Aftermath of World War I

Aftermath of World War I

Overview

The fighting in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

 on November 11, 1918, and in eastern Europe by the early 1920s. During and in the aftermath of the war the political, cultural, and social order was drastically changed in Europe, Asia and Africa, even outside the areas directly involved in the war. New countries were formed, old ones were abolished, international organizations were established, and many new and old ideologies took a firm hold in people's minds.

Throughout the period from the armistice on 11 November 1918 until the signing of the peace treaty with Germany on 28 June 1919, the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 maintained the naval blockade of Germany
Blockade of Germany
The Blockade of Germany, or the Blockade of Europe, occurred from 1914-1919 and was a prolonged naval operation conducted by the Allied Powers during and after World War I in an effort to restrict the maritime supply of raw materials and foodstuffs to the Central Powers, which included Germany,...

 that had begun during the war.
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Encyclopedia

The fighting in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

 on November 11, 1918, and in eastern Europe by the early 1920s. During and in the aftermath of the war the political, cultural, and social order was drastically changed in Europe, Asia and Africa, even outside the areas directly involved in the war. New countries were formed, old ones were abolished, international organizations were established, and many new and old ideologies took a firm hold in people's minds.

Blockade of Germany


Throughout the period from the armistice on 11 November 1918 until the signing of the peace treaty with Germany on 28 June 1919, the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 maintained the naval blockade of Germany
Blockade of Germany
The Blockade of Germany, or the Blockade of Europe, occurred from 1914-1919 and was a prolonged naval operation conducted by the Allied Powers during and after World War I in an effort to restrict the maritime supply of raw materials and foodstuffs to the Central Powers, which included Germany,...

 that had begun during the war. As Germany was dependent on imports, it is estimated that 523,000 civilians had lost their lives during the war, and a quarter-million more died from disease or starvation in this eight month period.

The continuation of the blockade after the fighting ended, as Robert Leckie
Robert Leckie (author)
Robert Leckie was an American author of popular books on the military history of the United States. As a young man, he served in the Marine Corps with the 1st Marine Division during World War II...

 wrote in Delivered From Evil
Delivered from Evil
Delivered From Evil is a non-fiction book about World War II written by Robert Leckie, an American author of popular books on the military history of the United States....

, did much to "torment the Germans ... driving them with the fury of despair into the arms of the devil." The terms of the Armistice
Armistice with Germany (Compiègne)
The armistice between the Allies and Germany was an agreement that ended the fighting in the First World War. It was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender...

 did allow food to be shipped into Germany, but the Allies required that Germany provide the ships. The German government was required to use its gold reserves, being unable to secure a loan from the United States.

The blockade was not lifted until early July 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 was signed by most of the combatant nations.

Treaty of Versailles



After the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

 of 1919, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 on June 28, 1919, between Germany on the one side and France, Italy, Britain and other minor allied powers on the other side, officially ended war between those countries. Other treaties ended the belligerent relationships of the United States and the other Central Powers. Included in the 440 articles of Treaty of Versailles were the demands that Germany officially accept responsibility for starting the war and pay heavy economic reparations
World War I reparations
World War I reparations refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I...

. This treaty drastically limited the German military machine: the German troops were reduced to 100,000 and the country was prevented from possessing major military armament such as tanks, warships, and submarines.

Influenza epidemic


A separate but related event was the great 1918 flu pandemic. A virulent new strain of the flu first observed in the United States but misleadingly known as the "Spanish flu
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

", was accidentally carried to Europe by infected American forces personnel. One in every four Americans had contracted the influenza virus. The disease spread rapidly through the continental U.S., Canada and Europe, eventually reaching around the globe, partially because many were weakened and exhausted by the famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

s of the World War. The exact number of deaths is unknown but about 50 million people are estimated to have died from the influenza outbreak worldwide. In 2005, a study found that, "The 1918 virus strain developed in birds and was similar to the 'bird flu'
H5N1
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as "bird flu", A or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species...

 that today has spurred fears of another worldwide pandemic, yet proved to be a normal treatable virus that did not produce a heavy impact on the world's health."

Economic and Geopolitical consequences


The dissolution of the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and (a little earlier) Ottoman empires created a large number of new small states in eastern Europe. Internally these new states tended to have substantial ethnic minorities, which wished to unite with neighbouring states where their ethnicity dominated. For example Czechoslovakia had Germans
Germans in Czechoslovakia (1918-1938)
From 1918 to 1938, after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, more than 3 million ethnic Germans were living in what became the Czech lands of the newly created state of Czechoslovakia. Ethnic Germans had lived in Bohemia, a part of the Holy Roman Empire, since the 14th century , mostly in...

, Poles, Ruthenians and Ukrainians
Ruthenians and Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia (1918-1938)
Subcarpathian Ruthenia was economically Czechoslovakia’s poorest region. In 1914 the region was referred to by one historian as "little more than a Magyar deer park." Its people were wretchedly poor, having for centuries supplemented the meagre living the mountainous area afforded with seasonal...

, Slovaks
Slovaks in Czechoslovakia (1918-1938)
Whereas Czechs wished to create a Czechoslovak nation, Slovaks sought a federal republic in 1918. The new Czechoslovak republic , with its predominantly Czech administrative apparatus, hardly responded to Slovak aspirations for at least some form of autonomy...

 and Hungarians
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia are the largest ethnic minority of the country, numbering 520,528 people or 9.7% of population . They are concentrated mostly in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary...

