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Trianon 1920 – EU 2020: Confrontation and Collaboration (from empires to nation states in Central and South-Eastern Europe)

Cluj-Napoca, 11th -13th June 2020

Babeș-Bolyai University and the Romanian Academy have successfully organized and carried out between 2014 and 2020 a series of events dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of World War I and the Great Union. This conference thus closes the six years of events and aims to highlight, naturally, especially those events through which the international conflagration was finalised, namely the Peace Treaties. These generated not only waves of ovations or of discontent, but also led to a change in the architecture of the European states.

            Particularly significant for the outlining of the Great Romania, the Treaty of Trianon of June 4th 1920, signed between the winning Parties of World War I and Hungary, as the successor of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, had political reverberations for all the 16 allied states, as well as for Hungary.

The treaty signed in the “Great Trianon” Palace of Versailles established the frontiers of the new state Hungary with its neighbours: Austria, the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians, Romania and Czechoslovakia.

Not only did the treaties reconfigured the continent, they also established a new balance of power in favour of the winners. The German and Austrian-Hungarian Empires disintegrated, the Treaty of Versailles amputated a number of German regions, while East Prussia was isolated from the other German territory. At the same time, the treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Trianon ended the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Austria and Hungary suffered consistent territorial losses, becoming two separate nations. Some parts of the Habsburg Monarchy were given to Italy, Poland, Romania and the newly-formed Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians. The Ottoman Empire was stripped of a large part of its territory, being allowed to keep a considerable reduced position in Europe.

Many of the new states had substantial ethnic minorities, which, several times, found themselves in hostile situations because of the ethnic nationalism predominant in these countries.

The war also radicalised European policy. Communism (as bolshevism came to be known), the various nationalisms, liberal democracy and socialism fought for a long time for supremacy on the continent; the socialist and workers’ movements took advantage of this in order to make considerable progress. The aristocracy was either upturned or its role was greatly diminished.

This conference is dedicated, therefore, to the events of the year 1920. We invite you to send us proposals for individual presentations, thematic sections/panels, and round tables within topics such as:

  • Between debate and conclusion: the Peace Treaties
  • Legal and administrative challenges to the organization of the new states.
  • The new international order – dimensions and implications.
  • International relations and diplomacy after the great conflagration.
  • Political trends that characterized the new reality after the war.
  • The demographic impact of the Paris peace treaties
  • Ethnicity, minorities, refugees – the states of Europe in search of a new identity
  • Transformations and social evolutions in the new world that emerged from the ruins of war

These are just a few suggestions from the organizers. We invite you to propose presentations, thematic sections / panels, round tables in accordance with the conference rules and calendar.