Treaty of Trianon is signed in Paris (June 4, 1920) - History Key

Treaty of Trianon is signed in Paris (June 4, 1920)

After the end of WWI, the peace treaties were signed between Central Powers and the Allied Powers. One of the most discussed issues was the conclusion of the treaty with Hungary. Therefore, on June 4, 1920 was signed the Treaty of Trianon (which formally ended WWI) between the Allies and the Kingdom of Hungary, a state defeated in WWI.

Defining the new borders

The treaty of Trianon was signed mainly to establish the borders of the new state Hungary with its neighbours: Austria, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia), Romania and Czechoslovakia. The agreement is divided into four parts. The first one includes Covenant of the League of Nations (common part for all peace treaties concluded after the WWI). The second part of the treaty defines Hungary’s new borders with their neighbouring states. Comparing to its pre-war borders, Hungary lost about 75% of its territory.

Difference between the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary within Austria-Hungary and independent Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon. Based on the 1910 Hungarian census. Administrative Kingdom of Hungary in green, autonomous Croatia-Slavonia grey
Difference between the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary within Austria-Hungary and independent Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon. Based on the 1910 Hungarian census. Administrative Kingdom of Hungary in green, autonomous Croatia-Slavonia grey © CoolKoon/ CC BY-SA 3.0/ Image Source: Wikipedia

      Transylvania toghether with former Eastern Hungary which became part of Romania;

      Carpathian Ruthenia, which became part of Czechoslovakia;

      Most part of Burgenland, which became part of Austria;

      Medkimurke and Prekmurje which became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes;

The third part, entitled “Political Clauses for Europe”, contained a number of clauses concerning the bilateral framework of relations between Hungary and neighbouring countries, the recognition of political clauses on certain states in Europe (Belgium and Luxembourg) and protection of national minorities. The last part of the treaty, entitled “The interests of Hungary outside Europe”, contained the renouncing the treaties between Morocco, Egypt, Siam (Thailand) and China.

Therefore, the new boundaries were delineated in the next years. However, the town of Sopron was the only exception, because its citizens have chosen to be part of Hungary. Also, we must say that the third section of the treaty made Hungary one of the most homogenous ethnic states in Europe.

Signing the Treaty on 4 June 1920 at the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles, arrival of the two signatories, Ágost Benárd and Alfréd Drasche-Lázár
Signing the Treaty on 4 June 1920 at the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles, arrival of the two signatories, Ágost Benárd and Alfréd Drasche-Lázár © Agence de presse Mondial Photo-Presse/ Image Source: Wikipedia

Still, a delicate subject

The Treaty of Trianon also “destroyed” the ideal of the Hungarian Revolutionaries of 1848 and the Hungarian politicians from the Dual Monarchy. Despite this, the treaty is still perceived by some Hungarians as a catastrophe. Like we mentioned above, Hungary lost almost 75% of its territory, so it was a normal reaction, but going back in time, historians say that those territories were conquered by Hungary before WWI.

On the other side, the treaty did not play an important role in the consciousness of the people “outside” of Hungary. Actually, the treaty was seen as a realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Transleithania (the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy).

Although, Hungarian historiography and some Hungarian politicians claimed that the Double Monarchy represented the best solution for minorities compared to their “origins”.

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