[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [HMK Home] A Case Study on Trianon

Stephen D. Kertesz

The Consequences of World War I:
The Effects on East Central Europe

One of the momentous results of the First World War was the dismemberment of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. The peacemakers of 1919, instead of reforming the antiquated political structure of the Danubian Empire on a democratic and federative basis, created small successor states dominated by jingo-nationalism. At the peace table the Allied and Associated Powers, still under the spell of their own wartime propaganda, did not even endeavor to maintain the unity of the Danubian area in one form or another. The subsequent unfortunate situation in this region was only the natural consequence of this territorial dismemberment and of the lip service paid at the peace settlement to some of the principles of President Wilson. This destruction of the Eastern bastion of the European state system not only proved foolhardy for the victors of 1918, but was eventually catastrophic for all the nations of Western civilization.

By virtue of the peace treaties of St. Germain and Trianon, the territory was divided among Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Some of these states inherited much of the complex nationality pattern of the Monarchy, but none of the states possessed the fallen Monarchy's economic advantages. The new settlement opened the door to political and economic nationalism on a scale unheard of before. The roles changed. German and Hungarian supremacy was wiped out and some of the oppressed peoples became the oppressors.

The dismemberment of the Monarchy was a flagrant contradiction to the general trend of world evolution which favored economic integration, a necessary consequence of the growing interdependence of nations. Destruction of the Danubian Empire created a vacuum of power in the Danubian area, thereby flinging open a strategic

gateway of Europe.1 In the light of the political events of the last thirty years, it is commonplace to say that its destruction, without adequate substitution, was probably one of the greatest diplomatic errors in modern history.2 Winston Churchill was fully justified in calling the complete break-up of the Empire a "cardinal tragedy".3 Anthony Eden recently expressed the opinion that: "The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a calamity for the peace of Europe. If the countries that formed it could one day find some arrangement that would allow them to work together again in a happy association, how welcome this would be."4 Such statements emanating from outstanding British statesmen are all the more significant since the secret treaties concluded by Great Britain and France during the First World War and the wartime policy and propaganda of the same powers were instrumental, if not decisive, in bringing about the collapse of the Monarchy and the establishment of a small state system in the Danubian area.

Although Oscar Jaszi, a distinguished student of the nationality problems of Austria-Hungary, has written that the dissolution of the Monarchy was not a mechanical but an organic process,5 and although many facts support this view, there are some facts to the contrary.6 A fundamental reorganization of the Monarchy, along democratic and federative lines, would, in any event, have been necessary.7 Although in the last period of the war the discontent of the nationalities was stirred up by various means, important cohesive forces still existed. The armies of the Monarchy everywhere stood on foreign soil. With the exception of a considerable part of the Czech army groups, the nationalities of the Monarchy by and large fought well, despite war-weariness, economic hardships, growing Allied propaganda and Allied preponderance.8 Although composed of many nationalities, the administration and especially the foreign service fulfilled their task loyally until the last.9

In the light of these and some other evidences, then, one might say that the collapse of the Monarchy was not entirely self-inflicted. Social and political reforms and federalization probably could have revitalized the Monarchy. Serious discontent existed, and revolutionary movements were encouraged and fomented from outside, but the change of attitude by the victorious Western powers was the decisive factor.10 The leaders of the various nationalities received encouragement, support, and even instructions from abroad. The chance of being able to switch from the defeated camp to that of the

victorious powers had a strong appeal to all nationalities. Under these conditions and prospects the discontented nationalities themselves had no particular reason to remain with the old Monarchy. It is therefore somewhat understandable that most of the nationalities, irrespective of other political considerations, eventually preferred to belong to the victorious Allied nations.11

In Hungary the government declared on October 16, 1918, that the dual system with Austria had ended and that only personal union existed between the two countries. Soon revolutionary movements broke out and a National Council formed. King Charles, on October 31, appointed Count Mihaly Karolyi as Prime Minister. Karolyi was a rich aristocrat but a staunch left-wing politician with an outspoken pro-Entente and anti-German record. He attempted to bring about a compromise with the nationalities, within a democratic Hungarian state. His minister of nationalities, Oszkar Jaszi, advocated the formation of an "Eastern Switzerland" in historic Hungary. In this spirit the new regime tried to persuade the nationalities to live together in a commonwealth.12 These actions came too late, for the victorious great powers had promised complete independence to them.

The Croat Parliament at Zagreb decided, on October 29, to sever constitutional relations with Hungary and Austria. A National Assembly of the Romanians in Alba Iulia (Gyulafehervar) decided, on December 1, upon the unification of all Romanians in one state.13

King Charles surrendered the reins of government on November 13, 1918, but did not abdicate. Hungary was proclaimed a "People's Republic" on November 16, 1918, and the Hungarian National Council elected Count Mihaly Karolyi President of the Republic in January, 1919.

