Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Multitude of Problems

So much was happening at once, in these days ninety years ago.

Woodrow Wilson was still in Washington trying to figure out how to get congressional support for his peace plans.  Not much luck.

At the Conference, the hard work of hearing claims and working out positions within committees goes on. 

Subjects discussed from Monday, February 24, the day after Wilson landed in the USA: 

Albanian territorial claims, creation of a neutral zone between Hungary and Rumania, further Greek claims to Turkish territory, Slovak and Croat claims for territory, Czecho-Slovak boundaries (including Czech claims to a piece of Silesia),  Clemenceau's proposal of an independent state on the west bank of the Rhine,  Armenian claims for a homeland, Zionist claims for a homeland, Sinn Fein request to be heard, blockade of food and supplies from Bulgaria ended,  Colonel House's proposal to start the League of  Nations machinery immediately, issues of reparations from German and Austria, conflicts over promises in Palestine, conflicts between what Italians had been promised in the Adriatic and what the committees were allotting to the new "Jugo-Slavia" (Yugoslavia). 

Rapidly developing events which impacted the views of the peacemakers:

In addition, there was widespread violence in Germany; a leftist coup had overthrown the government of Bavaria, and the leftist premier (Kurt Eisner) was assassinated by an angry nobleman, calling up some talk of a soviet republic in Munich; autonomist movements develop in Silesia, East Prussia, Hanover, Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse, Bavaria, and the Rhineland.  In the Russian lands, the civil war had broken out for good and earnest, calling for the Red Army from the Bolsheviks and the formation of White forces elsewhere. German forces are engaging in a war against the Bolsheviks in the Baltic.  Open warfare between Poland the Ukraine was halted temporarily with a truce to last from February 22 to March 3.  Acrimonious debates in the Japanese diet (over peace-related issues and others) led to riots and eventually large-scale violence, including a full-fledged autonomy movement and open revolt in Korea.
There were other significant instabilities, including food riots and martial law in Spain, as well as a strong Catalonian autonomist movement there, generally high prices everywhere as the result of wartime inflationary finance by governments (with the hyperinflations and high inflations yet to come). 

Overall:  Not promising!

And one can't blog about all this and more at once.  But we will arrive there by easy stages.

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Design of a Violent Century by Hunt Tooley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.