. The League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 sponsored various Minority Treaties
Minority Treaties
Minority Treaties refer to the treaties, League of Nations Mandates, and unilateral declarations made by countries applying for membership in the League of Nations and United Nations...

 in an attempt to deal with the problem, but with the decline of League in the 1930s these treaties became increasingly unenforceable. One consequence of the massive redrawing of borders and the political changes in the aftermath of World War I was the large number of European refugees. These and the refugees of the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 led to the creation of the Nansen passport
Nansen passport
Nansen passports were internationally recognized identity cards first issued by the League of Nations to stateless refugees.-Origins:Designed in 1921 by Fridtjof Nansen, in 1942 they were honored by governments in 52 countries and were the first refugee travel documents...

.

Ethnic minorities made the location of the frontiers generally unstable. Where the frontiers have remained unchanged, since 1918, there has often been the expulsion of an ethnic group, such as the Sudeten Germans
Sudeten Germans
- Importance of Sudeten Germans :Czechoslovakia was inhabited by over 3 million ethnic Germans, comprising about 23 percent of the population of the republic and about 29.5% of Bohemia and Moravia....

. Economic and military cooperation amongst these small states was minimal, ensuring that the defeated powers of Germany and the Soviet Union retained a latent capacity to dominate the region. In the immediate aftermath of the war, defeat drove cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union but ultimately these two powers would compete to dominate eastern Europe.

Revolutions



Perhaps the single most important event precipitated by the privations of World War I was the Russian Revolution of 1917. A socialist and often explicitly Communist revolutionary wave
Revolutionary wave
A revolutionary wave is a series of revolutions occurring in various locations in a similar time period. In many cases, an initial revolution inspires other "affiliate revolutions" with similar aims....

 occurred in many other European countries from 1917 onwards, notably in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

.

As a result of the Russian Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

s' failure to cede territory, German and Austrian forces defeated the Russian armies, and the new communist government signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 in March 1918. In that treaty, Russia renounced all claims to Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and the territory of Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 and it was left to Germany and Austria-Hungary "to determine the future status of these territories in agreement with their population." Later on, Lenin's government renounced also the Partition of Poland treaty
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

, making it possible for Poland to claim its 1772 borders. However, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was rendered obsolete when Germany was defeated later in 1918, leaving the status of much of eastern Europe in an uncertain position.

Germany



In Germany, there was a socialist revolution which led to the brief establishment of a number of communist political systems in (mainly urban) parts of the country, the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the creation of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

.

On 28 June 1919, Germany, which was not allowed representation, was not present to sign the Treaty of Versailles. The onesided treaty by the victors placed blame for the entire war upon Germany (a view never accepted by German nationalists but argued by, inter alia, German historian Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer
Fritz Fischer was a German historian best known for his analysis of the causes of World War I. Fischer has been described by The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing as the most important German historian of the 20th century.-Biography:Fischer was born in Ludwigsstadt in Bavaria. His...

). Germany was forced to pay 132 billion marks ($31.5 billion, 6.6 billion pounds) in reparations (a very large amount for its day which was finally paid off in October, 2010). It was followed by the Inflation in the Weimar Republic
Inflation in the Weimar Republic
The hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic was a three year period of hyperinflation in Germany between June 1921 and July 1924.- Analysis :...

, a period of hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 between 1921 and 1923. In this period the worth of fiat
Fiat money
Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.Fiat money originated in 11th...

 Papiermark
German papiermark
The name Papiermark is applied to the German currency from the 4th August 1914 when the link between the Mark and gold was abandoned, due to the outbreak of World War I...

s with respect to the earlier commodity
Commodity money
Commodity money is money whose value comes from a commodity out of which it is made. It is objects that have value in themselves as well as for use as money....

 Goldmark
German gold mark
The Goldmark was the currency used in the German Empire from 1873 to 1914.-History:Before unification, the different German states issued a variety of different currencies, though most were linked to the Vereinsthaler, a silver coin containing 16⅔ grams of pure silver...

s was reduced to one trillionth (one million millionth) of its value. On December 1922 the Reparations Commission declared Germany in default, and on 11 January 1923 French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr
Occupation of the Ruhr
The Occupation of the Ruhr between 1923 and 1925, by troops from France and Belgium, was a response to the failure of the German Weimar Republic under Chancellor Cuno to pay reparations in the aftermath of World War I.-Background:...

 until 1925.

Because Germany could mobilize the single strongest army in Europe–a possibility seen as an ongoing threat by France—blaming Germany for the war created a justification to force Germany to permanently reduce the size of its army to 100,000 men, renounce tanks and have no air force (her capital ships, moored in Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

, were scuttled by their crews).

Germany saw relatively small amounts of territory transferred to Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium, a larger amount to France and the greatest portion as part of re-established Poland. Germany's overseas colonies were divided amongst a number of Allied countries. It was the loss of territory that now constituted part of Poland that caused by far the greatest resentment. Nazi propaganda would feed on a general German view that the treaty was unfair—many Germans never accepted the treaty as legitimate, and later gave their political support to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, who was arguably the first national politician to both speak out and take action against the treaty's conditions.

Russian Empire


Russia, already suffering socially and economically, was torn by a deadly civil war
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 that left more than 5.5 million people dead and large areas of the country devastated.

During the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent Russian Civil War, many non-Russian nations gained brief or longer lasting periods of independence. Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, and Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 gained relatively permanent independence, although the Baltic states were occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 were established as independent states in the Caucasus region. In 1922 these countries were proclaimed as Soviet Republics, and eventually absorbed into the Soviet Union. However, Turkey had by then captured Armenian territory around Artvin, Kars, and Igdir: these territorial losses would become permanent. Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 gained Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 from Russia. After World War I, the Soviet Union was fortunate that Germany had lost the war as it was able to reject the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

.

