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Lecture 5

HST 504 - Week 5.docx

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Department
History
Course
HST 504
Professor
Mike Kasprzak
Semester
Summer

Description
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. - Given the postwar instability and chaos, the Western powers feared that the Soviets might succeed in initiating revolutions in Europe and perhaps even across the world. The Political Realities of the New Diplomacy: Peacemakers Meet in Paris - When the Paris Peace Conference opened in January, representatives of twenty-seven nations arrived in
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