In a recent publication, a British historian has remarked, concerning Karolyi's failure, that "Unfortunately for Hungary and for Central Europe, Karolyi was not Masaryk: he had not carried his peoples with him."14

Nevertheless, in the cases of Karolyi and Masaryk, popular support was not the primary or decisive factor. Masaryk enjoyed the full support of the Allied powers, and this Allied support-rather than the opinion of the Czech people-assured Czechoslovakia the status of a victorious nation. Karolyi, however, was openly rebuffed and humiliated by the Entente powers and could not give anything to the Hungarians, or, for that matter, to the other nationalities. The occupation of Hungarian territories by the successor states was

authorized by the Supreme Council of the Allied powers in Paris. The Romanian, Yugoslav, and Czech armies violated even these prescriptions by advancing beyond the demarcation lines. This situation foreshadowed the territorial provisions of the Treaty of Trianon, that is, the loss of considerable territories inhabited by Hungarians.

Karolyi frankly admitted that his confidence in the Entente powers and in the principles of President Wilson had been misplaced and, in desperation, he resigned his office of President of the Hungarian Republic. The succeeding Communist regime of Bela Kun (March-July, 1919) created general fear of the spread of Bolshevism all over Europe.15 In addition, the Communist Republic, to win popular support, lost no time in organizing an army, which overran a substantial part of Slovakia and attacked the Romanians. All these happenings, particularly the Bolshevist rule and subsequent reaction, did not make Hungary popular in Western Europe.16

Although at the peace settlement the Monarchy was destroyed in the name of the self-determination of peoples, this principle was grossly violated in practice. None of the nationalities living within the former Monarchy was allowed to express its will through a plebiscite. Only the treaty of St. Germain provided for a plebiscite in a small area of Carinthia. The Slovene majority there decided to join with defeated Austria, instead of with the newly created victorious state of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.17 This case did not justify the principle of nationality solemnly proclaimed at Paris as the principle of the new status quo. The Hungarian peace delegation futilely proposed plebiscites in territories to be detached from Hungary by the peace treaty.

In an answer given in the name of the Allies on May 5, 1920, Premier Millerand of France explained that plebiscites were unnecessary because their result would not be substantially different from the condition established by the peacemakers.18

Eventually the peace treaties shifted 38,000,000 of the 52,000,000 inhabitants of the Monarchy into countries belonging to the victors. Only small Austria (6,289,380) and Hungary (7,615,117) were considered as defeated states, and treated as such. Winston Churchill characterized the absurd situation as follows: "Two soldiers have served side by side sharing in common cause the perils and hardships of war. The war is ended and they return home to their respective villages. But a frontier line has been drawn between them. One is a

guilty wretch, lucky to escape with life the conqueror's vengeance. The other appears to be one of the conquerors himself."19

The internal political structure of Austria-Hungary was obsolete, but the Empire still held advantages. It was located in the most strategically important region of Europe, and comprised an area greater than that of any European state, save Russia, with a common tariff and currency. Thus the 52,000,000 inhabitants of the Monarchy could trade freely over an area of 267,239 square miles.20 In the ten years preceding the first World War, the money income in Austria increased by 86 percent and in Hungary by 92 percent: the increase in the real income per head was 63 percent in Austria and 75 percent in Hungary. This rate of increase was much more rapid than in Great Britain or Germany.21 Despite many adverse political factors, the advantages of the great internal market and the natural division of labor among the different parts of the Empire resulted in a rapid rise in wealth, shared in by all nationalities.

But the nationality struggle in the Danubian Empire was a serious and baffling problem to Western observers. Under the impact of this complicated and often ugly picture, it was rather easy to forget wider horizons, and to overlook the fact that the existence of a Danubian great power was both a benefit to its own people and a necessity for the European state system. In June, 1946, the late Jan Masaryk was to tell Sir Alfred Duff Cooper, then British Ambassador to France, that "Czechoslovakia had never been so happy as when forming part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire." Sir Alfred Duff Cooper thought this a tragic admission on the part of the son of Thomas Masaryk, commenting: "Time has given it proof. It is surely now generally recognized that the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian Empire has proved to be one of the major calamities of this disastrous century."22

From the point of view of the European state system the victorious powers committed a fundamental mistake in failing to compel the new Danubian states to form a federal state not incompatible with the reestablishment of an independent Poland. This would have enabled the Danubian peoples and the Poles, together, later to resist pressure or invasion by outside forces. At that time the potential opponents of such a scheme, the neighboring great states of Germany and Russia, did not exist as power factors. Thus the victorious Western powers had practically a free hand in Eastern Europe. Of course the extreme nationalism of the leaders of the new states still

remained an obstacle to any new form of integration. But the peacemakers had the necessary means at their disposal to check the intransigent nationalism of the governments of the new states. It would not have been difficult to make their recognition and support dependent on the maintenance of Danubian unity in one form or another. The lack of foresight of the victorious allies paved the way for Hitler's aggressive policy in Eastern Europe and eventually opened wide the door for Russian penetration.