Austria-Hungary


With the war having turned decisively against the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, the peoples of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 lost faith in their allied countries, and even before the armistice in November, radical nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 had already led to several declarations of independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

 in south-central Europe in the time after November 1918. As the central government had ceased to operate in vast areas, these regions found themselves without a government and many new groups attempted to fill the void. During this same period, the population was facing food shortages and was, for the most part, demoralized by the losses incurred during the war. Various political parties, ranging from ardent nationalists, to social-democrats, to communists attempted to set up governments in the names of the different nationalities. In other areas, existing nation states such as Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 engaged regions that they considered to be theirs. These moves created de facto governments that complicated life for diplomats, idealists, and the western allies.

The Western forces were officially supposed to occupy the old Empire, but rarely had enough troops to do so effectively. They had to deal with local authorities who had their own agenda to fulfill. At the peace conference in Paris the diplomats had to reconcile these authorities with the competing demands of the nationalists who had turned to them for help during the war, the strategic or political desires of the Western allies themselves, and other agendas such as a desire to implement the spirit of the 14 points.

For example, in order to live up to the ideal of self determination laid out in the Fourteen Points, Germans, whether Austrian or German, should be able to decide their own future and government. However, the French especially were concerned that an expanded Germany would be a huge security risk. Further complicating the situation, delegations such as the Czechs and Slovenians made strong claims on some German-speaking territories.

The result was treaties that compromised many ideals, offended many allies, and set up an entirely new order in the area. Many people hoped that the new nation states would allow for a new era of prosperity and peace in the region, free from the bitter quarrelling between nationalities that had marked the preceding fifty years. This hope proved far too optimistic. Changes in territorial configuration after World War I included:
  • Establishment of the Republic of German Austria
    German Austria
    Republic of German Austria was created following World War I as the initial rump state for areas with a predominantly German-speaking population within what had been the Austro-Hungarian Empire, without the Kingdom of Hungary, which in 1918 had become the Hungarian Democratic Republic.German...

     and the Hungarian Democratic Republic
    Hungarian Democratic Republic
    The Hungarian People's Republic was an independent republic proclaimed after the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918...

    , disavowing any continuity with the empire and exiling the Habsburg
    Habsburg
    The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

     family in perpetuity.
  • Borders of newly independent Hungary did not include two-thirds of the lands of the former Kingdom of Hungary
    Kingdom of Hungary
    The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

    , including large areas where the ethnic Magyars were in a majority. The new republic of Austria maintained control over most of the mostly German-dominated areas, but lost various other German majority lands in what was the Austrian Empire
    Austrian Empire
    The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

    .

  • Bohemia
    Bohemia
    Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

    , Moravia
    Moravia
    Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

    , Opava Silesia and the western part of Duchy of Cieszyn
    Duchy of Cieszyn
    The Duchy of Cieszyn or Duchy of Teschen or Duchy of Těšín was an autonomous Silesian duchy centered on Teschen in Upper Silesia. After the feudal division of Poland it was split off in 1281 and ruled by Silesian dukes from the Piast dynasty since 1290...

    , Slovakia
    Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

     and Carpathian Ruthenia
    Carpathian Ruthenia
    Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

     formed the new Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

    .
  • Galicia
    Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
    The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria was a crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, and Austria–Hungary from 1772 to 1918 .This historical region in eastern Central Europe is currently divided between Poland and Ukraine...

    , eastern part of Duchy of Cieszyn
    Duchy of Cieszyn
    The Duchy of Cieszyn or Duchy of Teschen or Duchy of Těšín was an autonomous Silesian duchy centered on Teschen in Upper Silesia. After the feudal division of Poland it was split off in 1281 and ruled by Silesian dukes from the Piast dynasty since 1290...

    , northern County of Orava
    Orava (county)
    Árva is the Hungarian name of a historic administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is presently in northern Slovakia and southern Poland...

     and northern Spisz was transferred to Poland.
  • the Southern half of the County of Tyrol
    County of Tyrol
    The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

     and Trieste
    Trieste
    Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

     were granted to Italy.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

    , Croatia-Slavonia, Dalmatia
    Dalmatia
    Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

    , Slovenia
    Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

    , and Vojvodina
    Vojvodina
    Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

     were joined with Serbia
    Kingdom of Serbia
    The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

     to form the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Yugoslavia
    Kingdom of Yugoslavia
    The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

    .
  • Transylvania
    Transylvania
    Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

     and Bukovina
    Bukovina
    Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

     became parts of Romania
    Kingdom of Romania
    The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

    .


These changes were recognized in, but not caused by, the Treaty of Versailles. They were subsequently further elaborated in the Treaty of Saint-Germain
Treaty of Saint-Germain
The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I on the one hand and by the new Republic of Austria on the other...

 and the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

.

The new states of eastern Europe nearly all had large national minorities. Millions of Germans found themselves in the newly created countries as minorities. One third of ethnic Hungarians found themselves living outside of Hungary. Many of these national minorities found themselves in bad situations because the modern governments were intent on defining the national character of the countries, often at the expense of the other nationalities.

The interwar years were hard for the Jews of the region. Most nationalists distrusted them because they were not fully integrated into 'national communities'. In contrast to times under the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Jews were often ostracized and discriminated against. Although anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 had been widespread during Habsburg rule, Jews faced no official discrimination because they were, for the most part, ardent supporters of the multi-national state and the monarchy. Jews had feared the rise of ardent nationalism and nation states, because they foresaw the difficulties that would arise.

The economic disruption of the war and the end of the Austro-Hungarian customs union
Customs union
A customs union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff. The participant countries set up common external trade policy, but in some cases they use different import quotas...

 created great hardship in many areas. Although many states were set up as democracies after the war, one by one, with the exception of Czechoslovakia, they reverted to some form of authoritarian rule. Many quarreled amongst themselves but were too weak to compete effectively. Later, when Germany rearmed, the nation states of south- central Europe were unable to resist its attacks, and fell under German domination to a much greater extent than had ever existed in Austria-Hungary.

