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Lecture 5

HST 504 - Week 5.docx


Department
History
Course Code
HST 504
Professor
Mike Kasprzak
Lecture
5

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HST 504 Week 5
Keywords
self-determination
League of Nations
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Sevres
Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Saint Germain-en-Laye
Treaty of Neuilly
Woodrow Wilson
Georges Clemenceau
David Lloyd George
The Legacy of the Great War: The Changed World
- Firstly, trying to win the war, all of the European belligerents seriously depleted their treasuries.
- It is roughly estimated that the Great War cost about $150 billion.
- The non-European world was the main beneficiary of the changes in trade and industrial production that
ensued as a result of the fighting in Europe.
- Whatever manufacturing industries and markets Britain, France and Germany lost were taken over by the
United States, Japan and others.
- In the course of the war, the Great Powers turned from creditors to debtors.
- The landscapes of France, Serbia or Poland—the war’s winners—unfortunately constituted the war’s
battlegrounds.
- Ironically, the industrial areas and agricultural lands of the winners had been destroyed, while those of the
losers, like Germany, had remained undamaged.
- Secondly, beyond Europe’s loss of economic dominance, there were significant political geostrategic shifts
as well.
- The balance of power system of five European Great Powers was spent.
- Germany had lost the war, Russia (now the Soviet Union) had been isolated, and the Austro-Hungarian
Empire had disappeared altogether.
- As the Romanov, Hohenzollern, Habsburg and Ottoman dynasties walked off the political stage, a power
vacuum emerged in East Central and Eastern Europe that was quickly being filled by an array of smaller and
weaker states.
- None of these emerging countries could agree on appropriate borders with their neighbours. The addition of
new states did little to stabilize the international states system.
- The colonies, which had made a tremendous contribution to the war effort, were also trying to collect
dividends.
- They were slowly realizing their self-worth and began to make demands on their landlords. They wanted
self-rule and even independence.
- Their nationalism had been roused by the war, and could no longer be simply suppressed.
- Lastly, the emergence of a Communist state created a new dimension in international relations.
- The Soviet Union was driven by ideological aspirations of destroying capitalism (and parliamentary
democracy) and turning the entire world to Communism.
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