At the beginning of 1918 the British War Cabinet endorsed the view of the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, that after the war Austria-Hungary should be in a position to exercise a powerful influence in south-east Europe . These reassuring professions were the essence of hypocrisy, since the Allies had already given away, at least on paper, large chunks of Austro-Hungarian territory as bribes to potential allies. In 1916 Romania was promised the whole of Transylvania, the Bánát both components of historic Hungary and the Bukovina in return for her entry into the war. These promises persuaded the Romanian Prime Minister Ion Bratianu (1864-1927) to intervene in the war on the side of the Allies in 1916. He lead the Romanian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, where he insisted on those promises to be fulfilled. His often-strained relations with the Big Four and the Supreme Council were further eroded when Romania invaded Hungary. Romania, however, in the end signed and adhered to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with Austria, Neuilly-sur-Seine with Bulgaria, the Treaty of Paris (1920), the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary, and the minorities treaty.
KEITH HITCHINS is Professor of History at the University of Illinois and specializes in Southeastern Europe, Romania, Transylvania, the Kurds, Central Asia, and nationalism. Among his more recent books are Rumania, 1866-1947, in the Oxford History of Modern Europe series (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) and The Romanians, 1774-1866 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. He holds honorary degrees from the universities of Cluj, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Târgu Mures, and Timisoara in Romania.
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