When the First World War formally ended in November 1918 with an Allied victory, three vast and centuries-old land empires – the Ottoman, Habsburg and Romanov empires – vanished from the map. A fourth, the Hohenzollern Empire, which had become a major land empire in the last year of the war when it occupied enormous territories in East-Central Europe, was significantly reduced in size, stripped of its overseas colonies, and transformed into a parliamentary democracy with what Germans across the political spectrum referred to as a “bleeding frontier” towards the East.
As a consequence of imperial collapse and the rise and clash of nationalist as well as Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik movements, an extensive arc of postwar violence stretched from Finland and the Baltic States through Russia and Ukraine, Poland, the borderlands of Austria, Hungary, and Germany, all the way through the Balkans into Anatolia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. This lecture will explore the effects of “1918” on the defeated states of Europe, drawing on comparisons between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. It will also seek to argue that the political agenda of the following three decades was very much set in the years between 1917 (Russian Revolutions) and 1923 (Lausanne Treaty). It was in this period, rather than in the Great War itself, that the ground was laid for the even more terrible conflict that began in 1939 / 41.
Session 1: 12:30-14:30h
Session 2: 15-17h
Patricia Chiantera-Stutte is Associate Professor at the University of Bari. Her main research field is the history of right-wing political thought in Italy and Germany. Among other topics, she has published on German geopolitical concepts, on biopolitics and on Italian fascism.
Gabriela Frei is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Junior Research Fellow in History at Oxford University. Her postdoctoral research project examines how the understanding of a legal international order changed as a result of the First World War, and how a new international economic order emerged during the interwar period.
Simon Jackson is Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Birmingham. He is completing a book on the global politics of economic development in Syria and Lebanon after World War One.
Jamie Martin is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University. His dissertation looks at the origins of the earliest plans to govern the world economy in twentieth-century Europe and the United States.
Klaus Richter is a Birmingham Fellow and Lecturer in Eastern European History at the University of Birmingham. He is currently working on a history of Poland and the Baltics during the First World War and the interwar period, which focuses on the specifics of statehood in the region.
Corey Ross is Professor of Modern History at the University of Birmingham. He is currently working on an environmental history of the heyday of European imperialism, from roughly 1880 to 1960.
The Week 4 Modern and Contemporary History Research Seminar is by:
Abstract: Who or what are the subjects of international law and order? Traditionally, these comprised states alone. In the interwar period, however, a broad spectrum of jurists began to challenge this view, spurred in particular by the legal innovations of the League of Nations. The League’s new oversight regimes for minority populations and mandate territories, as well as its petition procedures, suggested to some that states had lost their singular standing in international law. This paper explores the question of international legal personality as both intellectual history and as international social history: at the same time as the legal capacity of non-states was being conceptualized in law, a variety of non-state actors were already using, contesting, and elaborating the legal openings created by the League. I argue that this new area of law – encompassing both new legal subjects and the international jurisdiction that housed them – developed in interaction with the strategic internationalism of a wide array of non-state claim-makers.
All are welcome, and there will be drinks!
Our Week 9 Modern & Contemporary Research Seminar is by our own:
‘A case of goats mingling with sheep? The identification and employment of civilian experts in the British Army of the First World War’
See you at 16:15 in the Rodney Hilton Library, on Wednesday 26 November.
All are welcome, and there will be drinks.