All the newly created Danubian states, whether victorious or defeated, besides falling into political chauvinism, followed the policy of an exaggerated protectionism. They erected high tariff walls and engaged, from time to time, in economic wars. The general result was a rise in unemployment and the cost of living, and a decline in national income. As Frederick Hertz later pointed out, progress achieved in one field was as a rule offset by retrogression in another."23

There were a few vague endeavors towards integration but these did not prove successful. Certain sections of the Treaty of St. Germain, and of the Treaty of Trianon opened the way for negotiating preferential trade agreements,24 but in the hostile political atmosphere these negotiations proved fruitless, as did Tardieu's endeavors in 1932, which promised France's financial assistance in the event of preferential trade agreements being concluded between the Danubian States.

Cooperation in the sphere of agriculture, proposed at the Bucharest Conference of 1930 between Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary; the attempt at economic collaboration by the member states of the Little Entente according to the provisions of an agreement reached in February, 1933; and the Rome Protocols signed by Austria, Hungary and Italy in March, 1934, should all be considered short-lived expedients brought about by momentary exigencies. These agreements could not achieve tangible and lasting success. They could not substitute for true economic collaboration between the Danubian countries. The failure of such endeavors as these made it clear that, without a reasonable settlement of basic political issues, durable cooperation in economic fields could not be established.

Politically, it has often been claimed that Soviet Russia easily conquered and transformed the Danubian area because she found there a vacuum of power. The vacuum of power was created in 1919. The new political system established along the banks of the Danube was

a weak superstructure, without solid foundation, and could not fill either the political or the economic place of the Monarchy in the international community. The expectations attached to the creation of small national states in the Danubian Valley did not materialize. The new states could not develop sufficient cohesive force, could not bring about an effective cooperation among themselves, and were swept away.25

Though American intervention in the first World War was accompanied by a proclamation of lofty political ideas-"to make the world safe for democracy"-the new Danubian order, sometimes called the Balkanization of the Danubian area, did not help toward establishing political democracies.26 In some of the successor states retrograde political conditions and corruption reached a point altogether unknown in the Monarchy. In Yugoslavia, for example, the leader of the Croatian Opposition party, Stjepan Radic, and two other Croatian deputies, actually were shot while in a session of Parliament in June, 1928. In most of the successor states, political democracy remained meaningless to the masses, which were ruled by pseudo-parliamentary regimes or by outright dictatorships. Only Czechoslovakia was considered in the West as a notable exception in this respect. This country received the lion's share of the Monarchy and considerable financial support from abroad. But while the balanced economic and social conditions, the well-known administrative qualities of the Czechs, and the industrial skill of the Sudeten Germans facilitated the functioning of democratic political institutions, political democracy alone could not assure the independence and survival of Czechoslovakia in the serious crises of 1938 and 1944-48.27

Despite the existence of the League of Nations, which was to end alliance-making throughout the world, alliances multiplied in Eastern Europe. France attempted to consolidate the new territorial settlement by her alliance with Poland and by supporting the alliance concluded between Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania, known as the Little Entente. Opposition to this alliance resulted in close cooperation among Austria, Hungary, and Italy. The Little Entente, the Balkan Entente and the Hungaro-Italo-Austrian combination, however, could not survive the soon resurgent and overwhelming outside force from Germany and Russia.28

The fact that jingo-nationalist, but internally weak and quarreling, small states would not be able to check the overwhelming

outside forces was disregarded by the peacemakers after the First World War. The might of Germany and Russia existed potentially even in the 1920's. Perhaps Austrian and Hungarian statesmanship had made a poor showing in the decades preceding the destruction of the Dual Monarchy, but the peacemakers of 1919 and the leaders of the successor states between the World Wars certainly surpassed them in political shortsightedness. This has been demonstrated ad oculos by the outcome of their policies in the Danubian area.

The political structure of the multi-national Empire may have been antiquated, but the new order proved to be less stable and offered less security for the Danubian people and for the whole of Europe. In one man's lifetime the Danubian nations experienced the destruction of three international and domestic orders. Peccatur intra muros et extra muros. In the course of these events, almost all nationalities committed errors and mistakes. Although one cannot turn back the wheels of history, the positive and negative teaching of these manifold experiences, if examined with mutual understanding and humility, might suggest some solutions for the future. Probably the advantages of a great political and economic unit combined with the benefits of democratic equality, extended to all nationalities, might open the door for better developments after the ordeal of the present period.

Hungary's status after the first World War was particularly difficult. After the defeat and disintegration of the Red Army of Bela Kun, Romanian troops occupied Budapest and the major part of the country.29 The occupation was accompanied by extensive looting, which caused damages of almost three billion gold crowns.30 This was followed by a disastrous peace treaty. As Francesco Nitti put it: "By a stroke of irony the financial and economic clauses inflict the most serious burdens on a country which has lost almost everything: which has lost the greatest number of men proportionately in the war, which since the war has had two revolutions, which for four months suffered the sackings of Bolshevism-led by Bela Kun and the worst elements of revolutionary political crime-and, finally, has suffered a Rumanian occupation, which was worse almost than the revolutions of Bolshevism."31

Negotiations with Hungary did not precede the peace settlement; the provisions of the treaty were established by the victorious states. Subsequently the Hungarian peace delegation was merely heard on one occasion. The Treaty of Trianon made Hungary the most dissatisfied of all the Danubian states.32 The Peace Conference

decided the claims of the neighboring states put forward against Hungary, but did not consider the cumulative effect of these claims on the new Hungary itself. As one outstanding chronicler of the Peace Conference, Harold Nicolson, points out, the Conference "approached its problems in terms, not of the enemy Powers, but of the respective 'claims' of the succession and smaller States."33 Dealing with the problem of the Territorial Committees, Nicolson noted the defects in their proceedings, pointing out that the main task of the Committees was not to recommend a general territorial settlement, but to pronounce on the particular claims of certain states.34 The adverse effects of such a procedure are obvious.

