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Four Empires Destroyed

Austro-Hungarian Empire destroyed; empire broke into many vulnerable nation-states with weak economics and lack of political experience.

Ottoman Empire destroyed; territory reduced - land lost to Greece and Allies. Sultan replaced by nationalist leader.

German Empire destroyed; emperor and 22 kings and princes replaced by democratic federal parliament - Weimar Republic.

Russian empire destroyed; communist revolution of 1917; Russia withdrew from the war - fear of the spread of communism was a major fear in the west.

The Outsiders

Russia: Communist government led to Allied intervention and then exclusion from the European community; not a member of League of Naions; feared by Britain andFrance

Germany: Defeated and blamed for war; Treaty a 'diktat'; not a member of League of Nations.

Role of the United States

USA played an important role in the German defeat of 1918.

President Wilson author of the Fourteen Points

Wilson's aims were crucial at Peace Conference: especially the principle of self-determination.

League of Nations established under Wilson; included in all treaties

Wilson included clause 231 of Versailles to justify reparations.

USA Senate failed to ratify either the Versailles Treaty of League of Nations.

USA retreated into isolationism

This policy ineffective as USA closely linked to Europe economically through trade and war debts; loans to germany under Dawes Plan of 1924

New Small States Created

Breakup of the four great empires led to national states: economically weak; politically inexperienced; dissatisfied with border decisions.

Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia

Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria

National self-determination and International sovereignty

National self-determination was the principle for the creation of new national states in Europe based on the principle of national sovereignty.

This clashed with the first principle of the League of Nations of collective decisions and collective security.

Roles of Britain and France

Britain wanted a balance of power in Europe: Germany able to trade and strong enough to block communism, France not too strong.

France wanted Germany weakened to prevent any further threat.

USA failure to sign the Treaty left France vulnerable to German aggression.

Britain and France failed to work together to create unity in the west.