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A Belief in Nation-States?: The 1919 Peacemaking for East Central Europe at 100

Sat, November 23, 12:00 to 1:45pm, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Floor: 5, Sierra I

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Brief Description

A hundred years ago, in 1919, the central principle of East Central Europe’s spatial order changed from empire to nation state. Based on the notion of national self-determination the peacemakers in Paris decided for the creation of successor states in the region. None of them was a homogeneous nation state since all of them encompassed considerable national minorities. Although East Central Europe was mostly affected by the peace treaties of St. Germain (with Austria) and Trianon (with Hungary) the ‘New Europe’ was often called the Versailles-System. Responding to current debates about an “overcharged” or “frustrated” peace, the roundtable will discuss the regional settlement from a range of different angles: P.R. Magocsi addresses the impact of North American immigrants on post-World War I politics in East Central Europe. P. Bugge recalls the deep skepticism concerning the ability of the ‘liberated’ peoples of East Central Europe to run sovereign nation states as indicated in 1919 by leading British politicians against the background of their colonial experience. J. Osterkamp will focus on the belief of Austrian Jewry in a national territory of their own - in Europe or Palestine. J. Beneš centers on how various socialist groupings (esp. social democrats and communists) viewed self-determination and were involved in the treaty process. F. Hadler will relate the discussed issues to the shaping of Czechoslovakia which was often regarded as the ‘model pupil’ of the peacemakers.

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