The American recommendations concerning Hungary's frontiers were more favorable than the final provisions of the Trianon Treaty.35 A member of the American Peace Commission, Professor Archibald C. Coolidge of Harvard, visited Hungary in January of 1919 and prepared a very objective report on the conditions in Hungary and the repercussions to be expected from the projected peace settlement.36 And as Lloyd George himself pointed out in a memorandum of March 25, 1919, "There will never be peace in Southeastern Europe if every little state now coming into being is to have a large Magyar irredenta within its borders." Therefore he recommended that the different races should be allocated to their motherlands, and that this criterion "should have precedence over considerations of strategy or economics or communications, which can usually be adjusted by other means."37

Such considerations were discarded. The frontiers of the new Hungary were fixed principally according to Romanian, Czechoslovak, and Yugoslav demands, and after consideration of their geographical, strategic, economic and ethnographic arguments. Territories inhabited by Hungarians figured as a sort of "no man's land."38 A remark attributed to Benes was characteristic of the general atmosphere of the conference. "I am alarmed," Benes said to a friend, "when I see that they give me everything that I ask for. It is too much."39

The upshot of the matter was that the peace settlement was incomparably more severe for Hungary than for Germany or Bulgaria. True, Austria lost even more than Hungary, but Austria was a frequently changing federation of heterogeneous territories gradually acquired by the House of Habsburg and the Germans formed only a little over one-third of its population. Hungary had existed for

centuries as a unitary state which demonstrated a remarkable degree of stability and stamina through the vicissitudes of history. The Treaty of Trianon reduced Hungary proper to less than one-third of her former territory and about two-fifths of her population.40 Over three million Hungarians were attached, against their wishes, to the neighboring states. The Hungarian peace delegation vainly proposed a plebiscite for the territories in dispute.41

As a result of the territorial changes effected under the peace treaty the population of Hungary decreased to a figure considerably less than the actual number of Hungarians residing in Eastern Europe, while the population of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia became, in every case, considerably greater than the actual number of any of their respective national groups. This situation is especially evident in the light of the 1910 and 1920 censuses, but it can also be clearly seen from the 1930 censuses which were least favorable to the Hungarians.42

It is generally known that because of the complication of ethnographic conditions in the Danube Valley it was impossible to establish completely satisfactory frontiers. However, about one and a half million Hungarians who lived in compact blocks along the new frontiers were detached from Hungary. This artificial separation could not be justified even in the eyes of a disinterested observer, let alone to the Hungarian people themselves.

The dissolution of the Monarchy in itself had a very unfavorable effect on the economy of Hungary. The great internal market and balanced economy suddenly ceased to exist. Most of the factories and industrial areas remaining in Hungary were deprived of their markets and were cut off from their sources of raw materials within the neighboring states. In addition, the Trianon frontiers produced a whole series of special economic difficulties. For example, the new frontiers cut in half the areas of twenty-four flood control companies. As a result of the uncooperative attitudes of Czechoslovakia and Romania, Hungary became exposed to grave risk of floods on the lower reaches of her rivers without being able to establish sufficient protection against them. A careless deforestation policy in both countries increased the flood danger to Hungary. The major part of Hungary is a lowland, and nearly one quarter of the productive area of the country consists of land which had been protected against inundations only at an enormous cost in money and labor. In many cases such troubles could have been avoided by minor frontier rectifications or other suitable arrangements, if Hungary's case had

been seriously considered and Hungarian experts had been consulted at the peace settlement.

The general economic difficulties created by the peace settlement were increased by the refugee problem. More than 350,000 Hungarians were forced to leave the neighboring states and move to the reduced territory of Hungary. These homeless masses, largely middle-class people, greatly increased Hungary's economic and social difficulties. They also became, as a matter of course, the moving spirits of revisionist movements.

The situation created by the peace treaty would have been unacceptable to any self-respecting people, but the Hungarians were particularly proud of having organized and maintained a state on one of the most dangerous spots of Europe for a thousand years. Their bitterness was made even greater by their conviction that after Hungary had defended the whole of Europe against invasions in the past-a claim asserted by a number of the countries of Eastern Europe-the West had, so to speak, "stabbed them in the back."

The Hungarians looked with great confidence to the United States and especially to the principles promulgated by President Wilson.43 However, the vindictive peace settlement imposed by the victors in the name of democracy gave that term a rather doubtful meaning to many Hungarians. It seemed to them that, at the peace table, the lofty principles were applied only against them and never in their favor. Trianon had a harmful effect in domestic politics as well. It gave an evil connotation to the term "democracy," and indirectly retarded democratic forces in the country.


