The Congress of Oppressed Nationalities, convened in Rome, Italy, throughout the next week of April 1918, closes on April 10, immediately after representatives from the Czechoslovak, South Slav (or Yugoslav), Romanian and Polish National Committees proclaim their appropriate to become “completely independent national States” immediately after World War I ends.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s contact for “self-determination” for several nations in his popular Fourteen Points speech, delivered in January 1918, began a decisive year in the annals of the diverse peoples of central and eastern Europe. America’s entry in to the war brought renewed desire to the exhausted Allies-France Britain, and Italy-and created them far a lot more receptive to plans created by representatives of the Czech and South Slav populations now below handle of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even Italy, using its hopes of territorial expansion across the Dalmatian coast, thought we would help the correct of the South Slavs to independence. With Russia from the war, another Allies no more had to respect that nation’s claims to Poland, plus they begun to defend the idea of a reorganized also, independent Poland that could emerge once the war have been won.
The Congress of Oppressed Nationalities was sponsored by the Allies-particularly France and Italy-and intended to encourage the minority populations of distinct ethnicities inside Germany and especially Austria-Hungary to say their correct to self-determination and rebel against their oppressors, thus weakening the Central Powers and making an Allied victory more probably. The congress’s closing vote, on April 10, denounced the Hapsburg government being an impediment to the rightful freedom and development of the nations and known as for the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary the moment it absolutely was defeated in the war.
As the delegates who attended the congress recognized, the continuing future of the central and eastern European peoples-to an increased extent than that of other people in Europe or all of those other world-rested wholly on the upshot of World War I. If the Central Powers proved victorious, which nonetheless seemed possible in the spring of 1918, the various nationalities surviving in the Austro-Hungarian Empire will be offered autonomous status but would stay below the manage of the empire, now ruled by Emperor Karl I of Austria. If the Entente proved victorious, however, the empire will be broken into pieces, with the South Slavs joined in a large state ruled by the Serbian monarchy and the Czechs and Slovaks united right into a single state, Czechoslovakia. In both cases, Poland may likely acquire its independence, and would serve as a buffer amongst Europe and the vast expanse of the newly developed Soviet state.