Ottoman Empire


At the end of the war, the Allies occupied Istanbul
Occupation of Istanbul
The Occupation of Constantinople was the occupation of the capital of the Ottoman Empire by the Triple Entente, following the Armistice of Mudros which ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The first French troops entered the city on November 12, 1918, followed by British troops the...

 and the Ottoman government collapsed. The Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
The Treaty of Sèvres was the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany before this treaty to annul the German concessions including the economic rights and enterprises. Also, France, Great Britain and Italy...

, a plan designed by the Allies to dismember the remaining Ottoman territories, was signed on August 10, 1920, though never ratified by the Sultan.

The occupation of Izmir
Occupation of Izmir
The Occupation of Smyrna occurred from 15 May 1919 to 8 September 1922 by Greek forces under the High Commissioner Aristidis Stergiadis in the Smyrna district, aligned with the Allied partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. There were no military hostilities between Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

 by Greece on May 18, 1919, triggered a nationalist movement to rescind the terms of the treaty. Turkish revolutionaries led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

, a successful Ottoman commander, rejected the terms enforced at Sèvres and under the guise of General Inspector of the Ottoman Army, left Istanbul for Samsun
Samsun
Samsun is a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey. It is the provincial capital of Samsun Province and a major Black Sea port.-Name:...

 to organize the remaining Ottoman forces to resist the terms of the treaty. On the eastern front, the defeat of the Armenian forces in the Turkish-Armenian War
Turkish-Armenian War
The Turkish–Armenian War stemmed from an invasion of the Democratic Republic of Armenia by the Turkish Revolutionaries of the Turkish National Movement in the autumn of 1920...

 and signing of the Treaty of Kars
Treaty of Kars
The Treaty of Kars was a "friendship" treaty signed in Kars on October 13, 1921 and ratified in Yerevan on September 11 1922.Signatories included representatives from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which in 1923 would declare the Republic of Turkey, and also from Soviet Armenia, Soviet...

 with the Soviet Union recovered territory lost to Armenia and Imperial Russia.

On the western front, the growing strength of the Turkish nationalist forces led Greece, with the backing of Britain, to invade deep into Anatolia in an attempt to deal a blow to the revolutionaries. At the Battle of Sakarya
Battle of Sakarya
The Battle of Sakarya , also known as the Battle of the Sangarios , was an important engagement in the Greco-Turkish War and Turkish War of Independence....

, the Greek army was defeated and forced into retreat, leading to the recovery of Izmir and withdrawal of Greece from Asia Minor. With the nationalists empowered, the army marched on to reclaim Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, resulting in the Chanak crisis
Chanak Crisis
The Chanak Crisis, also called Chanak Affair in September 1922 was the threatened attack by Turkish troops on British and French troops stationed near Çanakkale to guard the Dardanelles neutral zone. The Turkish troops had recently defeated Greek forces and recaptured İzmir...

 in which the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, was forced to resign. After Turkish resistance gained control over Anatolia and Istanbul, the Sèvres treaty was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 which formally ended all hostilities and led to the creation of the modern Turkish Republic
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. As a result, Turkey became the only power of World War I to overturn the terms of its defeat, and negotiate with the Allies as an equal.

The Lausanne Treaty formally acknowledged the new League of Nations mandates in the Middle East, the cession of their territories on the Arabian Peninsula, and British sovereignty over Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. The League of Nations granted Class A mandates for the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
Officially the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire...

 and British Mandate of Mesopotamia and Palestine, the later comprising two autonomous regions: Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

 and Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

). Parts of the Ottoman Empire on the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 became part of what is today Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire included the watershed events of the Young Turk Revolution and the establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, and ended with the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious sides of World War I.- Establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, 24...

 became a pivotal milestone in the creation of the modern Middle East, the result of which bore witness to the creation of new conflicts and hostilities in the region.

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom, funding the war had a severe economic cost
Post-WWI recession
The post–World War I recession was an economic recession that hit much of the world in the aftermath of World War I.In many nations, especially in North America, this growth continued during the war as nations mobilized their economies to fight the war in Europe. After the war ended, however, the...

. From being the world's largest overseas investor, it became one of its biggest debtors with interest payments forming around 40% of all government spending. Inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 more than doubled between 1914 and its peak in 1920, while the value of the Pound Sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 (consumer expenditure ) fell by 61.2%. Reparations in the form of free German coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 depressed the local industry, precipitating the 1926 General Strike.

British private investments abroad were sold, raising £550 million. However, £250 million new investment also took place during the war. The net financial loss was therefore approximately £300 million; less than two years investment compared to the pre-war average rate and more than replaced by 1928. Material loss was "slight": the most significant being 40% of the British merchant fleet sunk by German U-boats. Most of this was replaced in 1918 and all immediately after the war. The military historian Correlli Barnett
Correlli Barnett
Correlli Douglas Barnett CBE FRSL is an English military historian, who has also written works of economic history, particularly on the United Kingdom's post-war "industrial decline".-Personal life:...

 has argued that "in objective truth the Great War in no way inflicted crippling economic damage on Britain" but that the war "crippled the British psychologically but in no other way".