1. According to an American student of international affairs, the sudden disappearance of Austria-Hungary "has been characterized as the most important purely political occurrence since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A. D." Raymond Leslie Buell, Europe: A History of Ten Years (New York, 1928), p. 296.

2. According to the famous Czech historian, Frantisek Palacky, it would have been necessary to create the Habsburg Monarchy, had it not existed. Other outstanding Slav and Romanian statesmen also believed that the polyglot Empire was a necessity to its own people and to Europe. Eduard Benes stated in one of his books that he did not believe in the dismemberment of Austria. He argued that the historic and economic bonds between the Austrian nations are too powerful to make such a dismemberment

possible. And he predicted that the national struggles would play an important role in Austria for a long time but that they would not be the same as they used to be in the preceding half century. Eduard Benes", Le probleme Autrichien et la question Tcheque (Paris, 1908), p. 307.

A Romanian patriot, Aurel C. Popovici the Austro-Romanian champion of ethnic federalism, correctly pointed out the international aspect of the Austrian problem: "Rumania, based on her urge for self-preservation. has a great interest in the existence of a mighty Austria. This interest excludes a priori any dream, any thought of an annexation of Austrian territories inhabited by Romanians. Such annexation would be possible only in the case of an Austrian debacle, and such a debacle with mathematical certainty would in the course of a few decades lead to the ruin of Romania, her destruction in the Russian sea." Die Vereinigten Staaten von Gross-Oesterreich (Leipzig, 1906), p. 418. English translation in Robert A. Kann, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 314-315.

3. Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm (Boston, 1948), p. 10.

4. New York Times, October 3, 1950.

5. Oscar Jaszi, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (Chicago, Cf. Macartney, National States and National Minorities (Oxford University Press, 1934). R. W. Seton-Watson, Racial Problems in Hungary (London, 1908). R. W. Seton-Watson, Southern Slav Question and the Habsburg Monarchy (London, 1911). Ferenc Eckhardt, A Short History of the Hungarian People (London, 1931). Jules Szekfu, Etat et Nation (Paris, 1945). A.J.P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 (London, 1948). Dominic G. Korary, A History of Hungary (Cleveland, 1941). Oscar Halecki, Borderlands of Western Civilization. A History of East Central Europe (New York, 1952). For the general aspects of modern nationalism, see, Carlton J. H. Hayes, Essays on Nationalism (New York, 1926); The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism (New York, 1931). Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York, 1944). Alfred Cobban, National Self Determination. Revised edition (Chicago, 1947).

6. The case of Austria-Hungary has been ably presented by Archduke Otto, the eldest son of Emperor-King Charles, the last Austro-Hungarian ruler. "Danubian Reconstruction," Foreign Affairs. 20 (1941-42), 243-252.

7. Count Ottokar Czernin, writing under the impact of the events in 1918, was rather pessimistic and thought that "Austria-Hungary's watch had run down" in any event. "We could have fought against Germany with the Entente on Austro-Hungarian soil, and would doubtless have hastened Germany's collapse; but the wounds which Austria-Hungary would have received in the fray would not have been less serious than those from which she is now suffering; she would have perished in the fight against Germany, as she has as good as perished in her fight allied with Germany." In the World War (New York, 1920), pp. 36-37.

8. See Oesterreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg 1914-1918, published by the

Austrian Bundesministerium fur Heereswesen, editor-in-chief Edmund Glaise-Horstenau, 7 vols. (Vienna, 1931-1938).

9. The Austrian Minister to Great Britain between the world wars made the following statement concerning the foreign service: "Although its personnel consisted of Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Ruthenians, Rumanians, Czechs, Croats, Italians and Serbs from the different parts of the Monarchy, the service was inspired by a single-minded patriotism, and I remember no single case in which an official ever put the interests of his own nationality before those of the Monarchy." Sir George Franckenstein, Diplomat of Destiny (New York, 1940), p. 25.

10. In the early stages of the First World War, the Entente Powers did not plan the destruction of Austria-Hungary. With respect to President Wilson, Colonel House noted that "In common with the leading statesmen of western Europe he believed that the political union of Austro-Hungarian peoples was a necessity." Charles Seymour, The Intimate Papers of Colonel House, Vol. III (Boston, 1928), pp. 335-336. When President Wilson, in his address of December 4, 1917, proposed to Congress a declaration of war on the Habsburg Monarchy, he emphasized that "We do not wish in anyway to impair or to rearrange the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is no affair of ours what they do with their own life, either industrially or politically. We do not purpose or desire to dictate to them in any way. We only desire to see that their affairs are left in their own hands, in all matters, great or small." Foreign Relations 1917, pp. xi-xii. According to point ten of President Wilson's Fourteen Points, "The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development," At almost the same time, on January 5, 1918, Prime Minister Lloyd George stated that the British were not fighting to destroy Austria-Hungary and that a break-up of that Empire was no part of their war aims.

