Peace to War 1919-1939

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Treaty of Versailles � Germany

Severely punished (see notes for details)

Treaty of St. Germain � Austria

Austria-Hungary split. Loss of territory to new countries e.g. Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia

Treaty of Trianon � Hungary

Treaty of Neuilly � Bulgaria

Loss of territory

Treaty of Sevres � Turkey

Loss of Ottoman Empire

In Central and Eastern Europe, the consequences of the First World War were much more dramatic than they were in the West. Imperial power was swept away in Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary collapsed by 1918 and the map of Europe was re-drawn with the creation of new states from the remains of the old. The successor states were Austria, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Each national group was determined to achieve independence from imperial interference. This was known as the right of National Self-Determination. However, in each of the new countries minorities felt that their rights were not recognised properly. For example, in Czechoslovakia there were Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenes, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Gypsies, Romanians etc..

The Ottoman Empire was destroyed. By the treaty of Sevres 1920, Turkey was cut back to 300,000 square miles and its territory in the Middle East was given as mandates to Britain and France. Greece declared war in 1921 to gain land from Turkey, but was beaten. In 1922 Mustapha Kemal (Ataturk) became President of the Turkish Republic and abolished the Sultanate (Ottoman Emperors). By the treaty of Lausanne 1923 Turkey agreed to give up its North African territories and its Arabian kingdoms. One and half million Greeks and Turks were swapped between Greece and Turkey. (Today this would be called ethnic cleansing).

Russia�s losses were the greatest. Russia had surrendered to Germany in 1917 and lost huge territories by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918. In November 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia. The Bolsheviks were communists, committed to the creation of a classless society. Russia was not invited to the Paris Peace Conference because the other Great Powers feared communism and because Russia continued to fight a civil war until 1921.

The treaty of Versailles punished Germany harshly. The other treaties were even more severe to Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. Russia lost a great deal while communism was being established. Britain and France were weakened by the war and had to borrow money from the USA to help rebuild. The USA emerged as the strongest country from the First World War.

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