Less concrete changes include the growing assertiveness of Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 nations. Battles such as Gallipoli
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

 for Australia and New Zealand, and Vimy Ridge for Canada led to increased national pride and a greater reluctance to remain subordinate to Britain, leading to the growth of diplomatic autonomy in the 1920s. These battles were often decorated in propaganda in these nations as symbolic of their power during the war. Traditionally loyal dominions such as Newfoundland
Dominion of Newfoundland
The Dominion of Newfoundland was a British Dominion from 1907 to 1949 . The Dominion of Newfoundland was situated in northeastern North America along the Atlantic coast and comprised the island of Newfoundland and Labrador on the continental mainland...

 were deeply disillusioned by Britain's apparent disregard for their soldiers, eventually leading to the unification of Newfoundland into the Confederation of Canada. Colonies such as India and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 also became increasingly assertive because of their participation in the war. The populations in these countries became increasingly aware of their own power and Britain's fragility.

In Ireland the delay in finding a resolution to the home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

 issue, partly caused by the war, as well as the 1916 Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 and a failed attempt to introduce conscription in Ireland, increased support for separatist radicals, and led indirectly to the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 in 1919. The creation of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 that followed this conflict in effect represented a territorial loss for the United Kingdom that was all but equal to the loss sustained by Germany (and furthermore, compared to Germany, a much greater loss in terms of its ratio to the country's prewar territory).

United States



The Espionage Act of 1917
Espionage Act of 1917
The Espionage Act of 1917 is a United States federal law passed on June 15, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entry into World War I. It has been amended numerous times over the years. It was originally found in Title 50 of the U.S. Code but is now found under Title 18, Crime...

 stayed on the lawbooks; over the years it is used against hundreds of spies, but also leakers and whistleblowers, such as Ellsberg and Russo
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

 in the 1970s.

Disillusioned by the failure of the war to achieve the high ideals promised by President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, however, American commercial interests
International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....

 did finance Europe's rebuilding and reparations efforts in Germany, at least until the onset of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. The American economic influence allowed the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 to start a domino effect, pulling Europe in as well.

France


France annexed the Independent Republic of Alsace-Lorraine, the country which had been established in the wake of Kaiser Wilhelm II's abdication, corresponding to the region which had been ceded to the German Empire during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

. At the 1919 Peace Conference, Prime Minister Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
Georges Benjamin Clemenceau was a French statesman, physician and journalist. He served as the Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909, and again from 1917 to 1920. For nearly the final year of World War I he led France, and was one of the major voices behind the Treaty of Versailles at the...

's aim was to ensure that Germany would not seek revenge in the following years. To this purpose, the chief commander of the Allied forces, Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch , GCB, OM, DSO was a French soldier, war hero, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing "the most original and subtle mind in the French army" in the early 20th century. He served as general in the French army during World War I and was made Marshal of France in its...

, had demanded that for the future protection of France the Rhine river should now form the border between France and Germany. Based on history, he was convinced that Germany would again become a threat, and, on hearing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that had left Germany substantially intact, he observed that "This is not Peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years."

The destruction brought upon the French territory was to be indemnified by the reparations
World War I reparations
World War I reparations refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I...

 negotiated at Versailles. This financial imperative dominated France's foreign policy through-out the 1920s, leading to the 1923 Occupation of the Ruhr
Occupation of the Ruhr
The Occupation of the Ruhr between 1923 and 1925, by troops from France and Belgium, was a response to the failure of the German Weimar Republic under Chancellor Cuno to pay reparations in the aftermath of World War I.-Background:...

 in order to force Germany to pay. However, Germany was unable to pay, and obtained support from the United States. Thus, the Dawes Plan
Dawes Plan
The Dawes Plan was an attempt in 1924, following World War I for the Triple Entente to collect war reparations debt from Germany...

 was negotiated after President Raymond Poincaré
Raymond Poincaré
Raymond Poincaré was a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France on five separate occasions and as President of France from 1913 to 1920. Poincaré was a conservative leader primarily committed to political and social stability...

's occupation of the Ruhr, and then the Young Plan
Young Plan
The Young Plan was a program for settlement of German reparations debts after World War I written in 1929 and formally adopted in 1930. It was presented by the committee headed by American Owen D. Young. After the Dawes Plan was put into operation , it became apparent that Germany could not meet...

 in 1929.

Also extremely important in the War was the participation of French colonial troops, including the Senegalese tirailleurs, from Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

, North Africa, and Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

. When these soldiers returned to their homelands and continued to be treated as second class citizens, many became nuclei of pro-independence groups
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

.

Furthermore, under the state of war
State of War
State of war may refer to:*a situation where two or more states are at war with each other, with or without a real armed conflict*State of War , a book by James Risen which makes numerous controversial allegations about Central Intelligence Agency activities*State of War , a real-time strategy...

 declared during the hostilities, the French economy had been somewhat centralized in order to be able to shift into a "war economy
War economy
War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern state to mobilise its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilising and allocating resources to sustain the violence".Many states increase the degree of...

", leading to a first breach with classical liberalism
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

.

Finally, the socialists's support of the National Union government (including Alexandre Millerand
Alexandre Millerand
Alexandre Millerand was a French socialist politician. He was President of France from 23 September 1920 to 11 June 1924 and Prime Minister of France 20 January to 23 September 1920...

's nomination as Minister of War) marked a shift towards the French Section of the Workers' International's (SFIO) turn towards social democracy and participation in "bourgeois governments", although Léon Blum
Léon Blum
André Léon Blum was a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and three times the Prime Minister of France.-First political experiences:...

 maintained a socialist rhetoric.

Italy


After the war, Italy failed to annex Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 (which had been promised by Britain in the Treaty of London to induce Italy to join the war), and had to fight some more years to annex the city of Fiume, which had an Italian population, and this led several Italian politicians to speak of a "mutilated victory.".

Indeed, it should not have been difficult to see how, among the Allied Powers, Italy had been the one which benefited the most from the outcome of the war. Whereas Britain and France still faced a Germany which had kept about 80 percent of its industrial and economic potential and thus could attempt a revanche in a matter of years, Italy had definitively rid itself of its century-old enemy: instead of the Austro-Hungarian Empire there were now a number of smaller states, none of which could pose a credible threat, and some of them could even fall within the Italian sphere of influence.

