Kossuth and the Treaty of Trianon

Courtesy Reuters

IN PRESENTING the historical documents from which I am about to quote, my intention is not to throw fresh light on the interesting period following the collapse of the Hungarian Revolution in 1848, but to refute an opinion held by many statesmen and politicians concerning the present international situation of Hungary and her neighbors. Faced with the social and economic difficulties of the post-war era, these persons assert more and more emphatically that the Treaty of Trianon was simply a blunder, part of a vae victis peace unscrupulously imposed on the defeated nations, a work of sheer stupidity and incompetence which had no foundations in historical antecedents or the social and ethnological framework of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This judgment is supported by the fact that every war is a brutal and incomplete solution of the conflict of blind and selfish interests. Furthermore, it cannot be denied that the new equilibrium created in the Danube valley by the World War has imposed unnecessary injustices upon the vanquished or that, by splitting up large territories which formerly enjoyed the advantages of unified economic life, it has led to disastrous conditions even in the victorious countries themselves. Yet the question remains, whether the outcome of the World War should be regarded as purely arbitrary and capricious or whether it had a natural logic which was stronger than the calculations of the diplomatic game.

The answer given to this question is of the highest practical importance. If we affirm the first alternative a new world war is inevitable, for no international equilibrium can be maintained except on the foundation of the necessities of the peoples involved, and as the new states emphatically refuse a change of this equilibrium, the ultima ratio can only be war. Whereas if the second alternative be true it may be hoped that a better mutual understanding and a more enlightened statesmanship will be able to correct in a peaceful way the errors of the peace treaty and restore that economic

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