Notwithstanding these various declarations of principle, the specific promises made in the course of the war to Italy, to Romania, and later to the other nationalities could not have been fulfilled without the destruction of the Monarchy. Moreover, in the last months of the war the propaganda and diplomatic activity of the Entente powers underwent a fundamental change with regard to the fate of Austria-Hungary. Clemenceau's revelations in April, 1918, concerning Emperor Charles' peace overtures had a decisive impact on the course of events. Some Western statesmen possibly fell under the spell of the wartime propaganda encouraged and supported by themselves, at first perhaps only for military expediency. In this process, Czech political leaders in the western countries played a leading role and the creation of Czechoslovakia was the most decisive blow to the Monarchy, For details see, Eduard Benes, My War Memoirs (Boston, 1922), B. Benes, Detruisez l'Autriche-Hongrie (Paris, 1916), published in English in the following year. T, G. Masaryk, The Making of a State (London, 1927), Henry Wickham

Steed, Through Thirty Years 1892-1922 (Garden City, 1925). R. W. Seton-Watson, Masaryk in England (Cambridge, 1943). War Memoirs of Robert Lansing (Indianapolis, 1935). Charles Pergler, America in the Struggle for Czechoslovak Independence (Philadelphia, 1926). Count Stephen Burian, Austria in Dissolution (London, 1925). Heinrich Lammasch, Europas elfte Stunde (Munchen, 1919). Mitchell Pine Briggs, George D. Herron and the European Settlement (Stanford, 1932). A.J.P. Taylor, op cit. Victor S. Mametey, "The United States and the Dissolution of Austria-Hungary," Journal of Central European Affairs, x (1950), 256-270.

11. The allegation made by Stefan Osusky, one of the Founders of Czechoslovakia, that Emperor Charles' irresolution and procrastination caused the downfall of the Monarchy is unsubstantiated by facts and is contrary to the events, especially as explained by Masaryk and Benes who, since 1915, had been doing successful spade work for the destruction of the Monarchy. Cf. Freedom and Union (May 1949), pp. 22-23. Regardless of what Emperor Charles might have offered to the nationalities in 1918, the positions in Paris, London, Rome and Washington were definitively taken against the survival of the Monarchy.

12. For details see. Oscar Jaszi, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Hungary (London, 1924). Count Michel Karolyi, Fighting the World; the Struggle for Peace (New York, 1925). Gusztav Gratz, A forradalmak kora 1918-1920 (Budapest. 1935).

13. For a description of these events, see, C. A. Macartney, op. cit., pp. 364-370, 390-395.

14. A.J.P. Taylor, op. cit., 250.

15. Albert Kaas, Bolshevism in Hungary (London, 1931). F. Borkenau, World Communism (New York, 1939), pp. 108-133. In Soviet Russia itself the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic was considered an event of the greatest importance. Even the cautious Lenin asserted in his speech of April 17 that "the Hungarian Revolution plays a larger role in history than the Russian revolution." Quoted by David T. Cattell, "The Hungarian Revolution of 1919 and the Reorganization of the Comintern in 1920." Journal of Central European Affairs, XI (1951), 27-38.

16. Herbert Hoover gave a colorful description of these events in the following: "Hungary in the year 1919 presented a sort of unending, formless procession of tragedies, with occasional comic relief. Across our reconstruction stage there marched liberalism, revolution, socialism, communism. imperialism, terror. wanton executions, murder, suicide, falling ministries, invading armies, looted hospitals. conspirators, soldiers, kings and queens-all with a constant background of starving women and children. ... The relief organization contributed something to their spiritual recovery. But had there not been a magnificent toughness in the Magyar spirit. the race would have collapsed!" The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover 1874-1920 (New York, 1952), p. 397.

17. Sarah Wambaugh, Plebiscites Since the World War, Vol. I (Washington, 1933), pp. 163-205. H.W.V. Temperley, A History of the Peace Conference of Paris, Vol. IV (London, 1921), pp. 368-381.

18. "As regards the question of plebiscites the Allied Powers considered them needless, when they perceived with certainty that this consultation, if surrounded with complete guarantees of sincerity, would not give results substantially different from those at which they had arrived after a minute study of the ethnographic conditions and national aspirations." H.W.V. Temperley, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 422. Concerning the Hungarian peace treaty negotiations see, Francis Deak, Hungary at the Paris Peace Conference (New York, 1942).

19. Winston Churchill. The World Crisis-The Aftermath (New York, 1929, pp. 231-232.

20. At this time the United States had 92,000,000 inhabitants.

21. Frederick Hertz, The Economic Problem of the Danubian States (London, 1947), pp. 24, 38, 49.

22. Daily Telegraph, April 18, 1950. In connection with the centenary of Thomas Masaryk's birth an exchange of opinion took place on the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in April 14, 17, 18, 19, 27 and June 1, 1950, issues of the Telegraph.