With the annexation of Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Trieste
Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

, Zara
Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

 and some Dalmatian islands, Italy had a substantial territorial expansion and could now rely on secure borders, although in presence of strong minorities near to the borders with Austria and Yugoslavia. Furthermore, Italian sovereignty over Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

 and the Dodecanese
Dodecanese
The Dodecanese are a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the Southern Sporades island group...

 had been officially recognized, as well as the Italian special interests in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. However, a Yugoslavian state was created in order to bar Italian influence and expansion on the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, and thus Italy was quite isolated in this area. The Italian politicians failed to perceive the positive elements of the peace treaties and stressed the negative ones, and so the myth of the "mutilated victory" spread, fueling the Fascist propaganda and helping Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 seize power.

During the war, Italy had suffered more casualties than Britain and fewer than France, and the social problems she was facing afterward (an inflated war industry to reconvert to civilian production, the large number of crippled people no longer able to sustain themselves, the new role of women) were common to other Allied countries which, however, did not suffer an authoritarian drift. The difference between Italy and the other western allies lies in the more arbitrated economic and social conditions, which made it more difficult for Italy to recover from similar difficulties. Due to similar reasons, most south and east European countries had to face political unrest, dictatorship and fascism in the period between the World Wars.

China


The Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 who hoped to retake the Jiaozhou Bay
Jiaozhou Bay
The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

 occupied by Germany between 1898 and 1914 suffered diplomatic failure at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

. The Chinese delegation also called for an end to Western imperialistic institutions in China, which was refused. Despite sending thousands of laborers to France during the war, China as an allied nation was refused the demand for the return of Jiaozhou Bay
Jiaozhou Bay
The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

 and the city was instead transferred to Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 rule. This led to the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

, a profound social and political movement often cited as the birth of Chinese nationalism
Chinese nationalism
Chinese nationalism , sometimes synonymous with Chinese patriotism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture in a unified country known as China...

, which both the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 and Chinese Communist Party consider an important period in their history. Subsequently, China did not sign the treaty, signing a separate peace treaty with Germany in 1921.

Nations that gained territory after World War I

  • Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

     (as the successor state of the Kingdom of Serbia
    Kingdom of Serbia
    The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

    )
  • Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

  • Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

  • France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

  • Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

  • Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

  • Czechoslovakia
  • Poland
    Second Polish Republic
    The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

  • Estonia
    Estonia
    Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

  • Latvia
    Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

  • Lithuania
    Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     – League of Nations
    League of Nations
    The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

     Mandates
  • Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...


Nations that lost territory after World War I

  • Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    - forced to give it up after the Versailles Treaty
  • China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     – Jiaozhou Bay
    Jiaozhou Bay
    The Jiaozhou Bay is a sea gulf located in Qingdao Prefecture of Shandong Province. It was a German colonial concession from 1898 until 1914....

     and most of Shandong
    Shandong
    ' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

     in North China forcibly ceded to the Japanese Empire
  • Russian SFSR
    Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
    The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

     (as the successor state of the Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

    )
  • Weimar Germany (as the successor state of the German Empire
    German Empire
    The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

    )
  • Austria
    Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

     (as the successor state of Cisleithania
    Cisleithania
    Cisleithania was a name of the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary, the Dual Monarchy created in 1867 and dissolved in 1918. The name was used by politicians and bureaucrats, but it had no official status...

     and the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
  • Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     (as the successor state of Transleithania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
  • Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     (as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    )
  • Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     – most of Ireland as the Irish Free State
    Irish Free State
    The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

    , Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     in 1922

Social trauma


The experiences of the war in the west are commonly assumed to have led to a sort of collective national trauma afterward for all of the participating countries. The optimism of 1900 was entirely gone and those who fought in the war became what is known as "the Lost Generation
Lost Generation
The "Lost Generation" is a term used to refer to the generation, actually a cohort, that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway who used it as one of two contrasting epigraphs for his novel, The Sun Also Rises. In that volume Hemingway credits the phrase to...

" because they never fully recovered from their experiences. For the next few years, much of Europe mourned privately and publicly; mourning and memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns.

So many British men of marriageable age died or were injured that the students of one girls' school were warned that only 10% would marry. The 1921 United Kingdom Census found 19,803,022 women and 18,082,220 men in England and Wales, a difference of 1.72 million which newspapers called the "Surplus Two Million". In the 1921 census there were 1,209 single women aged 25 to 29 for every 1,000 men. In 1931 50% were still single, and 35% of them never married while still able to bear children.

On the other hand, some people argue that it is not at all clear that any society was traumatized. Nor that the human losses were heavily mourned. This was the later view in the West, during the 1930s, because by then the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 and the rise of Nazism made the sacrifices of the First World War seem meaningless. This was not clear in the 1920s. Neither Hitler's Germany nor the Soviet Union displayed any evidence that the First World War was at all traumatic. For Germany, the Soviet Union and all the new states the First World War had been the creation of the old political order and, as such, had little effect on the political elites of these countries. The real trauma for the British political class was the possibility of any future war.

As early as 1923, Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 had recognized a new strategic reality that faced Britain in a Disarmament Speech. Poison gas and the aerial bombing of civilians were new developments of the First World War. The British civilian population had not, for centuries, had any reason to fear invasion. So the new threat of poison gas dropped from enemy bombers excited a grossly exaggerated view of the civilian deaths that would occur on the outbreak of any war. Baldwin expressed this in his statement that The bomber will always get through
The bomber will always get through
The bomber will always get through was a phrase used by Stanley Baldwin in 1932, in the speech "A Fear for the Future" to the British Parliament...

