Mr. Reisser, a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State, is a doctoral candidate in geography at the University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angles, California 90095
SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE DIFFICULTY OF CREATING NATION-STATES: THE TRANSYLVANIA CASE*
Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
2009 American Geographical Society
Volume 99, Issue 2, pages 231–247, April 2009
How to Cite
REISSER, W. J. (2009), SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE DIFFICULTY OF CREATING NATION-STATES: THE TRANSYLVANIA CASE. Geographical Review, 99: 231–247. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2009.tb00428.x
Funding and guidance for this research were provided by the George Washington University Geography Department; special thanks to Marie Price. I would also like to thank John Agnew, Joe Dymond, and Tristan Sturm for their helpful comments, along with the anonymous reviewers for the Geographical Review. Thanks are also extended to the Bunche Library of the U.S. State Department and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of the Johns Hopkins University for providing access to the original papers used by the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Conference.
- Issue online: 21 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 21 APR 2010
- peace treaty;
- World War I
ABSTRACT. In the lead-up to the World War I Paris Peace Conference the United States convened The Inquiry-a group of leading scholars-to propose equitable terms, including new borders, for the final peace settlements. In many areas throughout Europe, among them Transylvania, coming to a settlement that fully accounted for Woodrow Wilson's principle of self-determination proved difficult. Hungary's populace comprised many nationalities, some very hostile toward Romania, the state that eventually acquired the entire region. In this article I analyze how the American plan differed from that finally adopted at the conference and how closely The Inquiry's plan for Transylvania followed the principles laid out by President Wilson in his famous “Fourteen Points,” which provided the basis for American participation in World War I. The ethnic mix within Transylvania made it an especially difficult region in which to apply Wilsonian principles.