WW1 peace treaties


The Treaty of Versailles (1919)

- Meant as a showpiece to punish Germany but lacked organization because of post-war hastle

- Most important attendees the Council of Ten; France, Britain, the USA, Italy and Japan

- Against tradition the treaty skipped preliminary peace mostly due to France's Ferdinand Foch argument of Germany using the period to its advantage

- Council of Ten replaced by Council of Four; France, Britain, the USA and Italy which would make the key decisions

- Signed in June 1919 after the conference had been on the brink of collapse; hazardous, hectic

- The terms were most detailed when it came to the transfer of territory

- Five main areas; The formation of the League of Nations, responsibility for the outbreak of the war, reparations for the cost of and damage caused by the war, the redistribution of territories in Europe and colonies and disarmament

- Representatives from Britain, Belgium, Italy, France, Japan, Greece, Poland, Romania and Serbia given the responsibility to assign war guilt which would be placed solely on Germany

- Germany had to pay huge reparations, compensate the Allies and Associated powers for all damages and was acoountable for war pensions ([as requested by Britain's Lloyd George] money given to people wounded by war or widowed women)

- France wanted to crush Germany, Britain wanted Germany to recover and the USA was in between

- Reparations Commission investigated how much Germany could pay and established a 25:55 ratio for payment between Britain and France

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The Treaty of St Germain with Austria (1919)

- Even though Austria was a new state the Allied thought of it as the successor of the old Austo-Hungaria and thought that it should be punished much like the other defeated powes

- By accpeting the treaty Austria acknowledged the separation of the old empire and recognized Czechoslovakia as an independent nations

- Austria forbidden to unite with other nations without the approval of the League of Nations (= they would never unite with Germany)

- Required to pay reparations but it never did because it had lost a lot of land and the bank of Vienna collapsed in 1922

- Austrian army reduced to 30 000

- Austria lost a lot of population because of the break up and Italy claimed South Tyyol, Trentino, Istria and Trieste (not intended to be a punishment but still impacted Austria -> the Allied wanted to form successor states to dominate Europe)

- Land also given to Romania, Yugoslavia, Poland and Czechoslovakia -> 3 million Germans in Czechoslovakia -> A French plan to establish a strong ally to protect them from future German and Austrian aggression

- Austria's hopes of being a great power crushed but it had little choice but to accept the treaty

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The Treaty of Trianon with Hungary (1920)

- As with Austria, the Allied though of Hungary as guilty too

- The Treaty was drawned up in 1919 but signed in 1920 because of Czech and Romanian troops moving in and occupying part of Hungary they claimed for themselves

- Also, Béla Kun established a  communist state within Hungary in 1919 -> succeeded in throwing out the Czechs but defeted by the Romanians in 1920 and he was replaced by a military dictatorship under Admiral Miklós Horthy ->  stability to the country and allowed for the treaty to be signed

- Similarly to Austria Hungary also acknowledged the fall of the old empire and agreed to pay reparations but they were never paid due to the fall of the Hungarian economy

- Military limited to 35 000

- Hungarian loss of land more dramatic than Austrian and some historians argue that Hungary was treated the worst out of all the defeated nations (it lost 2/3 of its pre-war territory and nearly 42% of its population)

- The loss of the German-speaking area of Burgenland to Austria created tension between the two nations for many years

- Hungary was very bitter because in the case of a conflict on interest Hungary always seemed to be on the losing side

- France wanted Romania to gain land because it wanted to prevent Russia from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea

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The Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria (1919)

- Since Bulgaria joined the war in 1915 in the side of the Central Powers it was treated as a defeated power

- Most historians claim that due to its small part in the war Bulgaria wasn't treated as harshly, however some historians suggest that the Allied were afraid of Bulgaria taking advantage of the new weak states -> Allied may have tried to restrain Bulgaria by reallocating some of its territory and setting its repayments at £100 million

- Bulgaria forced to recognize the new state Yugoslavia

- Macedonia and Western Thrace given to Greece; Bulgaria lost its access to the Aegean Sea

- Soma land again given to Romania (e.g. south Dobruja)

- Bulgaria only defeated nation that was also granted land; a part of western Turkey

- Bulgarian army restricted to 20 000 (it would not be able to challenge the new states and break the regional balance established by the Allies

- At the end of it Greece and Romania had replaced Bulgaria and Turkey as the major powers in the Balkans

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The Treaty of Sèvres with Turkey (1920)

- Initial aim to reduce Turkish threat of Balkan unrest in the future

- Lloyd George wanted to replace Turkey's powerful position by Greece by depriviving its access to the Black Sea and removing all land that didn't have an ethnic Turkish majority from Turkey (the latter one actually happened)

- France disagreed because it had invested in Turkey before the First World War and wanted to control it from its central location in Constantinople

- Turkey too had to pay reparations but in Turkey a financial committee was established with the right to inspect Turkish finances and work out the scale of its debts -> angered the Turks and later changed

- Turkey suffered a large-scale break down of its empire and land was given to Greece in particular; Greece had also occupied Smyrma in 1919 after being encouraged by the Allies which angered the Turks and inspired nationalist movements that developed under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal

- Armed forces reduced to 30 000

- Allied forces kept troops in Turkey and forced the sultan (the Turkish ruler) to declare Kemal a rebel which pushed Kemal into a challenge of the government and the Allies which threatened to become a war

- Turkey only signed the treaty after Lloyd George persuaded the Allies to allow Greek forces to advance into Turkey

- Ultimately French and Italian troops left Turkey but British troops stayed until they agreed to a new treaty

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The Treaty of Lausanne with Turkey (1923)

- Signed at Lausanne in Switzerland

- Turkey took back some of the land it had lost (e.g. Smyrma and Eastern Thrace) -> regained Turkish national pride

- Allied troops withdrew from Turkey, reparation payments were ended and the limits on Turkish armed forces were abolished

- Kamal didn't want to depend on Russia so he agreed on the demilirarisation of both sides of the straits and freedom of navigation through its waters

- Turkey renounced all claims to territory outside its new boundaries and guaranteed the right of minorities to live inside its bourders

- A separate agreement to return Turks living in Greece to Turkey and vice versa

- Did not resolve tension with Greece and the Arabs were disapointed which caused Britain, the USA and France to criticise the treaty

- Significantly the Turks had overthrown the treaty by force within four years of Versailled which raised doubts about Allied willingness to enforce the treaties and encouraged the use of force within other states

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