. The traditional British policy of a balance of power in Europe no longer safeguarded the British home population. Out of this fear came appeasement. It is notable that neither Baldwin nor Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 had fought in the war but the anti-appeasers Antony Eden, Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

 and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 had fought.

One gruesome reminder of the sacrifices of the generation was the fact that this was one of the first times in warfare whereby more men had died in battles than to disease, which had been the main cause of deaths in most previous wars. The Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 was the first war where battle deaths outnumbered disease deaths, but it had been fought on a much smaller scale between just two nations.


This social trauma made itself manifest in many different ways. Some people were revolted by nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 and what it had caused; so, they began to work toward a more internationalist
Internationalism (politics)
Internationalism is a political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all...

 world through organizations such as the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. Pacifism
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 became increasingly popular. Others had the opposite reaction, feeling that only military strength could be relied on for protection in a chaotic and inhumane world that did not respect hypothetical notions of civilization. Certainly a sense of disillusionment and cynicism
Cynicism
Cynicism , in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics . Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and...

 became pronounced. Nihilism
Nihilism
Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value...

 grew in popularity. Many people believed that the war heralded the end of the world as they had known it, including the collapse of capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 and imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

. Communist and socialist movements around the world drew strength from this theory, enjoying a level of popularity they had never known before. These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or particularly harshly affected by the war, such as central Europe, Russia and France.

Artists such as Otto Dix
Otto Dix
Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.-Early life and...

, George Grosz
George Grosz
Georg Ehrenfried Groß was a German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s...

, Ernst Barlach
Ernst Barlach
Ernst Barlach was a German expressionist sculptor, printmaker and writer. Although he was a supporter of the war in the years leading to World War I, his participation in the war made him change his position, and he is mostly known for his sculptures protesting against the war...

, and Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz
Käthe Kollwitz was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition in the first half of the 20th century...

 represented their experiences, or those of their society, in blunt painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s and sculpture. Similarly, authors such as Erich Maria Remarque
Erich Maria Remarque
Erich Maria Remarque was a German author, best known for his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.-Life and work:...

 wrote grim novels detailing their experiences. These works had a strong impact on society, causing a great deal of controversy and highlighting conflicting interpretations of the war. In Germany, nationalists including the Nazis
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 believed that much of this work was degenerate
Degenerate art
Degenerate art is the English translation of the German entartete Kunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were...

 and undermined the cohesion of society as well as dishonoring the dead.

Remains of ammunition



Throughout the areas where trenches and fighting lines were located, such as the Champagne
Champagne, France
Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known for the sparkling white wine that bears its name.Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area...

 region of France, quantities of unexploded shells
Unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance are explosive weapons that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.While "UXO" is widely and informally used, munitions and explosives of...

 and other ammunition have remained, some of which remains dangerous, continuing to cause injuries and occasional fatalities in the 21st century. Some are found by farmers ploughing their fields and have been called the iron harvest
Iron harvest
The iron harvest is the annual "harvest" of unexploded ordnance, barbed wire, shrapnel balls, bullets and congruent trench supports collected by Belgian and French farmers after ploughing their fields...

. Some of this ammunition contains toxic
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 chemical products such as mustard gas. Cleanup of major battlefields is a continuing task with no end in sight for decades more. Squads remove, defuse or destroy hundreds of tons of unexploded ammunition every year in Belgium, France, and Germany.

Memorials



War memorials


Many towns in the participating countries have war memorial
War memorial
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in war.-Historic usage:...

s dedicated to local residents who lost their lives. Examples include:
  • Australian War Memorial
    Australian War Memorial
    The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

    , Canberra
    Canberra
    Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

    , Australia
  • Liberty Memorial
    Liberty Memorial
    The Liberty Memorial, located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, is a memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War I and houses the The National World War I Museum, as designated by the United States Congress in 2004.. Groundbreaking commenced November 1, 1921, and the city held a site dedication...

    , Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

    , United States
  • District of Columbia War Memorial
    District of Columbia War Memorial
    The District of Columbia War Memorial commemorates the citizens of the District of Columbia who served in World War I.-History:The memorial stands in West Potomac Park slightly off of Independence Avenue in a grove of trees...

    , Washington, DC, United States
  • Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
    Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
    The Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial is a memorial site in France dedicated to the commemoration of Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. The preserved battlefield park encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful...

  • The Cenotaph, London, United Kingdom
  • Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres
    Ypres
    Ypres is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus, Elverdinge, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Vlamertinge, Voormezele, Zillebeke, and Zuidschote...

    , Belgium
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing
    Tyne Cot Cemetery
    Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground for the dead of the First World War in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front...

     at Passchendaele
    Passendale
    Passendale or Passchendaele is a rural Belgian village in the Zonnebeke municipality of West Flanders province...

  • Verdun Memorial Museum
    Verdun
    Verdun is a city in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse, although the capital of the department is the slightly smaller city of Bar-le-Duc.- History :...

  • Vimy Ridge Memorial
    Vimy Memorial
    The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a memorial site in France dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for First World War Canadian soldiers killed or presumed dead in France who have no known...

    , Vimy
    Vimy
    Vimy is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Geography and history:Vimy is a farming town, situated some north of Arras, at the junction of the D51 and the N17 roads....

    , France
  • Gallipoli Memorial, Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

  • Shrine of Remembrance
    Shrine of Remembrance
    The Shrine of Remembrance, located in Kings Domain on St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war...

    , Melbourne
    Melbourne
    Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

    , Australia
  • Island of Ireland Peace Park
    Island of Ireland Peace Park
    The Island of Ireland Peace Park and its surrounding park , also called the Irish Peace Park or Irish Peace Tower in Messines, near Ypres in Flanders, Belgium, is a war memorial to the soldiers of the island of Ireland who died, were wounded or are missing from World War I, during Ireland's...

