Examine how the Paris Peace Settlements (1919-23) established a new international order.
An international order means how the world exist, work and co-related to each other, which could explain in different aspects included political, military, economic and diplomatic. In the following paragraphs, how Paris Peace Settlements during 1919-23 established a new international order would be explained.
In the political aspect, the new international order characterized by the declination of Europe and marked by the rise of US. Before 1914, the world was dominated by Europe. European countries were strong in terms of economic and military power. The European countries are industrialized; they have high competiveness between each others in foreign goods. They have the power to establish overseas colonies. Thus, European countries have very strong military strength which was showed in the arms race between different countries. However, during the Paris Peace Settlements US became one of the big three, and have large authority over the drafting of treaties. After WWI, European countries were exhausted. Britain, for example, she became one of the world’s largest debtors with interest payments that formed around 40% of the government spending.
In the new international order, the design of map had changed—new states were created and the Paris Peace Settlements leaded the declination of European empires. Before 1914, it was an age of empires, there are: German Empire, Austria-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, and Russian Empire etc. After 1923, the fall of empires occurred, Russia fell after the October Revolution, became the first communist country and German Empire became republic (Weimar Republic) after the German revolution. In the Paris Peace Settlement, Austria-Hungarian Empire had splitted into Austria and Hungary due to Treaty of St.Germain and Ottoman Empire declined largely; it had lost territory due to the Treaty of Lausanne. Germany lost Poland, reduced it size and lost all overseas colonies in the Treaty of Versailles. After 1923, there were establishments of new nations such as Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Finland etc. due to the principal of self determination that the Paris Peace Settlement put into practice.
In the new international order, an organization— League of Nations was set up for peace keeping. Before 1914, there were only two attempts for peace making—the Hague conference. There are no agreements were reached in both Hague Conferences which leaded to the failure of peace keeping and WWI was broken out. After 1919, The Paris Peace settlements were called to decide what to do to achieve peace and settle matters in peaceful means.
In the new international order, the rise of totalitarianism in Italy and Germany occurred. Before 1914, extreme nationalism only caused European powers to scramble about for colonies to bring about national glory; however, they did not expand by taking territories nearby. Thus, there were no changes or rise of any new political ideology, only nationalism caused territorial change and colonial rivalries. On the Paris Peace Settlements, the big three tend to weaken Germany and Austria, to prevent them from growing into a strong power again by abolishing union between the two of them and ceding land from them. After 1919, rise of totalitarianism caused countries like Italy and Germany to adopt expansionist foreign policies in order to regain ‘territorial loss’ e.g. Italy occupied Greek island in 1923.
In military aspect, the domination of Germans’ military was lost in the new international order. Before 1914, Germany was one of the strongest countries in terms of military. From treaty of Versailles, Germany was only allowed a regular army that was limited to 100,000 military personnel, an air force and only a very small fleet. The compulsory enlistment into the armed forces had put to an end. Thus, Rhineland had to be occupied for 15 years by the allied military forces. All commissions in Germany controlled by the allies until 1927 from 1919. After 1919, due to the military restrictions imposed on Germany, there was a lost of the military advantage and the status of domination.
In the new international order, the League of Nations adopted a principal—Collective security which means when a country is being attacked; other country should give aid come to support the attacked country. Before 1914, there is no any ideology to give military aid to countries, but only secret agreements or treaties or to use military power in solving problem and conflict. Thus, arms race between countries occurred very often, countries could compete for land on their own without passing through any trials or any peace keeping bodies. On the Paris Peace Settlement, there was the establishment of League of Nations which symbolizes the existence of collective security. Also, there were disarmaments of the defeated powers to maintain peace e.g. abolition of conscription in Germany. After 1919, there were restrictions in military over the defeated powers. European powers tried to negotiate, instead of using military power to solve problems.
In the economic aspect, Germany lost its economic income, at the same time; France got the power to recover from the war in the new international order. Before 1914, there were many natural resources in Germany, many coal mines in the northern part of Germany. By 1900, the average mine output had risen to 280,000 tons. By 1913, there was a production of 18 million tons of steel. However, in the treaty of Versailles, the Saar was to be governed by the League of Nations for 15 years started from 1919, and its coalfields were to be ceded to France. After 1919, Germany had lost an income to recover from war.
In the new international order, there was a huge unbalancing concerning about the economy—Germany was almost being bankrupt however allied powers received a source of recovery. Before 1914, Germany was rich and had competitiveness among the European powers. Germany had textile industries, coal production, banks, railways, and steel production. In the treaty of Versailles, Germany had to pay reparations up to 6.6 billion pounds. After 1923, Germany could not afford the huge indemnity, workers had discontent because they did not have payment for their job, as their money were all used to pay the reparations. At the same time, the government had to print more money to satisfy the need of workers, however, it soon faced serious economic problems such as hyperinflation and unemployment. On the other hand, Britain and France received reparations from Germany; it had been a source of recovery from the destruction brought by war and distant of recovery from the war for Germany was far.
In the new international order, Austria went bankrupt and Hungary’s industry suffered greatly. Before 1914, Austria-Hungary had agriculture and food industry, and was the most important foreign food supplier to Germany, Italy and Britain. It also had heavy industry such as car manufacturing and electric power industry. However, in the Treaty of St. Germain, Austria had to pay reparations. In the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost population which meant the loss of productivity. After 1919, Austria and Hungary suffered and had to rely on League of Nations to recover from the war.
In diplomatic aspect, the idea of collective security was being raised in League of Nations. Before 1914, there was extreme nationalism, which encouraged European powers to expand the overseas colonies; military also meant the status and the power of a country and have a suspicious attitude towards other European powers. In the Paris Peace Settlements, there was the formation of League of Nations to ensure world peace. Moreover, it was situated in Switzerland to ensure its neutrality. After 1919, there were more measures on peace keeping.
To conclude, a new international order was established via Paris Peace Settlements.