With regard to the establishment of Czechoslovakia, Samuel Hazzard Cross of Harvard, gave in retrospect the following description of events: "It is worth remarking that in 1914 Bohemian ambitions had not extended beyond vague hopes of eventual autonomy within a federalized monarchy, while the utopia of independence was conceived mainly in the minds of emigre leaders like Professor Masaryk and Dr. Benes. It was not until 1917 that the domestic Bohemian attitude became definitely revolutionary, and Slovak sympathy was not finally secured until May, 1918, through the celebrated Treaty of Pittsburgh, which guaranteed the Slovaks a degree of autonomy which they never attained until just before the Czechoslovak Republic was dismembered by Hitler. As a matter of fact, the relations between Czechs and Slovaks were never so dove-like as Bohemian statesmen would have had us suppose and at the Armistice, Czech troops had simply marched in and occupied the Slovak section of Hungary." Slavic Civilization Through the Ages (Harvard University Press, 1948), p. 182.

23. In the light of statistics, his conclusion was that "all the efforts to foster, by an extreme protectionism, either the rapid increase of agricultural production or that of industrial output had only a very limited success. Increases of production were smaller than the progress under the former conditions of free trade within the Austro-Hungarian Customs Union." Hertz, op cit., p. 220.

24. See article 222 of the Peace Treaty of St. Germain, and articles 205, and 208 of the Peace Treaty of Trianon.

25. Hugh Seton-Watson has published the best general description of these events. See Eastern Europe between the Wars 1918-1941 (Cambridge, 1945) and The East European Revolution (New York, 1951). Cf. C. A. Macartney, Hungary and her Successors (London, 1937).

26. The internal development of two newly created states, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia was described by a British historian in the following way: "Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, despite their national theory. reproduced the national complications of Austria-Hungary. Constitutional Austria had contained eight nationalities; Czechoslovakia contained seven. Great Hungary had contained seven nationalities; Yugoslavia contained nine. Czechoslovakia became a unitary state, in which the Czechs were 'the people of the state,' as the Germans had been in constitutional Austria. Yugoslavia had a period of sham Federalism; then it too became a unitary state, which the Serbs claimed as their national state, after the model of the Magyars in Hungary... .

"The Czechs could outplay the Slovaks; they could not satisfy them. Masaryk had hoped that the Czechs and the Slovaks would come together as the English and the Scotch had done; the Slovaks turned out to be the Irish. In the same way, the Serbs could master the Croats; they could not satisfy, nor even, being less skillful politicians, outplay them." A.].P. Taylor. op. cit., pp. 254-255.

27. In his report of November 1, 1938, Newton, the British Minister to Prague, characterized Czechoslovak democracy in the following way: "There can be little doubt that the democratic system as it has developed in this country during the past twenty years has not been a wholly unmixed blessing, even for the Czechs by whom and for whom it was elaborated. Under it quick and clear decisions were difficult to come by, and party considerations were only too often given pride of place over national. Moreover, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that all public appointments even down to that of crossing sweeper depended upon possession of the necessary party ticket so that each party became almost a State within the State. Today there is a natural tendency to say goodbye to all that, and one of the constant themes in the press is that public life and social services must be cleansed of patronage and the misuse of political influence. Criticism is heard not only of the quality but of the quantity of officials in the civil service. It is said, for example, that there are more officials in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Prague than there were in the Ballplatz of Imperial Vienna." British Documents. Third Series, Vol. 111, Doc. 245.

28. The situation resulting from the peace settlement has been well characterized by the late Professor Cross of Harvard. He writes: "If there is any lesson to be learned from the experience of the last thirty years, it is that setting up a series of economically weak national states solely on the basis of romantic ideals and strategic aims is no guarantee of peace. To bolster up

their weak budgets or to favor local industry, such states erect tariff barriers which prevent the normal flow of commerce and exchange on which their very life depends. If their territories contain linguistic minorities, the latter are discriminated against in business and politics until they seek support from the nearest larger state to which they are akin, and eventually provide that state with a natural pretext for intervention. In order to counterbalance their more powerful neighbors or checkmate some adjacent state with good diplomatic connections, these little states unite in ententes and alliances which become the pawns of international politics, and give statesmen of these minor organisms a chance to assume positions of influence for which they are not qualified by experience or vision." Samuel Hazzard Cross, op. cit., p. 183.

29. Romania concluded a separate peace with the Central Powers in January, 1918 and re-entered the war in the following November.

30. The loot of Hungary and the general behavior of the Romanian army was described in detail by the American member of the Inter-Allied Mission to Hungary. See Maj. Gen. Harry Hill Bandholtz, An Undiplomatic Diary (New York, 1033), pp. 18, 50, 92-93. Herbert Hoover explained that the Romanian army occupied Budapest on August 5, 1919, in defiance of direct orders of the 'Big Four,' and "then began a regime equally horrible with Bela Kun's. The Romanian army looted the city in good old medieval style. They even took supplies from the children's hospitals. Many children died. They looted art galleries, private houses, banks, railway rolling stock, machinery, farm animals-in fact, everything movable which Bela Kun had collected." Op. cit., pp. 400-401.