    , Messines
    Mesen
    Mesen is a city located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality only comprises the town of Mesen proper. On January 1, 2006, Mesen had a total population of 988. The total area is 3.58 km² which gives a population density of 276 inhabitants per km².Mesen is the smallest city in...

    , Belgium
  • National War Memorial
    National War Memorial (Canada)
    The National War Memorial , is a tall granite cenotaph with acreted bronze sculptures, that stands in Confederation Square, Ottawa, and serves as the federal war memorial for Canada....

    , Ottawa
    Ottawa
    Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

    , Canada
  • National War Memorial
    National War Memorial (Newfoundland)
    The National War Memorial in Downtown St. John's is the most elaborate of all the post World War I monuments in Newfoundland and Labrador. It was erected at King's Beach on Water Street where, in 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for England. It was formally unveiled on Memorial Day,...

    , St. John's, Newfoundland
    St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
    St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

    , Canada
  • Kriegerdenkmal auf dem Neroberg , Wiesbaden
    Wiesbaden
    Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...

    , Hessen, Germany

Tombs of Unknown Soldiers


  • Monument to the Unknown Hero
    Monument to the Unknown Hero
    The Monument to the Unknown Hero is located atop Mt. Avala in the south-east Belgrade perihpery, and was designed by the sculptor Ivan Meštrović.Memorial was built on the location of Žrnov fortress....

    , Belgrade
    Belgrade
    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

    , Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

  • Amar Jawan Jyoti
    India Gate
    The India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931...

    , New Delhi
    New Delhi
    New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

    , India
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the war memorial in 2000, and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I...

    , Ottawa
    Ottawa
    Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

    , Canada
  • Arc de Triomphe
    Arc de Triomphe
    -The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

    , Paris, France
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
    The Unknown Warrior
    The British tomb of The Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, London on 11 November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interrment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in...

     is in Westminster Abbey
    Westminster Abbey
    The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

    , London, UK
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • Tomb of the Unknowns
    Tomb of the Unknowns
    The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

    , Arlington National Cemetery
    Arlington National Cemetery
    Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

    , Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

    , United States
  • Tomba del milite ignoto
    Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II
    The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or Altare della Patria or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill...

    , Rome, Italy
  • Australian War Memorial
    Australian War Memorial
    The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

    , Canberra
    Canberra
    Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

    , Australia
  • New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
    New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
    The New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is at the National War Memorial in Buckle Street, Wellington. The remains of the Warrior, one of the 18,166 New Zealand casualties of World War I, were exhumed on 10 October 2004 from the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, near where the New Zealand Division...

    , Wellington
    Wellington
    Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...

    , New Zealand
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier refers to a grave in which the unidentifiable remains of a soldier are interred. Such tombs can be found in many nations and are usually high-profile national monuments. Throughout history, many soldiers have died in wars without their remains being identified...

    , Syntagma Square
    Syntagma Square
    Syntagma Square , is located in central Athens, Greece. The Square is named after the Constitution that King Otto was forced to grant the people after a popular and military uprising, on September 3, 1843....

    , Athens
    Athens
    Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

    , Greece
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Bucharest
    The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument located in Bucharest, dedicated to the soldiers who died while fighting for Romania. It is one of many such national tombs.It was built in 1923 to commemorate the Romanians who died during World War I....

    , Bucharest
    Bucharest
    Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

    , Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...


Television documentaries



The first major television documentary on the history of the war was the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's The Great War
The Great War (documentary)
The Great War is a 26-episode documentary series from 1964 on the First World War. It was a co-production involving the resources of the Imperial War Museum, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

(1964), made in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

 and the Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. The museum was founded during the First World War in 1917 and intended as a record of the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire...

. The series consists of 26 forty-minute episodes featuring extensive use of archive footage gathered from around the world and eyewitness interviews. Although some of the programme's conclusions have been disputed by historians it still makes compelling and often moving viewing.

Other television documentaries of note on the conflict include World War One
World War One (TV series)
World War One was an American documentary television series that was shown on CBS during the 1964-1965 television season to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the war. The series, produced by CBS News, which featured 26 half-hour episodes, was narrated by Robert Ryan...

(1964) by CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

; The First World War (2004), based on Hew Strachan's
Hew Strachan
Brigadier Professor Hew Francis Anthony Strachan, DL, FRSE, FRHS is a Scottish military historian, well known for his work on the administration of the British Army and the history of the First World War...

 works, and The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (1996), shown on PBS.

See also




Resources

  • Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War by Margaret MacMillan
    Margaret MacMillan
    Margaret Olwen MacMillan, OC is a historian and professor at the University of Oxford, where she is Warden of St. Antony's College. She is former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously, at Ryerson University...

    , John Murray ISBN 0-7195-5939-1
  • Peacemaking, 1919 by Harold Nicolson
    Harold Nicolson
    Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.-Early life:Nicolson was born in Tehran, Persia, the younger son of...

     ISBN 1-931541-54-X
  • Hew Strachan
    Hew Strachan
    Brigadier Professor Hew Francis Anthony Strachan, DL, FRSE, FRHS is a Scottish military historian, well known for his work on the administration of the British Army and the history of the First World War...

     ed.: "The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War" is a collection of chapters from various scholars that survey the War.
  • The Wreck of Reparations, being the political background of the Lausanne Agreement, 1932 by Sir John Wheeler-Bennett
    John Wheeler-Bennett
    Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett , GCVO, CMG, OBE, FBA, FRSL was a conservative English historian of German and diplomatic history, and the official biographer of King George VI.-Early career:...

    New York, H. Fertig, 1972.

External links