Signing of the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in 1919. The fighting in World War I ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT 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 maintained the naval blockade of 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 more died from starvation in this eight month period. The continuation of the blockade after the fighting ended, as Robert Leckie wrote in Delivered From Evil, did much to "torment the Germans ... driving them with the fury of despair into the arms of the devil." The terms of the Armistice 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 late June 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed by most of the combatant nations. Treaty of Versailles Demonstration against the Treaty in front of the Reichstag building After the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, between Germany on the one side and France, Italy, Britain and other minor allied powers 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. Germany itself was not included in the negotiations of the treaty and was forced to sign it (the alternative was continuing the war which would have probably led to a total occupation of Germany), which caused humiliation in the German people as the full blame for the war was placed on them. The treaty also included a clause to create the League of Nations. Isolationist elements in the US Senate refused to ratify Treaty of Versailles or to allow the US to join the League, despite President Woodrow Wilson's active campaigning in support of the treaty and League membership. The United States negotiated a separate peace with Germany, finalized in August 1921. 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", 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 both the continental U.S., Canada and Europe, eventually reaching around the globe, partially because many were weakened and exhausted by the famines 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' 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
There were some general consequences from the creation of a large number of new small states in eastern Europe as a result of...