31. Francesco Nitti, The Wreck of Europe (Indianapolis, 1922), pp. 170-171.

32. For the peace negotiations the best general sources are: D. H. Miller, My Diary at the Conference of Paris, Vol. XXI (New York, 1924). Harold W. Temperley, A History of the Peace Conference at Paris, Vol. I-VI (London, 1920-24). Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference. Vol. I-XIII (Washington, 1942-1947). The foremost study of the diplomatic history of the Treaty of Trianon is Francis Deak's work: Hungary at the Paris Conference, which is based mainly on original documents and deals with all the pertinent material. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry published the official Hungarian material in The Hungarian Peace Negotiations, Vol. I-III and maps (Budapest, 1920-22). C. A. Macartney condensed comprehensive material in his standard work: Hungary and Her Successors The Treaty of Trianon and Its Consequences (London, 1937).

33. Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking (London, 1933), p. 117. Cf. Harold Temperley, "How the Hungarian Frontiers Were Drawn," Foreign Affairs, 6 (1928), 432-433, and A History of the Peace Conference at Paris, Vol. I, p. 258.

34. Nicolson mentioned as an example that the Committee on Romanian claims thought only in terms of Transylvania and the Committee on Czech claims concentrated upon the southern frontiers of Slovakia. "It was only too late that it was realized that these two entirely separate Committees had between them imposed upon Hungary a loss of territory and population which, when combined, was very serious indeed. Had the work been concentrated in the hands of a Hungarian Committee, not only would a wider area of frontier have been open for the give and take of discussion, but it would have been seen that the total cessions imposed placed more Magyars under alien rule than was consonant with the doctrine of Self-Determination." Op. cit., pp. 127-128. Nicolson's observations were not influenced by any sympathy toward Hungary. He repeatedly explained in his various writings that he disliked the Hungarians. When the Red Army advanced on Budapest he was pleased and detected in himself "stirrings of positive delight." Spectator, November 10, 1944.

35. Cf. Deak, op. cit., pp. 27-29.

36. Ibid., pp. 15-23.

37. D. Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference (New Haven,, p. 266.

38. In the words of an English scholar, "One point after another was conceded; and in the end Roumania was given an area in which the Roumanians formed only 55 per cent of the total population. The Slovaks in Slovakia were 60 per cent, the Ruthenes in Ruthenia 56 per cent, the Serbs in the Voivodina only 28 per cent, or 33 per cent counting all the Yugoslavs together; while the Magyar-speaking persons in each area formed close on one-third of all the inhabitants; over one million in the territory assigned to Czechoslovakia, over 1,650,000 in that given to Roumania, 450,000 in Yugoslavia's portion." C. A. Macartney, op. cit., p. 4. True, these figures were based on the census of 1910 and some aspects of this census were contested. But the overall picture remained the same even according to the censuses carried out by the succession states themselves. For the situation arising from the 1930 censuses, see below, footnote 42.

39. This observation of Benes was noted by the editor of the Journal de Geneve, William Martin, Les Hommes d'Etat pendant la guerre (Paris, 1929), p. 316. In any case this is an overstatement because not all demands of Benes were fulfilled. For example, a corridor between Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia was not established.

40. According to the 1910 census, Hungary proper possessed a population of over 18,000,000 persons, of whom 54.5 percent declared Hungarian to be their mother tongue. Including Croetia-Slavonia the total population was over 20,000,000 of whom 48.1 percent spoke Hungarian as their mother tongue.

41. In reality the Hungarian peace delegation was confronted with a fait

accompli. According to Temperley no event affected the frontiers of Hungary more decisively than the Bela Run regime, which Temperley considered partly a socialist experiment. partly a Hungarian protest against the advance of the Czech and Romanian army. "Bela Run finally sent forces to attack both Czechoslovaks and Romanians, and it was this action that forced the Big Four to come to a decision. ... And the finis Hungariae was decreed on June 13, 1910." Harold Temperley, "How the Hungarian Frontiers Were Drawn," Foreign Affairs. 6 (1928), pp. 434-435.

42. The result of the 1930 censuses disclosed that: with 10.8 million Hungarians in Europe, the new Hungary had a population of 8.7 millions on an area of 93,000 square kilometers; with 13.8 million Romanians in Europe, the new Romania had a population of 18.1 millions and an area of 295,000 square kilometers; with 11.9 million Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in Europe, the new Yugoslavia had a population of 13.9 millions and an area of 249,000 square kilometers; with 10.2 million Czechs and Slovaks in Europe, the new Czechoslovakia had a population of 14.7 millions and an area of 140,000 square kilometers. This means that the Czechs and Slovaks were able to unite 96.6 percent of the Czechs and Slovaks living in Europe in their own country, but despite this, these groups made up only 66.2 percent of the total population of the country. The Romanians assembled 96 percent of their own people within their own frontiers but this group was only 72 percent of the total population. The Yugoslavs had 93 percent of their own nationals within their country, but they were only 79.8 percent of the total population of Yugoslavia. In contrast to this, at this time only 74 percent of the Hungarians lived in their own country but they made up 92 percent of the total population of Hungary.

43. See the report on Hungary by A. C. Coolidge. Quoted by Deak, op cit., pp. 16-18.

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