How WWI changed the map of Europe
July 12, 2018 -- The map of Europe underwent drastic revision after World War I. The defeated Central Powers – Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey – suffered huge territorial losses, and new independent countries were born, from Finland in the north to Yugoslavia in the south.
The military hostilities of World War I ceased with an armistice at 11am on November 11, 1918, but a formal end to the war was not reached until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919.
The Big Four leaders of the victorious Allies – Lloyd George of Britain, Orlando of Italy, Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson from the U.S. – dominated decision-making at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The Central Powers had little say and were forced to submit to a series of punitive treaties which stripped them of land and imposed military restrictions and huge reparation payments.
The treaties sowed deep resentment among the populations of the defeated powers, especially in Germany, and their governments soon set about finding ways to circumvent the accords. The resulting international instability was the very opposite of the lasting peace the Allies had hoped to achieve.