What happened at the rest of the Paris Peace Conferences?

Background Information

Versailles was not the only Paris Peace Conference, and on your spec you are also meant to know the basic details of the four others:

  1. Neuilly, 1919 – Bulgaria
  2. Germain, 1919 - Austria
  3. Trianon, 1920 - Hungary
  4. Sevres, 1920- Turkey

We will also look at the Treaty of Lausanne, of 1923, which also dealt with Turkey, and replaced the Treaty of Sevres.

Neuilly, 1919 – Bulgaria

  1. Bulgaria lost a lot of land, particularly, to Yugoslavia, Greece, and Romania.
  2. They did gain a small bit of land from Turkey, as part of self-determination.
  3. Bulgaria had to pay £100 million in reparation.
  4. Their army was restricted to 20’000, with no conscription or airforce.

What happened at the rest of the Paris Peace Conferences?, figure 1

This map shows the land lost by Bulgaria at the Treaty of Neuilly. In particular, they were angry at the loss of their access to the Aegean Sea (south).

St. Germain, 1919 – Austria

  1. Austria lost land to Italy and Romania, and a significant part of their old Empire further was used to create the new states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
  2. Austria was told to pay reparations, but a final amount was never agreed upon.
  3. Army limited to 30’000, with no conscription and no navy.
  4. Austria was forbidden to unite with Germany (no Anschluss).
  5. This hit Austria extremely hard, especially the loss of so much valuable and industrial land. This caused the Austrian economy to collapse in 1921.

What happened at the rest of the Paris Peace Conferences?, figure 2

This map shows the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The dotted line represents the Austrian borders before the First World War, and the shaded area represents Austria after the Treaty of St. Germain.

Trianon, 1920 – Hungary

  1. Hungary lost land to Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
  2. As half of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, they also lost their influence in Austria, and old Austrian lands.
  3. Reparations were agreed upon; however, the economy immediately collapsed and so they paid nothing.
  4. 30’000 men in the army, with no conscription.

What happened at the rest of the Paris Peace Conferences?, figure 3

You can see the post-Trianon borders of Hungary more clearly in the picture for Austria. This picture is, however, particularly enlightening for showing the new ethnic mixes in the new Central-Eastern states. You will notice that whilst Hungary has a homogenous population of Hungarians, there are many states which did not have as good a balance. This resulted in problems and clashes between ethnic groups.

The Story of Turkey

Sevres, 1920

  1. Turkey lost land to Greece, which included all of its land in Europe except a small amount around its then-capital, Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).
  2. The Ottoman Empire was dissolved, giving huge territories in the Middle East to Britain and France.
  3. Army limited to 50’000, and a huge reduction in the navy.
  4. Turkey had to keep the Dardanelles (a hugely important, and Turkish-controlled trade route) open and free to all nations.
  5. The Allies would be allowed to keep their own military bases in Turkey.
  6. The Turkish people were so outraged by all of this, that they held a revolution and overthrew the government. The new President threatened to fight the Allies, and so they held another treaty – the Treaty of Lausanne.

What happened at the rest of the Paris Peace Conferences?, figure 1

This map shows just how severe the territorial terms of the Treaty of Sevres were. All of the land coloured was originally Turkish, and they lost the vast majority. This was the harshest of the territorial terms of all of the Paris Peace Conferences.

Lausanne, 1923 – Turkey

  1. Turkey regained some land in Europe and land on the ‘Asia Minor’ peninsula which Greece had been given.
  2. They were allowed more control and autonomy over the Dardanelles.
  3. They had full control over their own military.
  4. Reparations were cancelled.
  5. Allied forces and military bases were withdrawn.

Why was Lausanne so significant?

  1. Lausanne significantly undermined the Allies and the wider / other Paris Peace Treaties.
  2. A small show of force had shown that Britain and France were not prepared to go to war to enforce the Paris Peace Conferences – they backed down instead.
  3. This later encouraged Mussolini and Hitler, as they felt their own countries had been treaty unfairly.
  4. Whilst Italy had been a winner of the First World War, Mussolini felt that Britain and France had gained everything from the Peace Conferences, and Italy had gained almost nothing.
  5. Lausanne showed that even in three years, Allied governments had changed and the U.S. had retreated back into isolationism, and so their position of dominance and harshness after the First World War was no longer true.

Eastern Europe

These other smaller treaties were all also agreed at the Paris Peace Conference, and dealt with the establishment and expansion of countries in eastern Europe.

Czechoslovakia

  1. The most important country that was created was Czechoslovakia. The Allies hoped that it would provide a country which would be economically and politically stable in eastern Europe.
  2. In reality, it was not very stable, as it contained many different national groups, and as a result there were many ethnic tensions. (see graph)

Poland

  1. Poland had been an important country in the 1600s but had since been divided up by Russia, Germany and Austria.
  2. The Allies wanted to recreate Poland so that it could act as a watchdog on Germany and also for a barrier against Communist Russia.
  3. Poland, however, had no natural frontiers such as rivers or mountains, which made it vulnerable to attack.
  4. As a result from the very outset there was fighting between Poland and Russia.
  5. Poland had also been given access to the sea, through the ‘Polish corridor’ which covered a German city called Danzig. This was bitterly resented by the Germans.

Yugoslavia

  1. Yugoslavia was an example of Wilson’s idea of self-determination in action.
  2. It was also meant to make the area it was in more stable.
  3. Like Czechoslovakia, the new state contained a lot of different national groups (Serbs, Bosnians, Croats), which again led to ethnic tensions.
  4. As a result, this part of Central-Eastern Europe arguably became more unstable than ever.

Define the following terms:

St. Germain
Your answer should include: Austria / 1919
Neuilly
Your answer should include: Bulgaria / 1919
Trianon
Your answer should include: Hungary / 1920
Sevres
Your answer should include: Turkey / 1920
Lausanne
Your answer should include: Turkey / 1923 / Sevres / undermine