Foreign Policies of the Great Powers: Foreign Pol France by Nere

By Nere

First released in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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The experts none the less advocated assigning the entire region to Poland. In the face of the protestations of Lloyd George, a series of compromises was decided upon: a status of free city for Danzig (this was to be a source of perpetually renewed conflicts), plebiscites in East Prussia, and also - as a result of German representations - in Upper Silesia. The problem of the eastern frontiers of Poland was not settled at the peace conference, neither was that of the duchy of Cieszyn, which was disputed between Poland and Czechoslovakia.

In fact the Czech trade unions refused to allow the passage of arms and supplies destined for Poland. The Hungarians, on the other hand, in accordance with historical precedents, offered their armed support to Poland. This, however, would have implied the entry of Hungarian troops into Slovakia, which, some hoped and some feared, would mean Hungary's annexing at least part of Slovakia and thus keeping a common frontier with Poland: in this way she would no longer have been completely surrounded by hostile countries.

How can this French passivity be explained? Can we believe that the French were so absorbed in more immediate preoccupations such as reconstruction and reparations that they suddenly forgot the concern for security which had haunted them until then? The explanation is perhaps a different one; in order to have a real understanding of the problem we must try to put ourselves in the state of mind of the French at that time. They had been so completely absorbed by the war that they had retained a wartime attitude of mind.

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