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History of Europe between 1918 and 1942 : Treaty of Versailles – creation of new States – authoritarian and totalitarian regimes – Munich Agreement – Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – outbreak of the Second World War …

Author : Olivier FORLIN, Senior Lecturer, Pierre Mendès France University, Grenoble

For online access to this series of 19 historical maps


L’Europe et les Nations entre les deux Guerres

Europe and nations, 1918-1942

The First World War marked the decline of European domination in the world. Once the war was over, democracy and collective security seemed to triumph, but this hope was short-lived. The dissatisfaction created by the redrawing of frontiers, the fragility of new democratic regimes and the Great Depression plunged the continent back into war.

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This series contains 19 animated historical maps. For a preview, see the map on :

Europe at the End of the First World War

Europe at the End of the First World War

Respect for the principle of nationalities and the maintenance of their power influenced the victors in redrawing European frontiers, confirmed by the various treaties signed in 1919-1920.


Germany and the Treaty of Versailles

Seen as the instigator of the war, Germany lost a number of territories and had to pay the victors substantial reparations.


The Fate of Austria and Hungary

Austria and Hungary were established as two separate states and lost much of their territory.


The Fate of Bulgaria

Being defeated, Bulgaria lost its access to the Mediterranean.


Independence for Finland

Finland became independent after the collapse of the Russian Empire.


Independence for the Baltic Countries

Previously part of the Russian Empire, the Baltic countries became independent at the end of the First World War.


Europe in the 1920s

The devastation of war, economic difficulties and resentments created by the treaties threatened the democratic regimes and collective security.


The Irish Question

The Irish nationalists fought for their independence and succeeded in creating the free State of Ireland in 1921.


Greek-Turkish Relations between 1920 and 1923

Territorial conflicts in the regions of Smyrna and East Thrace ended with large numbers of Greek and Turkish settlers to leave their home


Authoritarian Regimes in the 1920s

During the 1920s, far right parties came to power in a number of European countries.


Reconstituted Poland

Reconstituted by the treaties, Poland remained under threat from its two powerful neighbours: Russia and Germany.


Czechoslovakia: A Multinational State

Created from pieces of ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia brought together several nationalities to form a single state.


Yugoslavia: A Multinational State

A common language and ethnic ties influenced the decision to give the Southern Slavs their own state.


New Crises 1929-1942

The Great Depression reinforced the authoritarian regimes in Europe. In the mid-1930s, dictators dominate international relations.


Spain: Republicanism and Civil War, 1931-1939

Franco’s military uprising and three years of civil war put an end to Spain’s democratic republic.


France: From the Third Republic to the Vichy Regime

The military debacle in May and June 1940 brought down the Third Republic.


Dismantlement of Czechoslovakia (1938-1939)

Abandoned by France and England at the Munich Conference, Czechoslovakia was soon torn apart.


Poland Conquered and Dismantled (1939-1941)

By signing the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact, Germany and the USSR sealed Poland’s fate.


Italy in the 1930s

Italy’s annexation of Ethiopia ended its alliance with France and England and pushed Mussolini closer to Germany.



History of Europe between 1918 and 1942 : Treaty of Versailles – creation of new States – authoritarian and totalitarian regimes – Munich Agreement – Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – outbreak of the Second World War …

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