CHY 4U 2014: The Trial of Neville Chamberlain

Giant Gavel via Flickr, by Sam Howzit
Giant Gavel via Flickr, by Sam Howzit

History can be cruel to politicians. Despite early attempts to stabilize Europe, former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is remembered for one infamous moment: in 1938, he held up an agreement that he and Adolf Hitler had signed, and proudly announced to the British public that he had brought them “peace in our time.” Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland.

After the break, we will put Chamberlain on trial. The charge is the following:

The defendant, Neville Chamberlain, is charged with using poor judgement unbecoming a world leader, and failing to prevent war.

In preparation for this activity, I need you to do the following;

Read pages 451-456 and create a timeline showing significant events. Though you may design the timeline any way you wish (including electronically), you must include at least one specific point per date.

Once you are done, I will show you the first 10 minutes of a video about Winston Churchill, Chamberlain’s successor. I want you to watch this video carefully and to track Churchill’s successes and failures. We will use these details to help us understand Chamberlain’s actions when we return.

By the way, Churchill was an absolute terror of a student: he lied, started fights, and did poorly in class. His only good subject? History.

What can we learn from this? Learn your history well, and you too can become the greatest leader of your century. No pressure.


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