The Other Treaties  [SaiNTS]

The phrase 'self-determination' is simply loaded with dynamite.   It will raise hopes which can never be realized....   What a calamity that the phrase was ever uttered!   What misery it will cause!

Robert Lansing (1919)

US Secretary of State


Self-determination - an extract from a school textbook.

A newspaper article discussing the principle and linking it to today


  The Peace Treaties of 1919–20 made many territorial changes in Central and Eastern Europe. Describe the changes.

  What was ‘self-determination’, and how did the principle affect the peace treaties of 1919–1920?


The Treaty of Versailles was the most important treaty of 1919–1920.

It was the treaty with Germany, and was decided by the Big Three.  It was the Treaty which set up the League of Nations.  Also, the Treaty of Versailles set down the principles of how the defeated countries would be treated:



they had to pay reparations,


they had to disarm,


they lost land,





Four Other Treaties

FOUR other treaties were made with the four countries which had helped Germany in the war.  They were written by officials who just followed the principles of the Treaty of Versailles.


They were all named after places in Paris:





The treaties created new nation-states in Eastern Europe out of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire (i.e. the principle of self-determination):


New Words

principles: ideas to say how things should happen.

self-determination: the right of peoples to rule themselves.

nation-state: a country where the people of a certain race rule over themselves.

racial minority: where a few people of one race live in a country where most people are a different race.







5 Nation-States


The treaties created new nation-states (see map).

1.  Czechs and Slovaks in Czechoslovakia

2.  Hungarians in Hungary.

3.  Austrians in Austria.

4.  Poles in Poland.

2.  Slavs in Yugoslavia.





Do You Agree?

Bulgaria did well compared to Germany, Austria and Hungary...  Bulgaria had played a relatively small part in the war and was treated less harshly than its allies.

Ben Walsh, OCR GCSE Modern World History (2009)

Ben Walsh is a senior examiner and a respected writer of History textbooks.









Source A

A map of Eastern Europe in 1920.

Self-determination caused three small wars:

1.  Poland went to war with Russia and took more land.

2.  Czechs and Poles fought over the town of Teschen.

3.  An army of Italians marched into the Yugoslavian town of Fiume.




4 problems with self-determination

1.  It caused small Wars (see Source A, 1-3).

2.  It was not allowed for Germany.

3.  It created many small, Weak countries, which Hitler easily conquered later.

4.  The new nation-states had racial Minorities living there.





Write a list of the ways in which the principle of self-determination affected the Peace Treaties of 1919-1920.