realized that his attempts to control Hitler had failed. He began to prepare Britain for war using the new factories that had been built. Many new weapons have been built, including the Supermarine Spitfire (a fighter jet) and radar.