St.-Germain, Treaty of 1919
St.-Germain, Treaty of (1919)
one of the peace treaties ending World War I (1914–18).
The treaty, which was signed on Sept. 10, 1919, in the town of St.-Germain-en-Laye (near Paris) by the USA, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, and the other “allied and unified powers,” on the one hand, and by Austria, on the other, was part of the Versailles-Washington system.
The Treaty of St.-Germain recognized the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the capitulation of Austria-Hungary on Oct. 27, 1918, and recorded the establishment, on the empire’s territory, of the Republic of Austria, as well as Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians (from October 1929, Yugoslavia). Article 88 prohibited the violation of Austrian independence (that is, an Anschluss). Austria’s territory totaled about 84,000 sq km, including Upper and Lower Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, part of Styria, Vorarlberg, North Tirol, and Burgenland, which had previously belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary. Under the treaty, a plebiscite was held in the Klagenfurt region (Slovenian Carinthia), which was subsequently incorporated into Austria (1920).
Italy received South Tirol and part of the other territories of Austria-Hungary. The border between Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians was defined by the Treaty of Rapallo (1920). Austria renounced part of the former crown-land of Bucovina in favor of Rumania, but the boundaries of Bucovina had not yet been established, and in the process of establishing them, the allies ignored the demand of the Bucovinian People’s Veche for the incorporation of Northern Bucovina into the Soviet Ukraine (Nov. 3, 1918).
Austria promised to recognize the full force of the peace treaties and supplementary conventions that had been or would be concluded by the “allied and unified powers” with the powers that had fought on the side of Austria-Hungary. In addition, Austria promised to recognize the boundaries of Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians, as established by the principal “allied and unified powers.” Austria renounced all rights and privileges to territories outside its borders.
Under the Treaty of St.-Germain, Austria had to demobilize. It was forbidden to maintain an air force or navy, and its armed forces were limited to 30,000 men. Moreover, Austria was required to pay reparations.
The Treaty of St.-Germain was ratified by the Austrian Constituent Assembly on Oct. 17, 1919. It went into force on July 16, 1920.
The Treaty of St.-Germain reflected the changes that had taken place in Europe as a result of the fall of Austria-Hungary. At the same time, its terms, dictated by the powers of the Entente, laid the foundation for acute international conflicts, as well as conflicts between nationalities. The seizure of Austria in March 1938 by fascist Germany, as well as other acts of fascist aggression on the eve of and during World War II (1939–45), signified the forcible nullification of the terms of the Treaty of St.-Germain and the other treaties of the Versailles-Washington system.