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Peace Treaties 1919-23


The Paris peace conference was not simply concerned with Germany. The Big Three also made important decisions about the future of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Turkish Ottoman Empire. All these states had been on the losing side during the First World War.


The plans for these territories were stated in a series of treaties signed between 1919 and 1923. All of the treaties included reference to the League of Nations as the organization which would solve future problems between states. All of the defeated countries were initially ordered to pay reparations.


Saint-Germain: The Treaty with Austria 1919

The peace settlement dealt with the two parts of Austria-Hungary in separate peace treaties. The agreement with Austria was known as the Treaty of St Germain and was signed in September 1919.


Terms of the treaty

Austria lost the South Tyrol and Istria to Italy and huge areas of land to three new states: Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia.


The lands given to Czechoslovakia included some of Austria's wealthiest territories and over 3 million German speakers were placed in the new state.


Austria was reduced to a small mountainous country of 6.5 million people. A third of the population lived in the great city of Vienna.


Austria was forbidden from ever seeking unification or 'Anschluss' with Germany.


The Austrian army was limited to 30,000 men.


Neuilly: The Treaty with Bulgaria 1919

Bulgaria had also fought on the losing side. The Treaty of Neuilly was signed in November 1919.


Terms of the treaty

Land was taken from Bulgaria and given to Greece, Yugoslavia and Romania.


The Bulgarian army was restricted to no more than 20,000 men.


Trianon: The Treaty with Hungary 1920

While the peace talks were taking place, Hungarian communists seized power in Budapest led by Bela Kun. The signing of a peace treaty was delayed until Bela Kun had been overthrown and a right-wing government took over. The new ruler of Hungary, Admiral Horthy, was forced to sign the Treaty of Trianon in March 1920. The idea of self-determination led to the carving up of the old Hungary.


Terms of the treaty

Two thirds of Hungarian territory was given to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania.


The population of Hungary was reduced by these changes from 18 million to 7 million people.


The Hungarian army was limited to 35,000.


Sevres: The Treaty with Turkey 1920

The Ottoman family had ruled over a powerful Turkish Empire for many centuries. The Ottoman Empire had been in decline in the years before the First World War. The Turks fought on the losing side in the war.


Terms of the treaty

Turkey lost nearly all its land in Europe to Greece.


The lands of the Turkish Empire in the Arab Middle East were confiscated: France took charge in Syria and Britain took control in Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.


Turkey was to pay reparations.


Lausanne: Revising the Turkish Treaty 1923

Many Turkish people were outraged by the treaty. A general known as Ataturk led a revolution and overthrew the Ottoman family in 1921. Once in power Ataturk used his armies to overturn the Treaty of Sevres by force. As a result a new agreement, the treaty of Lausanne, was signed in 1923.


Terms of the treaty

Turkey regained much of the land lost to Greece.


No reparations were to be paid.