The Paris Peace Settlement and the Treaty of Trianon, 1919-20: Appendix   Leave a comment

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Appendix: The Treaty and Bilateral Relations with the United States of America in the Twenties:

When the US delegate saw the first drafts of the Trianon Treaty, he left the Peace Conference and travelled home to object to the proceedings. The United States, of course, did not ratify the Paris Peace Treaties, including Trianon. However, there was growing American interest in developing relations with the new countries of central-Eastern Europe, and István Bethlen, Premier between 1921 and 1931, sought a formal end to the war with the United States. On 2 July, 1921, the US Congress issued a Joint Resolution declaring an end to the state of war with Austria-Hungary. Hungary’s National Assembly accepted the terms of the Joint Resolution on 12 August, and authorised the Government to negotiate a treaty with the United States. Negotiations proceeded rapidly, and on 29 August, the US and Hungary signed a treaty establishing friendly relations. Commissioner Grant-Smith signed for the US, and Foreign Minister Count Miklós Bánffy signed for Hungary. The treaty came into force on 17 December. It made no mention of Hungary’s new territorial borders. One diplomat later noted that “Hungary never forgot” the deliberate omission, which was seen as “a strong gesture in favour of territorial revision.”

Herbert Hoover, future President of the US, noted that at the end of the war the Hungarian people showed a “magnificent toughness” in the face of severe food shortages. He arranged for surpluses of food in eastern Yugoslavia to be sent to Hungary, in exchange for gold. The situation worsened, as land lost to Hungary in the Trianon Treaty included rich agricultural areas. Hoover continued to try to get food supplies in, particularly for children. He later recalled that the United States provided more than 21,000 tons of food and 241 tons of clothing, medical and other supplies to Hungary. Bethlen and his Party of Unity continued to advocate the restoration of Hungary’s pre-1918 borders as the solution to the devastating famine of the early twenties. However, he also sought investment capital to help rebuild the country. In 1922 Hungary was admitted to the League of Nations, and it applied for a loan in 1923. This was backed by the US and Great Britain, and received in 1924. The League named a General Commissioner to Hungary, Jeremiah Smith, a Boston banker who had served on the US delegation to Versailles. He helped to achieve Hungary’s fiscal reconstruction, a factor in the recovery of the Hungarian economy by the late twenties.

As diplomatic relations continued to develop and expand in the 1920s, the United States and Hungary signed a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Consular Rights in Washington in 1925, which entered into force in 1926, to further regularise their relations. Hungary was a signatory to the Kellog-Briand Pact, which required the settling of disputes without resorting to war, becoming a party to it in 1929, following its ratification in 1929. Hungary went further by concluding with the US treaties of arbitration and conciliation in 1929, by which they agreed to submit disputes to either international tribunals or to an international commission. Therefore, by the end of the 1920s, Hungary was no longer seen as a pariah state, but as integral to the new international diplomatic system. The sense of injustice over Trianon was still present, but there was also a strong sense that this could be corrected through international co-operation and without the resort to force. Again, there was nothing inevitable about the failure of diplomacy in the following decade. The road from Paris did not automatically lead to Munich, and so on.

 

 

 

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Posted June 9, 2014 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

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