• Borders;
  • Europe;
  • nationalism;
  • peace treaty;
  • Transylvania;
  • 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.